tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN July 20, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
could just speak from the dead -- speak from, you know, someone who's speaking from the dead. he indicated in no uncertain terms in that conversation that he had cleared up this matter with mr. simpson. he was trying his hardest to do whatever you want to get mr. simpson out of prison, and he had just -- they had just made right. mr. simpson had apologized to him. and they had just basically made it right and he was very, very -- and he had sent letters to mr. simpson. mr. simpson hadn't responded and that was probably on the advice of counsel at the time and then also there was another issue of -- and mr. simpson has raised this issue and i want to emphasize this again, that mr. beardsley had a set of photos, and these are not memorabilia. mr. simpson, if he didn't make his point already, he could care less about some signed football or some signed photos. he could care less about it. he could rip them up and burn them up. i know they mean a lot to a lot
of people but that was not what was really the true impetus for what happened here. what was the true impetus was that there were intimate family photos that were taken from him, literally stolen, and there is no dispute that these would not be any type of judgment, collections, these are just intimate family photos. mr. simpson had a former family. he had a second family. there's pictures of him with his mother and other things, famous celebrities, and they were not subject to being taken -- they probably have no value to most people, but they have all the value in the world to mr. simpson. they're not footballs. and that's what set it up. and mr. beardsley had these photos or at least represented to me on the phone that he had these photos and i had made every effort that i could to try and obtain those intimate family photos that i was well aware were basically all mr. simpson wanted in the first place. unfortunately, whatever happened, mr. beardsley was never able to get those to me. he explained that he had them and i tried to make every effort
to get those from him and at some point along the line, we lost contact and then i just discovered that he had passed away. but i will speak on mr. beardsley's behalf from that phone conversation that at least as of september of 2011, him and mr. simpson had made things right. and finally -- and again, obviously t commission is not used to hearing where victims are calling people who are in prison their attorneys and having multiple conversations with them, i have also had bruce, who's sitting here to my left and will testify shortly, he's also called my office. he had called before many years ago, and we had spoken and i can't necessarily remember the substance of those conversations. they weren't recorded or if they were, i couldn't find them in my files. but he's recently called again. he called me on july 3 and he called me on july 14 and both times i missed the calls by i called him back. and i can hear that
mr. mr. simpson and mr. furmong have made things right with each o other, that he's accepted mr. simpson's apology whole harltedly. he seems to be a fundamentally really, really good guy who's fallen on some hard times recently and he told me that he would be calling -- coming in and testifying favorably for mr. simpson. i made sure i told him probably 15 or 20 times to say whatever he wanted to say because obviously mr. simpson's attorney talking to a victim, it could be interpreted the wrong way. so again, mr. furmong, say whatever you want to say. nobody's telling you how to testify here. and one of the things we did -- and i did inform parole and probation about both of those conversations on july 3 and july 14. and one of the things that we did spend a lot of time -- i mean, that was a small portion of our conversations was the remorse on mr. simpson's part that mr. furmong accepted.
i know because i've researched this now, there was some civil litigation that went on and this was against one of the -- primarily against one of the uncharged co-defendants in this case, a guy name -- individual named riccio. something happened in this civil litigation, and i don't know what's going on with it at this point in time other than mr. furmong addressed those concerns with me. i told him that i would look into it. i explained to him that he really should talk to his lawyers who were involved in that civil litigation to try to make that judgment do whatever he wants it to do, and it was unfortunate. i believe that, you know, this kind of is an opportunity to show you that in the criminal case, he's completely the victim but he filed this civil lawsuit and the jury found furmong 60%
liable for what happened here. it was pretty unique, to say the least. in any event, he's going to testify, but i did feel that i needed to note that i don't think i have a point to prove with him, other than he did represent that he was going to testify favorably for mr. simpson and that he did discuss with me on multiple occasions this idea of some civil judgment out there that he was hoping that mr. simpson could take care of for him. and that's it. thank you very much. >> mr. simpson, did you have any closing remarks? >> i hadn't prepared any except that i've come here. i've spent nine years making no excuses about anything. i am sorry that things turned out the way they did. i had no intent to commit a crime. i came here. i tell the inmates all the time, man, i don't want to hear about your crime, you know? argue in court, here we're all convicts. i'm a convict. do your time and don't do
anything to extend your time. i told the warden when i got here, mr. la grange, i think it was, ms. carpenter and msms. ms. meegan, that i would be no problem. i believe in this jury's system. i will honor what the jury said and i will be no problem and i think i kept my word. as i said, i've done my time. i would just like to get back to my family and friends, and believe it or not, i do have some real friends, but i don't think i could have represented this prison -- i don't think any inmate has ever represented it better than i. i did my time. i tried to be helpful to everybody. and as i said, bruce and beardsley, i made up with them years ago. you know? so i'm sorry it happened. i'm sorry to nevada. i wish -- i wish riccio had
never called me. i thought i was glad to get my stuff back, but it wasn't worth it. you know, nine years away from your family is just not worth it and i'm sorry. thank you. >> just one more thing for the record. your expiration is, as of today, 9/29/22 and for all those people in the world wondering how that adds up to 33 years, in the state of nevada, good behavior, complying with the rules, can mean up to a 50% reduction off the back end of your sentence. if granted parole, that september 29, 2022, time could even move closer so i wanted to put that on the record. and at this point, i'll ask the officer if you will move mr. laverne and mr. simpson again and we invite mr. furmong
to the table, please. >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and put your own name on the record for us, please, and then proceed. >> yes. it is bruce furmong and i'd like to thank the -- thank you for the opportunity to be able to speak today. first and foremost, i'd like to state that i'm not here just as mr. simpson's friend of almost 27 years. because that, i am. but today, i'm also appearing as the victim of the crime on september 30 -- or september 13 of 2007.
