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November 21, 2017

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The O.J. Simpson robbery trial

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The amazing thing about O.J. Simpson is that after all these years, people cared enough to make predictions about his trial, even though some just made predictions about how much people would care, which is a way of feeling superior to the public for how tawdry you imagine its appetites to be.

O.J. Simpson reportedly planned an acquittal party.

— KBAD-AM 920 radio host Anthony Crivello, speaking to the Review-Journal’s Norm Clarke, Oct. 5

Analysis: If he made plans, we hope he didn’t put down a deposit. Simpson was found guilty of all 12 charges, including robbery and kidnapping.

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“Nevada’s juries are tough juries... We’re a lot more common-sense oriented and a lot more likely to convict.”

— Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Robert Langford, speaking to the Review-Journal, Nov. 18, 2007

Analysis: Tough for O.J., certainly.

“I would be surprised if the jury doesn’t come back with at least some guilty verdicts for the defendants. I don’t think they’ll be the bigger charges.”

— Steve Friess, on Papa Joe Chevalier’s radio show on KLAV 130-AM, Sept. 23

Analysis: The jury convicted on the bigger charges, too. We’ll have to check back in a couple of months on Friess’ prediction that Simpson will do no jail time.

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“This is still O.J. Simpson’s world. The rest of us are just living in it.”

— Paul Harris, writing in The Observer (U.K.), March 16

Analysis: Harris made the bold, yet wrong, prediction that America “still worships him for his infamy.” For this trial, the press barely showed up and the public contained its enthusiasm.

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“The trial is going to be launched next fall, they say, at the same time the presidential sweepstakes is coming down the pipe. And I’ll submit to you, O.J. Simpson trial is going to get more coverage than the presidential race ...”

— Bill O’Reilly, on the O’Reilly Factor, Nov. 15, 2007

Analysis: As it turns out, the public was more interested in the presidential race, the economic meltdown, hurricanes and pretty much everything else.

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“I don’t want to (predict a verdict). That’s a tough case. He should be convicted, because I think they’ve proven the legal elements. But the two victims are so unsympathetic.”

— Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, responding to O’Relly’s request that she predict a verdict, Sept. 30

Analysis: Although the jury ultimately agreed with her, Kelly earns more credit for not predicting a verdict.

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