O.J. Simpson testified he has lived “a conflict-free life” at his parole hearing on July 20, 2017, in Lovelock, NV. He has served nine years of a nine-to-33 year sentence for armed robbery. He was granted parole by a unanimous vote of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, and is scheduled to be freed October 1, 2017.
The self-declaration that Simpson lived “a conflict-free life” is very strange. One wonders what he believes conflict means. It is prudent to examine the facts concerning Simpson’s life and to evaluate the wisdom of granting his parole. His personal history appears to be in conflict with his personal testimony to the parole board.
A History of Violence
Simpson gained early attention as a Heisman-winning college running back for the University of Southern California football team in the 1960s. His fame grew exponentially as an NFL player for the Buffalo Bills. Not only was he a perennial Pro Bowl player, he made football history becoming the first running back to rush for over 2000 yards in one season.
However, there was a dark underbelly to Simpson’s behavior which led to an infamy far greater than his considerable athletic fame. That came to public awareness in the 1980s when abuse charges were filed against him by wife Nicole Brown Simpson. Multiple photos of the abuse made their way onto the media of the time. The two divorced three years later.
Simpson’s history of violence came to a horrifying pinnacle in the 1994 murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her companion Ron Goldman. A sensationalized trial conducted within a racially hyper-sensitive public climate resulted in an acquittal of Simpson, despite what seemed a mountain of physical evidence suggesting the “Juice” was guilty.
A few years after he was acquitted, Simpson engaged in the crime for which he is currently imprisoned. A bungled Las Vegas burglary that happened to have guns involved. The evidence of his life suggests O.J. has a different definition of “conflict” than most people, if he believes he has been free from it.
A Testimony to Injustice
Simpson’s actions before his incarceration seemed to be irrelevant to the parole board. Yet Simpson’s own words also indicate his violent actions of the past seem irrelevant to himself. It is true he did indicate his sorrow and regret for the robbery. Neither Simpson or the parole board mentioned the murder, which was fitting for the setting.
But for O.J. to claim lifelong innocence of any conflict is either the most brazen of performances, or he is simply delusional. Which might cause one pause if one were a parole board member and thought of the implications of Simpson’s words.
Injustice has reigned throughout O.J.’s life. It was unjust that he got away with abuse of his wife as long as he did. It was a prime example of injustice manifested when he was acquitted of all charges in the murders of his ex-wife and Goldman. In this latest case, injustice bit O.J. when he was sentenced to 9 to 33 years for a crime that would have gotten most others two-to-five. Thus, even his parole is testament to injustice, as it came four to six years too late.
A Future of Conflict Awaits
O.J. is now 70 years old. Prison life did not seem to disagree with him physically. He appeared healthy, rested, and in good shape, especially for a person of his age. He still looks like an athlete. One wonders if he actually can do what he says he wants to do; go back to Florida and be with his children. Can Simpson really fade from notoriety? Will he even be allowed to?
Simpson’s ego may not permit him to go away quietly. However, quietly or not, a future of conflict could well haunt Mr. Simpson for the remainder of his years. If not conflict externally, certainly conflict internally, if a conscience resides at all within him.
Simpson should spend his remaining years making peace with his Maker and himself. He should come to the LORD Jesus in confession and repentance of his sins, asking forgiveness and acceptance into His Kingdom. At least, that is the opinion of this writer. O.J.’s future of conflict then has a chance to end when this life is done.
by D.T. Osborn
N.Y. Times: As O.J. Simpson Wins Parole, a Quick, and Divided, Reaction
CNN: O.J. Simpson granted parole: ‘I’ve done my time’
Los Angeles Times: O.J. Simpson is granted parole after serving 9 years for Vegas robbery