on that day, i felt that mr. simpson was misguided, not by himself but also by tom riccio. he was led to believe that on that day, there were going to be thousands of pieces of his personal memorabilia, pictures of his wife from his first marriage, pictures of his kids, arnelle and jason, family heirlooms. he was told there were going to be possibly his wife's wedding ring. thousands of things. he was misled about what was going to be there that day. a man named thomas riccio had promised him this big -- this big package. in reality, once -- thomas riccio had never met me, never met me in his entire life until the night of the robbery. he got there and saw all this stuff.
he went down, he got o.j., and instead of telling him that that's not what was there, he brought him up anyway. when o.j. got there, unfortunately he was already worked up and had people with him that were hollering and screaming. there was a lot of commotion going on in a very, very small room. real small room, wasn't it, o.j. and a lot of things happened very quickly. and unfortunately, if o.j. had have just said, everybody out of here, bruce and i need to talk for a minute, none of this needed to happen. but that didn't happen. and it took -- one of the things that i want to make clear is it took me two years in a california court because -- and
a judge's infinite wisdom, instead of going ahead and turning things back over, everything got sent to a california court to get straightened out. and after having to fight the goldmans' lawyers, o.j.'s lawyers, and it took me two years to get back with over 600 items. a majority of it did come back to me because i had to go back 19 years through our friendship, but i had to go back 19 years, produce records for almost 98% of the stuff. and it is true that items in to room belonged to o.j. there were no two ways about it. but it's also true that i had -- i had never stolen anything from o.j. i did not -- i have never stolen from o.j. i think o.j. will admit that i did not ever take anything from you. >> wasn't you. >> it wasn't me.
an ex-partner of mine and his mistress, christy lukenmeyer have taken things. other people have taken things from o.j. but i have never stolen from o.j. o.j. is my friend, always has been, and i hope will remain my friend. but there were things in that room, and i admit to that. and i'm sorry things did not work out differently. but there were -- and i will make this clear to you, o.j. never held a gun on me. there was a coward in that room, a man named mcclinton came up, gangster style, acting like a big man. he held the gun on me. not o.j. another man came in, hit me, not o.j. he never laid a hand on me.
a lot of people were yelling, bag that stuff up, let's get out of here. during the trial, after i had already testified against o.j., and this is why i absolutely believe him, after i had already testified against o.j., i had already said everything i had to say, we happened to pass each other in the hallway, and o.j. came up to me and said, can i talk to you for a minute. and we had a chance to talk to each other, and i told him i'm sorry that i did not get the opportunity to call him and tell him that i had that stuff. those few items that belonged to him, i told him i'm sorry that i did not take the opportunity to call him. because we had been apart for a long time. we hadn't had a chance to talk for many, many years. and i had been buying stuff from mike gilbert and i wish i had
have. and he said, bruce, i can't tell you how sorry i am. and we've got a saying between us, it is what it is. and he put his hand out, i shook his hand, and i said, i forgive you. we all make mistakes. o.j. made his. he's been here and from what i'm told, he's been a model inmate. he's been an example to others. during the trial, i recommended that he serve one to three years. that's what i recommended to the d.a. and i'm here to say that i've known o.j. for a long time. i don't feel that he's a threat to anyone out there. he's a good man.
i know that he does a lot for other people. and i feel that 9 1/2 to 33 years was way too long. and i feel that it's time to give him a second chance. it's time for him to go home to his family, his friends. this is a good man. he made a mistake, and if he called me tomorrow and said, bruce, i'm getting out, will you pick me up, juice, i'll be here tomorrow for you. i mean that, buddy.
