OJ commited murders, says appeal court

OWN CORRESPONDENT, Los Angeles | Saturday

A CALIFORNIA appeals court has upheld a civil jury’s finding that “Trial of the Century” defendant OJ Simpson was liable for the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend, saying in effect that Simpson committed two deliberate, vicious murders.

Simpson, a former football star turned actor, was acquitted of the June 12, 1994, murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman by a criminal court jury in a sensational case that ended in 1995.

But the civil court jury later found him liable for the deaths and Simpson appealed.
However, the three-judge panel of the California 2nd District Court of Appeal found that the civil court jury in 1997 had “in effect found that Simpson committed two deliberate, vicious murders. This is the most reprehensible conduct that society condemns and is ordinarily punished under California criminal law by a sentence of death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole”.

The court refused to overturn the $33,5m in damages he was ordered to pay.

“The (appeals) court unanimously affirmed the verdict of the jury finding Simpson responsible and rejected every contention Mr Simpson made on appeal,” Goldman family attorney Daniel Petrocelli said.

“The court declared there was no error whatsoever in the damages the jury awarded, particularly in light of the reprehensibility of his actions.”

Petrocelli said Simpson’s attorneys had the right to a further appeal to the California Supreme Court but added: “I don’t think there are any grounds for it.” - Reuters

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