Tags: alan dershowitz | O.J. simpson | parole | hearing

Dershowitz: O.J.'s Acquittal a '900-Pound Gorilla' in Parole Hearing

Image: Dershowitz: O.J.'s Acquittal a '900-Pound Gorilla' in Parole Hearing
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By    |   Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 12:46 PM

The botched burglary that landed O.J. Simpson in prison would have been a three-year sentence at the most, not a 33-year crime, and if he were anyone else, he would have been paroled a long time ago, Alan Dershowitz, a member of Simpson's "dream team" of attorneys, said Thursday.

"He didn't kidnap anybody," Dershowitz, now a Harvard Law professor emeritus, told MSNBC.

"If his name was not O.J Simpson, he would have been paroled a long time ago, but there is a 900-pound gorilla in the room — it's always the previous acquittal."

However, said Dershowitz, "we don't know" if Simpson's name also led to his acquittal in 1995 for charges of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

"The prosecution botched the case in the worst possible way," said Dershowitz. "I'm sitting as close as I am to you when O.J. tried on the glove and showed the jury it was too small.

"Had lawyers on the other side done their research, they would have realized they could have had him try it on outside the presence of the jury to see if it fit first. They made every mistake in the book."

Any defendant would have been acquitted, given such a mistake, said Dershowitz, and now, every American has the right to decide whether Simpson really was guilty of the murders.

"I'm here basically defending the rule of law," said Dershowitz. "When a person has been acquitted, correctly or incorrectly, the legal system says that's the end . . . double jeopardy precludes you from being punished twice."

Time has gone by since the 1994 murders, at any rate, and Dershowitz said the Nevada parole board, whose members will determine Thursday if Simpson will be released on parole has a "generally good reputation." They will do the right thing for Simpson or any other defendant."

Simpson was convicted in October 2008 of armed robbery, assault, kidnapping and other offenses after he and five associates, two who were armed attacked two sports memorabilia dealers in a casino hotel room, claiming they were selling items related to Simpson.

"He has been a model prisoner and he's 70-years-old," said Dershowitz. "All of those things will [be in] favor of release."

Dershowitz, meanwhile, said he would advise Simpson to stay out of the public life if he is released, as it would be a "terrible, terrible mistake" if he tried to capitalize on the crimes, which have gotten more attention recently because of award-winning documentaries on FX and ESPN.

The public may want to see Simpson, said Dershowitz, but he'd tell the former football great that "they want to see you to take advantage of you. It is not in your interest to get in the public light. Live a life of quiet security, take care of your children, thrive on your grandchildren, that's what many others have done."

There is a place and time to be public and a place and time to be private, said Dershowitz, and now is the time "for quiet reflection and retirement."

Dershowitz said he last spoke with Simpson when he was arrested years ago in Florida, after his California acquittal.

"He's not my friend," said Dershowitz. "He's my client. I'm here because I defend and support justice and the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution . . . Some people don't understand it when I talk about [President] Donald Trump.

"Although I didn't vote for him, I don't believe anything he's done amounts to criminality at this point. People hate any defense attorney who invokes rights on behalf of people they don't like."

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The botched burglary that landed O.J. Simpson in prison would have been a three-year sentence at the most, not a 33-year crime, and if he were anyone else, he would have been paroled a long time ago, Alan Dershowitz, a member of Simpson's "dream team"...
alan dershowitz, O.J. simpson, parole, hearing
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2017-46-20
Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 12:46 PM
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