#TBT: O.J. Simpson Acquitted of Double Murder

On this date in 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Here's what happened next.

Trial of the century

In 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, her friend Ron Goldman. The immediate reaction to the verdict created a division along racial lines. A poll of Los Angeles County residents showed that most African Americans felt that justice had been served by the "not guilty" verdict, while the majority of whites and Latinos expressed an opposite opinion on the matter. After the trial, the families of Brown and Goldman filed a lawsuit against Simpson. On February 4, 1997, the jury unanimously found Simpson responsible for both deaths. The families were awarded compensatory and punitive damages totaling $33.5 million ($52.3 million in 2018) but have received only a small portion of that monetary figure. In 2000, Simpson left California for Florida, one of the few states where personal assets such as homes and pensions cannot be seized to cover liabilities that were incurred in other states.

On the same date 13 years later, Simpson was found guilty of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. In 2007, the hypothetical memoir of the murders, If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer, was set for release — but was canceled after intense public outcry. Pablo Fenjves ghostwrote the 2007 book If I Did It based on interviews with Simpson. The book was published by Beaufort Books, a New York City publishing house owned by parent company Kampmann & Company/Midpoint Trade Books. All rights and proceeds from the book were awarded to the family of murder victim Ron Goldman.

The White Bronco, the glove, and the Hall of Fame football hero turned murder suspect became synonymous with what became known as “The trial of the century” and sparked a debate about race in America. Found guilty of kidnapping, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison with eligibility for parole in 9 years. He was released from prison on October 1, 2017. He joined social media in 2019.