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OJ Simpson Still Doesn't Get It

Brian Taylor

Posted on July 20, 2017 21:00

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Despite his best efforts at self sabotage, OJ Simpson will be a free man later this year.

The most fascinating sports/pop culture saga of my lifetime added a new chapter that has the potential to turn into another volume today.  Football great turned actor turned alleged murderer turned avid golfer/amateur detective turned convicted robber and kidnapper OJ Simpson was granted parole today by the State of Nevada and is expected to be released from prison in October after nearly a decade behind bars.  

When OJ was convicted back in 2008, I was convinced that he would die in prison as some sort of poetic justice after being acquitted of the murder of his estranged wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.  But thanks to some positive programming and a clean disciplinary record in prison, OJ will have another chance at life on the outside.

With this being the first time in years that we've heard from OJ himself, I was very curious to hear how much prison had changed his way of thinking and if there was a new sense of humility about him.  Unfortunately as I listened to him speak, I felt like I was listening to a man who was throwing away what many legal experts had predicted to be a slam dunk release.  OJ was dismissive of the seriousness of the charges he was convicted of and the situation he had created that night in Vegas.  

While he claimed he had never made excuses, he also never took responsibility for the situation and provided numerous justifications as to why he was there and his role in the escalation of the situation.  The most arrogant moment came when he claimed he was unaware that he would be required to pay monetary restitution to his victims.

When I'm not providing you with The Latest Thinking, I spend my days working in community based corrections.  In my career, I have worked with hundreds of men and women who are re-entering society after time in prison, as OJ will be doing this Fall.  Far too often, my clients will talk about their case and tell me how "the government screwed me" or how someone, usually a former significant other, had lied in the case, or how they were an accidental bystander and minimize their role in the situation and blame others, as OJ did during his hearing.  

These are the clients that I typically see back in jail on a violation or on new charges and the cycle continues in part because they haven't taken full responsibility for their actions.

Whether OJ can stay out of more trouble is going to depend on whether he chooses to stay as low profile as he has claimed he will be.  OJ has been in the spotlight since he was a teenager, its hard to see him at 70 suddenly riding off into the sunset.  I had hoped to see a contrite and humble OJ Simpson today, instead he showed that after 9 years away, he remains as defiant and arrogant as ever.

Brian Taylor

Posted on July 20, 2017 21:00

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A parole hearing for OJ Simpson will be held on July 20 in Nevada, according to corrections officials.

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