Recent events in the NFL have dusted off conversations about the sharp differences between the criminal justice system and the civil justice system. Nearly 30 years ago, the contrast became as clear as it could be, in the case of O.J. Simpson.
Acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman in criminal court, Simpson was found responsible for the deaths in civil proceedings. In 1997, a jury awarded the estate of Ronald Goldman $33.5 million.
Via TMZ.com, Goldman’s father, Fred, recently alleged in court papers intended to keep the judgment viable that Simpson now owes $96 million. That’s because these amounts generate significant interest, especially in relation to the rates otherwise available to consumers.
The number also remains high because Simpson allegedly hasn’t paid much of the amount. As of February 2021, Goldman claimed that Simpson had paid only $123,000.
To his credit, Fred Goldman won’t let this go. The prosecutors blew the case against Simpson. The civil lawyers did not. Simpson should be held fully accountable for the deaths. It appears that accountability will consist of keeping this cloud over him for the rest of his life, followed by a justifiable and appropriate effort to seize any funds in his own estate.