>> thank you. we appreciate your comments. appreciate you being present today. thank you. and so -- >> thank you for this opportunity. >> mr. laverne and mr. simpson, if you'll return to the table, please. before we break for deliberation, i want to ask the panel members if they have any last questions. okay. what's going to happen now is deliberation. again, another thing we do with every single case but a little differently today because, frankly, we need our offices back, folks, so we're hoping to deliberate, come to an agreement, and be able to produce an order sometime in the next 30 minutes or so. so, what's going to happen is we are going to break if -- and
then after deliberating, we'll come back to this room. i'll ask each commissioner to vote. i'll vote myself. if we are able to agree when those votes are cast, that will be a final decision. if it becomes obvious that there is a split on this particular panel, i have commissioners eddie gray and commissioner michael keillor standby in las vegas and they will either -- we will call them. they will either cast a vote then or ask to return to deliberations. so that is what we're planning at this moment. we are about to leave the room. i know officer batista is going to arrange to clear the courtroom there also. i ask that here that you give us about two minutes to clear out of the room so that you're not chasing us down the hall, and then we'll give you a five-minute notice that our deliberation is over and that we're ready to cast votes. so, on that, i will call this
hearing into recess and we will return after deliberation. >> and there he goes. you have been listening and watching this parole hearing of perhaps the most infamous inmate in recent american history and moments from now, o.j. simpson will learn whether he walks free. who could forget, 22 years ago, his murder trial and subsequent acquittal captivated the nation, and today, this man is 70 years old, standing before a parole board on live television after nearly a decade behind bars for a robbery in las vegas. you heard from o.j. simpson,
defending himself. so now they've broken for recess. we're waiting for this parole board, these four commissioners, to then ultimately bring o.j. simpson back into the room and tell them their decision. to be clear, in total here, there are six parole board members, four of them there in carson city, nevada, and they need the four to approve. two are on standby in las vegas in the case that this thing isn't unanimous so we'll wait to see if we go there. this is quite a spectacle to watch. let me go straight to jeffrey toobin who literally wrote the book on simpson's legal history. jeffery, what's your biggest impression? >> you know, brooke, after all these years, i thought i had lost the ability to be appalled, to be nauseated, to be outraged by the behavior of o.j. simpson, but i thought his statements were self-justifying,
self-pitying, showing no remorse, no understanding, no sense of reality about his own life. he claimed that he had led a conflict-free life. put aside the murders, which i think he committed, but he was acquitted of. how about the fact that he repeatedly beat the hell out of nicole brown-simpson and she called 911 all the time on him and he is a convicted and confessed domestic abuser. no acknowledgment of that. i don't know who these -- these parole people were who seemed catatonic and not even listening to anyone -- what they said. the guy with the kansas city chiefs tie, very impressive for a former nfl guy being, you know -- who is the defendant. i mean, look, he's probably going to get parole. under the law, as i understand it, he's probably entitled to parole. but what an absolute disgrace
this was. >> wow. wow. jeffr jeffreytoobin, don't go far. mark, where are you on this? >> well, look, the -- if he's the client and i've been in this situation before, where you can prep your client and repeatedly tell them, you've got to show remorse, we're not relitigating this, and unfortunately, this is what clients do. i mean, they go off the reservation, so to speak, and they want to relitigate it. that, having been said, clearly he was his own worst enemy here, but my reaction to all this is after listening to bruce testify is how did he lose this case in the first place? it's -- you know, it's a prosecution by proxy, if you will. i don't necessarily agree with jeff's assessment that he probably will get parole. i think it's a slam dunk that he gets parole. i mean, nine years for this
case, this is a case that i think the prosecution offered two and a half years and he countered with one year, and on its best day, this case is a one-year case anywhere else. so, i don't -- i mean, he obviously got -- there's a karmic factor here but it does not surprise me because in cases where you have defendants who are there doing parole hearings, this is exactly what you see time and time again. they want to relitigate the case as opposed to accepting remorse and embracing it, so to speak, and moving on. but from the parole officers or the parole people's, the commission's standpoint, based on the low risk assessment, this is pretty much a no brainer. >> yeah. so you say slam dunk. so they're deliberating but jeffery to been, ba jeffrey toobin, and i jotted down your point, i've lived a conflict-free life, and i think
the whole nation remembers where they were when this whole thing came down in '95 and the famous acquittal. is that what you were thinking the whole time as you were watching o.j. simpson's face? >> well, look, i mean, you know, he was acquitted, and he doesn't have to acknowledge his guilt, which i think was completely obvious and the subsequent events have only reinforced my belief that he killed nicole blown-simpson and ronald goldman. but he was acquitted so he didn't have to acknowledge that. but he was convicted and pleaded guilty to beating his wife. and to say that you had led this placid, wonderful life and you had just done nothing wrong ever under any circumstances without acknowledging that, i mean, it just shows -- i mean, it's also makes a broader point that so many people in our society don't think domestic violence is like a real crime. you know, it's like, it's a personal thing. it's not -- and it is a crime and everybody needs to know that, and it's not just a crime
against the victim, domestic violence is a crime against the whole society. and seeing that sort of self-justifying behavior on the part of o.j. simpson just reinforces the belief that, you know, he is a deeply delusional and self-obsessed narcissist, and, you know, good luck to america once he's out. >> wow. jeffrey toobin, holding back, not so much. this is why we love talking to you and you wrote the book on the whole thing, mark, back to you. just to listen to o.j. simpson talk and try to defend himself, what did you make of his defense of what he says happened in that las vegas hotel room? >> well, i think that you're here today -- remember, there was a previous parole hearing, and the lesser counts -- he was convicted of a number of counts. the lesser counts, he's already been paroled on or has been given parole. since the charges ran concurrently, meaning at the
