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O.J.: Court System Is 'Double Jeopardy'

by Mark5019 / November 18, 2005 11:06 PM PST


O.J. Simpson on Friday questioned the system that allowed both him and actor Robert Blake to be found liable for murder after being acquitted in criminal court, calling it "double jeopardy."

"I still don't get how anyone can be found not guilty of a murder and then be found responsible for it in any way shape or form," Simpson said in a phone interview from his Florida home. "... If you're found not guilty, how can you be found responsible? I'd love to hear how that's not double jeopardy."

Simpson said he had no opinion about Blake's guilt or innocence in the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, because he did not follow either trial closely.

Simpson said Blake was subjected to an unfair system in which a civil jury can essentially reverse a criminal jury's finding by using a lesser standard of proof in which jurors need be convinced only by "a preponderance of the evidence," meaning at least 51 percent.

"If that was the standard in criminal trials, only 51 percent, then so many people would be convicted that we'd have to build more jails," Simpson said. "The standard is the difference."

Simpson was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, then was sued in civil court where a jury found him liable for their deaths and awarded damages of $33.5 million. In Blake's case, the jury awarded $30 million, a figure Simpson said was suspiciously similar.

"It was too coincidental," he said.

they both should be rotting in jail:(

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Awwww, poor O.J.
by EdH / November 19, 2005 12:20 AM PST

He can reverse everythihg by finding the "real killers". I wonder how the search is going.

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The measure of the man.
by Kiddpeat / November 19, 2005 12:32 AM PST

He should be praising the defective system that set him free in spite of his guilt rather than whining about the money he lost.

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(NT) (NT) Not Guilty doesn't mean Innocent.
by Cindi Haynes / November 19, 2005 2:25 AM PST
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He's just showing his ignorance of...
by C1ay / November 19, 2005 5:42 AM PST

the Fifth Amendment,

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Only once was he put in jeopardy of life or limb for his offense by the government; he was then subsequently sued by a private individual. Maybe he's not bright enough to to see the difference.

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Aw c'mon
by Evie / November 19, 2005 6:19 AM PST

I think we can all agree that this would never be considered technically "double jeapordy", but it amounts to a de facto result of same.

Simpson and Blake do not make very sympathetic "poster boys" for this issue, but ... considering that innocent people HAVE been sent to prison wrongly, it is logical to assume that there will also be cases where innocent people that appeared to be "guilty" (not saying that was the case here) would found not guilty but be assumed guilty nonetheless. One sees examples of this every day when someone is acquitted that some have a personal disliking for, they can't get their good name back. Well, in that atmosphere, the odds are tilted against the defendent ESPECIALLY in high profile cases where juries are BOUND to have a "set things right" attitude. If Scooter Libby is acquitted, for example, Plame need only convince a less-than-unanimous jury that 51% of the evidence points to damages to ruin the man forever.

In cases that also go through the criminal system, perhaps it might be workable for there to be different criterion for verdicts in civil cases? The bar should be a bit higher is what I'm arguing.

Evie Happy

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Setting the bar
by grandpaw7 / November 19, 2005 11:32 AM PST
In reply to: Aw c'mon

When you set the bar in a criminal case, you set it for one person, the accused. Since depriving a person of his liberty, or his life, takes away his rights, the bar is set quite high, the law preferring that some guilty people go free rather than innocent people go to jail. When you set the bar in a civil case, you set it for two people, the plaintiff and the defendant. The law wants it set to the same heighth for both parties. It sees no reason to favor one citizen over another.

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The defendant in a civil case ...
by Evie / November 20, 2005 1:24 AM PST
In reply to: Setting the bar

... already generally has the deck stacked against them.

If the jury can award humongous settlements such as 30 million -- steep even IF Blake were still a working/thriving actor -- that is essentially taking away his liberty. So the bar should be set higher to do that.

He didn't bilk the family out of 30 million even if he did kill Bakely.

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by C1ay / November 20, 2005 2:39 AM PST
So the bar should be set higher to do that.

The bar should not be set the same for the plaintiff and the defendant? You cannot raise the bar for one party without lowering it for the other.
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Actually, the one that doesn't make sense is being tried
by Kiddpeat / November 19, 2005 2:56 PM PST
In reply to: Aw c'mon

in state court where one is found innocent. The feds then prosecute again on the same, or similar, charge. This happened to the cops who beat up Rodney King.

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Yes on a strict double jeapordy argument ...
by Evie / November 20, 2005 1:25 AM PST

... those are more troubling. Since it is a second criminal trial Sad

Evie Happy

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(NT) (NT) Suppose OJ felt that way about Officer Stacy Koon?
by duckman / November 19, 2005 8:03 AM PST
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