O. J. Simpson Trial

O. J. Simpson:(Orenthal James Simpson), 1947–, American football player, b. San Francisco. As a running back for the Univ. of Southern California, he won the Heisman Trophy as the best college player of 1968. The "Juice" played with the Buffalo Bills (1969–77) and San Francisco 49ers (1978–79) and rushed for 11,236 yards during his professional career. Simpson set season records (now broken) for most yards gained (2,003; 1973) and most touchdowns (23; 1975). He later became a sportscaster and actor.

In 1994 he was charged with the brutal murder of his ex-wife and her friend, but he was acquitted in 1995 after a media-saturated trial that highlighted racial tensions and divisions in American society. In 1997 a civil jury levied a huge wrongful-death award against him in a suit brought by the victims' families. Simpson was again the center of controversy in 2006 when it was revealed that a book by him, entitled If I Did It, which its publisher, Judith Regan, said she considered his confession, was to be published, and a television interview timed to coincide with the book's publication was to be aired. Public outcry led Rupert Murdoch, whose companies were to publish the book and broadcast the interview, to order the cancellation of both. In 2007 Simpson was charged with several felonies in connection with his participation in an armed robbery in a Las Vegas involving sports memorabilia that he contended had been stolen from him; he was convicted and sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison in 2008.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The O. J. Simpson Trials: Rhetoric, Media, and the Law
Janice Schuetz; Lin S. Lilley.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1999
Postmortem: The O.J. Simpson Case: Justice Confronts Race, Domestic Violence, Lawyers, Money, and the Media
Jeffrey Abramson.
Basic Books, 1996
O.J. Simpson Facts and Fictions: News Rituals in the Construction of Reality
Darnell M. Hunt.
Cambridge University Press, 1999
The Spectacle: Media and the Making of the O.J. Simpson Story
Paul Thaler.
Praeger, 1997
The Press on Trial: Crimes and Trials as Media Events
Lloyd Chiasson Jr.
Greenwood Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 15 "Case of O. J. Simpson (1995): No Closer to Greek Tragedy Than Oedipus Hertz"
Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption, and Incompetence on the Bench
Max Boot.
Basic Books, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Injudicious Judiciary: Judges Who are Incompetent and Out of Control"
The Real O. J. Story
Jackson, Bruce.
The Antioch Review, Vol. 62, No. 2, Spring 2004
America and the Simpson Trial
Williams, Patricia J.
The Nation, Vol. 260, No. 10, March 13, 1995
Are Too Many Guilty Defendants Going Free?
Cossack, Roger.
American Criminal Law Review, Vol. 33, No. 4, Summer 1996
Media Spectacle
Douglas Kellner.
Routledge, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap 4 "Megaspectacle: The O.J. Simpson Murder Trial"
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