With the O.J. Simpson case being revisited through an over-the-top FX series that is still be recorded by my DVR but hasn’t watched in weeks, it’s no surprise that someone, somewhere has found a way to nudge an ice-cold case forward.
Via TMZ, a “top secret” investigation has commenced regarding a knife that was found at some point between 1998 and “several years ago” on the site of Simpson’s Brentwood estate.
According to the report, the knife was discovered by a construction worker, who delivered it to a police officer who happened to be out on the street near the property. The police officer, who worked in the traffic division, kept it for years. In January, the now-retired officer contacted a friend in the homicide division and asked for the “departmental record” number for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, so that the number could be engraved on a frame that was holding the knife.
The police demanded that the knife be surrendered, and it’s currently being tested for hair and fingerprints. Next week, it will be tested for DNA evidence and other biological material.
If the evidence points to O.J. Simpson, it won’t matter. He was acquitted more than 20 years ago, and he can’t be tried again for murder.
While he didn’t testify in the criminal trial, Simpson testified in the civil case that was filed against him, and he denied committed murder under oath. So, in theory, he could be prosecuted for perjury, if the knife points conclusively to proof of guilt.
A perjury prosecution would be complicated by the statute of limitations in California (three years), which prosecutors possibly would try to circumvent by arguing that the evidence only recently became available. Simpson surely would respond by arguing that the police were on notice of the knife more than three years ago, wiping out any potential claim that the clock started in January 2016.
Besides, Simpson eventually received his comeuppance via a prosecution in Las Vegas arising from efforts by Simpson to recover memorabilia that he apparently was trying to sell in a way that escaped the reach of a multi-million-dollar civil verdict. Dredging up the case in the hopes of tacking a few years onto his current sentence of nine to 33 years arguably would be a waste of resources.
None of it matters until the knife is fully tested. Ultimately, it could simply provide another item of proof for further deliberation by the jury of the court of public opinion.