March Madness: The O.J. Simpson Civil Trial

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This is sports. Criminals March madness special each day in March. We're counting down the top thirty one sports scandals of the past thirty one years in today's episode. We GO BACK TO THE YEAR. Nineteen ninety-seven most people remember. Oj Simpson's criminal trial where he was acquitted onto counts of murder but he also had another trial two years later. If you enjoyed the episode be sure to come back tomorrow for more shocking sports events from history on our March Madness. Special as always you can listen free on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Millions of viewers had gathered for the main event nearly nine out of ten households in Los Angeles tuned in cameras bobbed and weaved capturing every move every triumph and defeat as the competition drew a close. The victors cheered and pump their fists in the air. The losers comforted each other promising. Next time we'll come out on top. The lines weren't drawn between fans of competing sports teams. The country was split between those who believed football star. Oj Simpson was a murderer. Those who insisted he was innocent now on Tuesday February fourth nineteen ninety-seven. Oj stood trial a second time. This time in civil court once again he tried to dodge charges and rush past prosecutorial traps. If he failed it could cost him his home his wealth his reputation everything. Welcome to sports criminals. A podcast. Original this is the eighth episode in our March Madness. Special this month were counting down the top thirty one sports scandals from Nineteen Ninety to two thousand twenty on Roy. And I'm Tim Johnson in today's episode. We're going back to nineteen ninety seven to explore the civil suit against O. J. Simpson for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Even before he was mired in scandaled. Oj Simpson was a household name. He spent eleven years in the NFL. In one thousand nine seventy three. He became the first to rush for two thousand yards in a single season. Something only seven footballers have ever done in the history of the sport and Oj came agonisingly close tying his own record falling less than two hundred yards short in one thousand nine hundred eighty five that season. He scored sixteen touchdowns and secured his reputation as God. Thirty two year old. Oj retired in nineteen seventy nine but his star still shone brightly. He was inducted into the NFL. Hall of fame in Nineteen Eighty Five and leveraged his popularity and fame into a lucrative sports casting GIG and movie stardom but everything changed in the early morning hours of June thirteenth. Nineteen ninety four shortly after midnight. Investigators arrived at the home of. Oj's ex wife Nicole Brown Simpson. She was found dead along side. Her friend Ronald Goldman police immediately focused on Oj. He had a history of domestic abuse and investigators found a suspiciously bloodied glove enclose on his estate. Four days later the Los Angeles Police Department charged. Oj With the double homicide but the superstar couldn't be brought down that easily. He assembled a Dream Team of lawyers. Who deftly deflected the prosecution's arguments for the of? Oj's nine months trial. Thanks to their decisive work on October. Third Nineteen ninety-five. Oj was acquitted of both murder charges. Roughly a quarter of the country celebrated those who believed he was innocent but the rest of the nation was convinced who was guilty and that included the families of Nicole Brown Simpson. And Ron Goldman in January nineteen ninety-seven. They filed a civil suit against O. J. Simpson. They couldn't send him to jail but they could sue him for all he was worth. This trial played out very differently from the first OJ. Had A new team of attorneys cameras. Weren't allowed in. The courtroom. Plaintiff introduced new evidence including proof that he owned a rare pair of shoes that match the footprints found at the crime scene. Ultimately the jury found in the plaintiff's favor this time and ruled OJ criminally negligent. He was sentenced to pay the victims families. Thirty three point five million dollars the equivalent of nearly fifty five million dollars today. The verdict virtually bankrupted him though even as recently as two thousand seventeen the family's claim they have received only a small percentage of the settlement money. Oj Simpson's to murder hearings. Were highly publicized highly controversial. There's a reason the criminal proceedings were dubbed the trial of the century. The car chase leading to his arrest was the fourteenth most watched event in television history and his verdict was the most viewed with as many as one hundred forty two million people tuning in as a pro athlete. Oj was used to the attention and oppress but these trials were different. There wasn't a title or a championship on the line was his freedom his reputation and his cash like any football star. Oj navigated the field of the courtroom as best. He could scaping criminal charges before he was sacked in the plaintiffs brilliant play. Thanks for listening to sports. Criminals March madness will be back tomorrow with next year scandal. You can catch our other episodes of sports criminals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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