same time, this is the more serious crime, and it's a conspiracy. just because you were the one who didn't pull the gun is -- does not absolve you of a conspiracy, and that's, you know, a fortunately or unfortunately does not come through when you're listening to this. i think, however, that most people, especially the commissioners there, probably feel the same way or look at this the same way i do, which is, look, he's done nine years. nine years for this crime is wholly out of whack for what anybody else would get. he's gotten, you know, a multiple -- he's gotten a multiple of what anybody else would get. i will, to jeff's point, besides the domestic violence case, he also -- people forget, the lawyer who tried this case previously got him acquitted in a road rage case in florida. so, he actually had been tried
twice, two acquittals, before this case. all of that was kind of relitigated during the habeas petition and the habeas hearing, but the fact remains that they're given a task. the -- and they're given that -- and they kind of started off with that saying, look, we validated, we're validating right now, the low risk assessment. we validated this as a predictor for whether or not he's going to be violent when he gets out, and he comes off at one of the lowest risk factors, not the least of which is because of his age. i mean, one of the things about crime is that generally, people age out of the recidivism band and so i think based on that, that's what makes it likely, i think, more than likely that he's going to get a parole date of august 1 and then some time after that, you heard from the interstate compact person, he'll probably be transferred to florida. >> yeah. 70 years of age. gentlemen, stand by. we've got -- we're sort of
toggling between the live pictures, lovelock correctional facility where you just saw o.j. simpson testifying, defending himself for this crime, back in this las vegas hotel room and then we're also watching for this ultimate decision by the parole board about 130 miles away in carson city, nevada. so let me bring you in just on the process. explain to us what's happening right now with these four commissioners in carson city deciding his fate. >> reporter: well, they're deliberating right behind me in that building. they are deliberating right now. but i do want to say, i was in the courtroom for that 2008 trial in las vegas. i heard every single bit of the evidence, and what we heard today was the testimony of o.j. simpson that never happened in 2008 because he didn't take the stand. what we did not hear was cross-examination. let me tell you a little bit about that evidence. there were planning meetings. they were recorded by thomas riccio. the jury heard them.
in regard to the guns, we heard the audio tape in the courtroom. it wasn't talking about security. it was talking about, you've got guns, bring them. don't forget your heat, o.j. said to two of them. when it got into the hotel room, there was explicit testimony about who was standing where and it was shown through the testimony of the people in that room that o.j. simpson could and did see that gun pointed in bruce fromong's face and that o.j. simpson was the one in control of the room, telling people to bag the items. they got pillow cases and starting to bag those property items. and the jury convicted o.j. simpson of kidnapping and robbery and conspiracy to commit those with a deadly weapon. so, you heard one side of the story and the demeanor of o.j. simpson today was very interesting, because the first question out of the box by one of the commissioners, which really produced him testifying as to what happened in 2008, his
side, i think he was shocked by that. his reaction was not calm. his reaction was defensive, immediately on the defense. when there was any question that was not a softball question, and when you look at the facts, he said in 2013 he was going to take commitment to change. that class, he has not taken it in the last four years. he said that he was going to take alcoholics anonymous because they now told him today, and he didn't like that answer, that he had a substance abuse issue. he hasn't taken that class either. so, that's some of the things they're going to look at in that deliberation room, but he had everyone on his side that testified today, he's had no issues in prison at all for the last eight and a half, almost nine years, and so we should at any minute get that decision. >> we'll stand by for that. jean, thank you so much. again, these four commissioners in carson city sitting around in this room right behind where she
was standing. if they cannot reach that all four of them saying yes, they will actually have two commissioners on standby in las vegas call in and they will hopefully, for o.j. simpson's case, you know, produce those four votes necessary to grant him parole. so we're waiting for that. again, that could happen any moment now. meantime, cnn legal analyst here, we heard two different, you know, testimonies, one, this friend and victim of o.j. simpson's, but first we heard from his daughter. we heard from arnelle simpson and what did you make of her words today? >> well, the first thing, brooke, i made of arnelle's statements is they reminded me so much of what senator mccain's daughter has said about her dad, that he's her rock, he's her friend, he's her confidant so you heard this very compelling testimony from o.j. simpson's daughter. >> except one of them has brain cancer and the other convicted of -- >> well, i want to address that, brooke, too, because as i'm listening to jeffrey and mark,
for me, o.j. has always been about race, class, and justice and although i didn't agree with everything just a momeoechl o.js concept of him being a conflict-free life, of course that's not true and of course the issues of domestic violence, as they related to his second wife, were very serious, and we should all take them very seriously. but i sat here and counted the times that he said he was sorry, and the time that he expressed remorse. we're not here today to relitigate what he did with respect to his first wife, with respect to domestic violence, we're not here to relitigate the trial where he was charged for killing his ex-wife and the way to -- we're here about the robbery that happened in that hotel room and we're here talking about should he be paroled because of his conduct, because he's shown himself to have been rehabilitated and when you think about what the prison system should be doing and what these hearings should be about, he's a model prisoner. he did what they told him to do.
