On Sunday, O.J. Simpson was charged with six felonies: two counts each of robbery with a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon, as well as one count of conspiracy to commit burglary and burglary with a firearm. Las Vegas police say that Simpson broke into a hotel room with five other men to steal sports memorabilia that Simpson claims was stolen from him. Simpson, found liable for the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman in a 1997 civil suit, is being held without bail.
Ten years ago, in the judgment for that civil suit, a court ordered Simpson to pay $38 million to the Goldman family. He has only paid $10,000 thus far, as most of his assets (an NFL pension, property) are protected from seizure by various state laws. The beleaguered Goldman family has had to content themselves with this state of affairs, living with the grief of a lost son, while Simpson traipses about the country playing golf, signing autographs, and writing a book hypothesizing how he would have killed his victims.
In response to Simpson’s arrest last week, Ron Goldman’s father Fred told the New York Times that “He deserves whatever he gets.” Considering that Simpson has yet to face any real penalty for the murders of two people, Goldman is right that, at this late stage, any punishment is better than nothing. But reversing Goldman’s statement, that Simpson ought to get what he deserves, is at this point nigh impossible. If that were the case, Simpson would long ago have paid his first and last visit to the San Quentin State Prison gas chamber.