Letters to the Editor: A criminal court acquitted O.J. Simpson. History doesn’t have to

O.J. Simpson reacts as he is found not guilty of murder on Oct. 3, 1995.
O.J. Simpson reacts as he is found not guilty in the death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 1995.
(Myung J. Chun / Associated Press)

To the editor: Amid all the hoopla erupting over O.J. Simpson’s death, there’s one widely overlooked reason why he was acquitted of murder despite an abundance of incriminating evidence.

For a conviction, a criminal defendant must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That stiff standard of proof serves well to prevent the conviction of a factually innocent defendant, but it makes acquittal of a criminally culpable defendant much more likely than conviction of an innocent one.

With Simpson later found liable for $33.5 million in the civil trial for damages brought by his victims’ survivors — where the burden of proof was “more likely than not” — and after his 2008 armed robbery conviction in Nevada, we can rest assured of one small comfort: History will overturn his murder acquittal.


M. Edward Alston, Santa Barbara

The writer is a retired deputy district attorney for Santa Barbara County.


To the editor: Now that Simpson has passed, his purported search for the “real killer” of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman also undoubtedly comes to an end. Conversely, the controversy surrounding his acquittal in the so-called trial of the century nearly 30 years ago lives on and most likely will for some time.

While it’s understandable that Goldman’s father deems the death of Simpson no great loss, the deaths of Nicole and Ron remain lamentable losses.

Perhaps the lingering unanswered question in this sad Simpson saga is whether it can be conclusively said that justice was truly served.


Tom Stapleton, Glendale