he said he would be conflict free in prison, that he would avoid trouble, that he would not have a disciplinary record and he did that. and not one of the commentators and jeff and mark with all due respect have really given him credit for doing that and that's the message that this should be sending to other prisoners is when you to your time and you're conflict free and you avoid disciplinary actions in prison, you should be given an opportunity if you're low risk and i think the conversations should be focused on that and not be about what should have happened in that murder trial because that's not relevant today. >> i appreciate the variety of opinions. areva, stay with me. mark, you've been listening to her words, let's not relitigate, sort of disagreeing. what would you say? >> well, because areva, one of the things that you're supposed to do at the parole hearings, i do them infrequently, but i have done them over the years, is you have to have a realization and a
confrontation internally about the crime. that's one of the factors that you're supposed to consider. clearly, and the reason i said -- i believe i said it before that to me, this is a slam dunk is, he's been there and based on the low risk assessment, and based on the fact that he's been conflict free while in prison, he doesn't have any of what we in california call the 115s or 128s, which are write-ups while in prison. that's what, to me, makes this an easy thing. but having said that, if this is my client, i'd want to clock him for that opening statement. because there isn't a self-awareness about what happened. he's running away from it. he's relitigating -- precisely what you're saying. i'm not saying he should relitigate or can relitigate the goldman and nicole simpson case. what i'm saying is he's relitigating and not accepting responsibility or showing remorse for the instant case, which i've also said he got more
than his share of punishment for. so, i don't know that i necessarily disagree with you. i don't know that i disagree with you, but his statement about the instant case was woefully lacking. >> i would agree with you, mark, that he obviously didn't follow the advice of counsel with respect to that opening statement but throughout the testimony this morning, we heard him say he made a bad decision. he wish he had made a different decision. he was sorry. he had apologized to both of the victims. he had asked for their forgiveness, and we have to talk about what he has said that does clearly indicate he has thought about what he did, he knows that it was wrong, and he is sorry. and i don't think there's been enough emphasis on that. >> yeah, but the problem -- >> the statement that i agree with you, the opening statement was problematic. i will give you that. >> thank you. >> go ahead, mark. >> but the problem is when you contrast it -- when you contrast it with what jean testified, who was in the case, and i remember
watching it at the time. i've talked to bruce in the years since and others connected to this incident, and i'm fairly confident that i've got a handle on the facts of the incident. he did not -- he ran away from the facts, i guess, is the most charitable away that i'll put it. >> let me hit pause. we have just had jeffrey toobin race from a small studio so he can join the rest of our panel here onset. and so what -- i don't know if you fully heard it all but you know you heard what mark said when you guys were having the conversation. areva kind of came in and said -- she made the point of all the times o.j. simpson did sit up there today and said i'm sorry. she made the point that he has been this model inmate and that this whole -- nothing needs to be relitigated from the past. i hope i'm giving her due, but disagreeing with much of what you said. >> right. and that's fine. i'm frequently wrong. but the -- he said the words --
the words "i'm sorry" came out of his mouth, but every description of what he did on the night in question and in las vegas was self-justifying and exculpatory. there was no acknowledgment of actual bad conduct. but you know, that's o.j. he never acknowledges anything he did was wrong and it is true that he was a model inmate. i don't think there's any dispute about that, and it's also true that this is a very long sentence given what he did. i'm just talking about his description of his own contact and his own conduct in his own character, which i found disgraceful and appalling. >> areva,what do you make of that point, saying i've lived a conflict-free life, just knowing his past. >> that's not true and i'm not here to support that statement and i'm not really here to support o.j. but i think we have to talk about the racial divide that has been a part of every conversation relevant to o.j.
simpson and those people that believe o.j. simpson are guilty of killing his wife and mr. goldman, whenever they think of o.j., they think he should be in jail not because of this robbery but because he got away with murder. and that has divided this country. when you go back to the trial in 1994 and when you talk about it today, there's still this element that here was this black man that defied the odds, became a heisman trophy winner, this athlete who becomes a personality in television, a movie star, marries a white woman, and his biggest crime was being a back man that made it and married a white woman. and that is a sentiment that we can't get away from when we talk about o.j. simpson. that's why the country today is riveted on o.j. simpson, not because of this robbery but because it brings to light these issues of race and justice and culture in our society and that's pervasive and we can't get away from that. >> mark, jeff? >> oh, dear.
you know, that is certainly true. i mean, look, i spent two-plus years of my life on this case and the reason i think it lives on and the reason in 2016 the fx series, the espn documentary, fascinated so many people is because it illustrated the racial divide at the core of this -- involved in this case. i want to try to just narrow it a little bit today, and i have to say the thing that i just found so disgraceful about today is that o.j.'s clear, you know, statement that a conflict-free life can include being a wife beater, that domestic violence is something that is not part of his sense of himself, and i think that is a broadly felt statement -- you know, sentiment, and i just think it's such a disgrace, and you know, i'd like to think that even --
that corner of it might be racially neutral. >> but i don't know, areva, if you wanted to respond to that. >> i completely agree that o.j. simpson has not led a conflict-free life, i agree with you. that was an absurd statement and it's not accurate. >> just on a sort of procedural, you know, as you're listening to these commissioners and i remember one of the commissioners had a stack of papers, letters of opposition from people saying, don't give parole because of the -- what we remember from that famous trial in '94, the acquittal in '95. all of what you are discussing, none of it is included in their decision making, am a i i correct? >> i'm not sure that's the case. the acquittal is not supposed to be included, but he is a convicted batterer. i mean, there is no doubt about that and they are loud allowed
take that into consideration and they are allowed to take into consideration his demeanor and remorse or lack of remorse. so it is not just a four corners of the case against him that they can consider. they're also supposed to consider his conduct in prison, which as far as i can tell has been entirely appropriate. >> i want to continue this conversation, but let me just pivot quickly over to our correspondent, who's actually, as we're talking about these commissioners, these parole board members, deliberating, you just left the parole room. tell us what's happening behind the scenes. >> reporter: i will tell you this. i want to talk a little bit to the questions you just asked about all the letters that were sent in. there were letters that were sent in that were for o.j. simpson, there were dozens of letters that were sent in that were against him, and the commissioners and the chairwoman of the commission was very clear. she said, we got all of these letters and we want to let you know, mr. simpson, that we will not be considering these letters in this case because many of the letters against him were about the 1995 acquittal.
she says, that should not come into our consideration. made that very clear. both for the cameras, the people watching, and she mentioned the media a lot. she mentioned people watching a lot, so we should make that clear that the commissioners themselves have said they are not going to take some of those letters against o.j. simpson into consideration. it was an interesting room. there were about 17 chairs that were set up there. a very small room with four commissioners and one staff member who were all looking at a screen. there are two screens, one so that the media can see and also watch the commissioners. one so that the commissioners have a huge screen that they can see o.j. simpson's mannerisms, listen to him very carefully. one thing i thought that was very striking is that it was bruce fromong's testimony that seemed to be the most touching. his daughter, o.j. simpson's daughter, eldest daughter, spoke, but it was fromong's testimony because he was a victim in this case that had a gun put to his head who talked about the fact that he was always going to be o.j.'s friend and that if o.j. called him tomorrow and said, i need you to
come pick me up, i am being released from prison, that he would be there and he looked at o.j. and he says, i'm here for you, buddy. i thought that was quite compelling. of course there's a lot of evidence that they have to take into consideration. that was just one bit of it. >> the whole victim and now buddy that made the testimony noteworthy indeed. sara, stand by. paul, let me begin with you. i need to tell everyone you represented the estate of nicole brown-simpson in the civil case, which you won. that said, you've been listening to all of this. your takeaway, sir. >> i just think the board has been totally derelict in their duty to evaluate the most important thing you consider when you decide to give somebody parole, and that is the risk to the community or as the chairman said when she started questioning o.j., the risk of reoffense, which is getting back to the point that jeffrey has raised concerning what he did to his ex-wife and a lot of our
younger viewers maybe don't remember the details of what came out in the criminal trial and in the subsequent civil trial. but he was accused of having beaten her to the point where the police had to respond to the house on nine occasions. he w she was hospitalized with physical injuries as a result of his beating her and i'm talking about nicole brown-simpson, his wife, in 1989. she was so terrified of him that she left a note in a locked safe that said -- was left there for the purpose of, if she was killed, that people would know o.j. had killed her. it had her bruised face and it had a journal that included stories of additional beatings of his threats to decapitate her ex-boyfriends and innumerable other things. now, why were these matters not brought up? doesn't that have a bearing on whether you might be violent if you got out? what's going to happen when o.j.
starts dating women in nevada or florida or wherever he winds up after he's had a few drinks. do you think that he might get violent again as he has for his entire life. and they have the audacity not even to bring that up. their conduct is a disgrace in terms of the way they have conducted this questioning. and i only hope they redeem themselves by making a correct decision and deny parole. >> i see you nodding. i want to -- >> there's so many things going through my mind right now and jeff's going to laugh because we were covering this 20 years ago, and the -- my first reaction is, why are we so appalled? this is the o.j. simpson we saw 20 years ago. he's a liar. he lives with the fairies. he's delusional. he manipulates people. this is not a normal person that you sit down to dinner with and have a civil conversation. >> but see, he was.
that's the thing. he was that. >> how -- how can you -- >> he sat down to dinner with everybody and everybody loved him. >> because he knows how to manipulate people. >> that's the thing. >> he is brilliant at that. and that's exactly what he's doing right now and can i tell you, we would not be sitting here watching this parole hearing if it were not for these tapes. these are the mark furman tapes, okay? this is what changed history. this is what impacted the verdict. a lot of people say that race trumped justice. you and i have talked a lot about this. you and i have talked a lot about this, okay? the evidence against o.j. simpson was overwhelming. that he murdered nicole brown and ron goldman. and then, johnny cochran is handed a land mine. tape recordings. all right, we can now prove this detective was racist and framed o.j. simpson. we got it. it's over. now fast forward and here we are at this parole hearing. >> areva martin, i want to hear you jump in as well.
stand by. hang on. o.j.'s walking back in the room. go ahead, let's listen to you and let's just hang tight on these pictures. >> let's talk about this land mine, this land mine is the lead detective in a case using the "n" word, so i guess i'm just flabbergasted at the panel's discussion about the case and it, again, reflects the racial divide in this country. if you believe o.j. simpson is guilty and you disrespect the jury verdict in the trial, then you're seeing this, this parole hearing, through those lens. and you're not capable of seeing them through the lens of what's happening today, what is his prison term been like for the last nine years, and what's relevant to him getting off on parole related to the charges of robbery. not to the case where he was acquitted. and if we respect the decision of the nevada jury that he was guilty for this robbery as we have to call it, then we have to
respect the jury in los angeles that acquitted him for the murders. we can't have it both ways. >> well, there are two juries, though, weren't there, in california. there was the civil jury that found he had committed the murder. >> we're talking about the criminal case. >> no, i'm talking about the civil case. we had testimony as to his prior conduct with nicole brown-simpson in the civil case so we can consider everything, can't we? shouldn't we? >> well, the letters -- brooke, the letters that the commissioners made reference to are letters where people who are -- >> actually, areva, forgive me for cutting you off. i want to hear what you're saying but let's pop up the volume and listen to what they're saying in this parole room. >> talking to no one here. i'm talking to no one. i'm talking to space. jeffery felix, a complete fraud.
he ewrowrote a book about me. >> i've told all the news networks now for over a year this guy is ridiculous. >> take it from all the guys telling me i should sue this guy. >> i will. they believe what they want to believe, you know? >> they do. sensationalism. >> you get ice cream. >> as quickly as possible. >> cookies. cookies. i mean, just infantile. >> there was a fight. >> he saved you, you know? he saved you from having any infractions because you were going to get written up for it, right? and he intervened and he saved you. so he's your savior. who would believe anyone with a mullet like that, dyed hair?
>> i hope they were cookies. >> yeah, he's -- he's a won and only. that's for sure. >> i was thinking about it. >> it's disrespectful to the c.o.s here, the real c.o.s who do this job all the time and have done a great job and mr. simpson has always spoken phenomenally well about the conditions here and how he's been treated. and so i just think it's just a disgrace. >> this guy is unbelievable. this guy was never even assigned to my portion of the prison. ever. >> he wouldn't be able to spot your cell. >> you know when i would see him is going to the store. we were going to canteen, i guess he'd come out of that area and he'd stand at the fence and tell us these crazy stories. i mean, it's funny. i'll give him that. but about how he got kicked out of the son's baseball game and how he was refereeing and, i mean, he was -- i mean, the guy's funny. you know? but outside of that, i don't know. he says i got a shrine in the
room and he walks me every yard. immigration polic i mean the guy is -- i mean, he's shameless. jesus. >> i like the fact that when it seems like he's running out of material and they have no more interest in him, he has new things that he can explain about you, that you were doing. i think the ice cream's new. >> well, there's an ice cream story? >> there is an ice cream story. i wasn't able to read all of it but there's some kind of ice cream story he's thrown in now. kind of like president trump, you know? trump gets two scoops, everyone else gets one. something like that. something ridiculous. >> i swear i wanted to say that and i'm talking to space again, but just cutting in line that i get all the guys -- man, have i taken some stuff from all the guys about that. mike tyson couldn't cut in line in prison. seriously, who cuts the line in
prison, man? you find yourself six feet under. >> i'm going to be red faced laughing. >> i may say something publicly after that but i'm glad i have you on here. >> okay, this parole hearing on orenthal james simpson back into order. are we ready to roll, folks? >> chairman, i'll start off. mr. simpson, you organized this crime in which two victims were robbed at gunpoint. it was a serious crime and there was no excuse for it. you deserve to be sent to prison. you have been in prison now almost nine years. the minimum amount imposed by the court. you have complied with the rules
of the prison. you have programmed in an acceptable manner. you have no prior conviction of criminal activity. you are a low risk to reoffend on our guidelines. you have community support and stable release plans. we've heard from you and from your victim. the question here, as with all parole hearings, is whether or not you have served enough time in prison on this case. considering all these factors, my vote is to grant your parole effective when eligible. >> thank you.
>> and i concur with commissioner corda and grant parole. and in addition, our decision, although difficult, is fair and just. >> i concur with commissioner corda and agree to grant parole. >> mr. simpson, before i cast my vote, i want to let you know that we believe that we're a fair board. we believe that we're a consistent board. i will let you know that consistency also goes to parole, and we do not look kindly upon parole violations, and if i cast my vote to grant and it concludes the hearing, our expectation would be that you not violate even the simplest condition of parole. having said that, i am prepared to cast a vote.
i am prepared to ask the commissioners to set conditions if that happens. we will produce an order sometime in the next 15 to 20 minutes that will be faxed to you or presented to you at the institution, and it will become a public record. so, based on all of that, mr. simpson, i do vote to grant parole when eligible. and that will conclude this hearing. >> thank you. thank you. thank you. >> congratulations. >> thank you.
you're holding up good too, man. all these years. >> there you have it. four for four of those parole board commissioners all unanimous in their decision to grant o.j. simpson parole. so he will be a free man as early as october. just a quick note before jeffrey toobin, we get your two cents. what you were listening to before then was o.j. simpson getting picked up on a hot mike over at lovelock correctional facility talking about mullets and mike tyson and donald trump. and i don't know if they realized they were live. that said, jeffrey toobin, free man. >> well, i mean, i can't say i think the board was wrong, given the standards they had to apply. i just think that o.j. simpson gave us some really good insights into his character or lack thereof today, and you know, it's just part of our continuing education, i think, in particular, about the way people view domestic violence and the way many people,
including especially simpson, simply ignore it and treat it as if it is not a real problem. but i can't say that the board was wrong in what it did. you know, he served nine years, he was a good prisoner. that's what parole is supposed to be. >> let's get everyone's reaction. areva martin, your reaction. >> not surprised. this is what happened in the earlier parole hearing, and he was deemed a low risk offender, and it's not likely given his age and given the other factors that they had to consider that he will reoffend. so i think this was the outcome that everyone expected. if you were willing to look at this case solely for what this case was about and not bring into it the murder trial, the criminal murder trial that happened in los angeles. >> paul, your response, and why isn't he able to walk free today. >> well, a lot of people have asked that question because it kind of feels like an acquittal. you're supposed to leave the courtroom when you get
acquitted. this is not an acquittal. what they have found, basically, is that he's subject to parole but he has to continue to serve his sentence until october and then he will be released in october. so it's different from a finding of not guilty in a normal courtroom and i just want to get my two cents on it. i think the problem i have with the board is number one, i think they fail to consider the danger that he poses to other women in the community upon his release, given his prior history of domestic violence. and forget about the killing. even if you believed the jury verdict in the first case, there was unquestionably uncontradicted evidence about prior domestic abuse. the second thing that didn't really come up, which surprised me, he took an appeal for this conviction, and he said in the appeal that he didn't know anything about the guns that were being carried by other people. >> right. >> his own attorney that he then criticized his own attorney for not allowing him to present that defense. his own attorney testified that
o.j. told him on two occasions that o.j. knew about the guns before the robbery. so, he essentially committed perjury, if you believe his own attorney with respect to the appeal. and i think that doesn't show remorse. that shows deliberately and illegally trying to cover something up. they didn't even mention that. >> mark, your reaction. >> the parole board, i think i had said a little while ago -- >> you said slam dunk, i believe, was the word you used. >> yeah, that was the word i used, even though that's a basketball and not football. and harkening back to the discussion you've had there in the studio, you know, the criminal jury got it right. the civil jury got it right. they had different standard of proof. they did what they had to do. you've seen three instances where he's gone through the system, so to speak, and the system has worked. i mean, there's -- anybody who observed that criminal trial, who knew what the criminal courts building was like back in
the day, knows that when you have the lead detective committing perjury, basically, that it was over. and the civil jury, likewise, they got it right because they had a lower standard of proof and i think the parole board got it right. so, you know, it's a trifecta. >> it's all beautiful, mark. everything is beautiful. >> you're guilty, you're not guilty. glad you're agreeing with me, mark. >> it's like, mark, no. no. >> you're a killer, you're not a killer. >> i mean, i just, like, the idea that, you know, the evidence against o.j., what you could slip between proof beyond a reasonable doubt and more probable than not, you know, guilty under the civil standard but not under the criminal standard, i think that's nuts. i think he was guilty under any standard. >> but jeffrey, the state didn't prove its case and you have to be willing to accept the jury's verdict. >> you need to go back to harvard because there's two different standards, number one, and number two, he didn't testify in the criminal trial
and he had to testify in the civil. that's a major, major difference. so, yes, you can toggle between it and that's why we're fighting over money, it's a different standard of proof than when we're fighting over liberty. >> the lead detective -- if the lead detective is proven to be a racist, that means something. and it should mean a whole lot, and it did mean a whole lot, and johnny cochran exposing that was his brilliance and the state didn't prove its case. case over. they don't prove their case. you should be acquitted. >> i was with you for the first half of what you said. johnny cochran did a brilliant job and mark furman was a racist and mark furman lied about use of the "n" word and o.j. was still guilty. and there was ample evidence, in my opinion, for the jury to find that he was guilty. i mean, that's all i'm saying. >> jeff, remember -- >> that's a disagreement we're going to have until the end of time. >> remember