D’oh of the Year (So Far)

Remember the supremely tacky OJ Simpson book, “If I Did It,” that was canceled?

Excuse me, did you order the Karma?

The family of Ron Goldman has purchased the rights to O.J. Simpson’s canceled book, “If I Did It,” from a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee in a settlement reached Monday.

The book rights will be held in the name of Ron Goldman LLC, Goldman family attorney David Cook said.

Goldman was slain along with Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, in 1994. The former football star has maintained his innocence. He was acquitted of murder, but Goldman’s family won a civil wrongful death case against him now totaling more than $33 million.

“Ron Goldman LLC will own Simpson’s name, likeness, signature and story and will hawk it to satisfy this terrible judgment. Justice has arrived in Miami,” Cook said.

The Goldmans own the copyright, media rights and movie rights. They also acquired Simpson’s name, likeness, life story and right of publicity in connection with the book, according to court documents.

The Goldmans want to rename the book “Confessions of a Double Murderer” and plan to shop it around, Cook said.

Ye-ouch.

(Energy Dome tip to Tom Tomorrow.)

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36 Comments

Filed under 02_paul_the_spud

36 responses to “D’oh of the Year (So Far)

  1. I love the Goldmans. I really do.

  2. I fucking hate the Goldmans. I fucking hate that after OJ was acquited, they had the money to go after him in a civil suit and were able, in a setting with less rigorous rules of evidence, to get a judgment against him.

    Is OJ sleazy and probably a double-murderer? Yeah. But he was tried in a court of law by a jury of his peers and acquited. That should have been the end of it. Just because he’s a sleazeball doesn’t mean the attention-whore Goldmans should be given a pass for the same type of behavior.

    If the book sells, the money should be used to put all of them on some deserted island together with plenty of food and water and absolutely no communication with the rest of the world.

  3. Kate Harding

    Just because he’s a sleazeball doesn’t mean the attention-whore Goldmans should be given a pass for the same type of behavior.

    Attention whores? Funny, I’d never heard of the Goldman’s at all before O.J. murdered their fucking son.

  4. Kate Harding

    Gah! Extraneous apostrophe! Make that “Goldmans.”

    Other point still stands.

  5. Arkades

    Is OJ sleazy and probably a double-murderer? Yeah. But he was tried in a court of law by a jury of his peers and acquited.

    Stephen, are you familiar with the phrase “jury nullification”? Just because a verdict was reached does not mean that justice was served.

  6. oddjob

    THEY OWN THE RIGHTS TO HIS LIKENESS AND NAME????

    So, that means if he ever sells autographed photos of himself again they get the proceeds?

  7. I think they just own the rights to his likeness and name as pertains to the book. So they can put his mug and name on the cover?

  8. Paul the Spud

    I think they just own the rights to his likeness and name as pertains to the book. So they can put his mug and name on the cover?

    Yes and yes, as far as I know.

  9. I fucking hate that after OJ was acquited, they had the money to go after him in a civil suit and were able, in a setting with less rigorous rules of evidence, to get a judgment against him.

    Yeah, a civil judgment, in which he remains a free man.

    I’m sure Nightshift or one of our other valued lawyers around here will correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think one has to have “the money” to file a wrongful death civil suit. In fact, I believe such cases are often done pro bono or with payment contingent upon winning, i.e. a percentage of the settlement.

  10. Funny, I’d never heard of the Goldman’s at all before O.J. murdered their fucking son.

    And after it happened, they decided that what they needed to do was make sure their names got in the paper just as much if not more than OJ’s.

    As far as jury nullification, that seems awfully hard to prove, even in this case. OJ was acquited. That should be the end of it. Yes, I know that he’s the one who keeps putting himself in the public eye, but that doesn’t excuse anyone else’s behavior.

  11. And after it happened, they decided that what they needed to do was make sure their names got in the paper just as much if not more than OJ’s.

    Recalling the media frenzy around that case, it quite obviously would have been all but impossible for the Goldmans to avoid getting their names in the paper. But provided that they could have, why should they, in your opinion, have stayed completely anonymous and away the press as the only personal advocates of their dead son?

    Do you also hate the parents of murder victims in a small town who talk to the local paper? If not, what’s the distinction?

  12. Kelley

    Melissa, you’re absolutely right. The case was most likely taken on a contingency basis. Depending on what the state allows, the attorney would take between 30 and 40% of the total awarded (collected is another matter).

    Civil cases require only a preponderance of evidence, not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, as in a criminal case. It’s a much lower threshhold to meet, and easier for a jury to find in the plaintiffs’ favor.

  13. Let’s see, Stephen, what satisfaction did the Goldmans previously get for the civil verdict against OJ Simpson? Oh, that’s right, he made himself judgment proof and searched the golf courses of America for the “real murderers.”

    So either he’s truly innocent of causing the death of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, and has a clear conscience in the matter, or he deserves to be hounded for the rest of his days. And God bless the Goldmans (no relation) for not letting him walk away from it.

  14. He could, you know, pay his debt and apologize. I bet they’d let it go eventually.

  15. Sure beats prison, it would probably cost him all of a few seconds to write a check, and the words, “I’m sorry.” And he is still a free man.

  16. I don’t know why the decision to sue the person who has wronged you or caused you injury is met with such scorn in a society that offers no other remedy but to SUE to recover damages.

    It would be wonderful if we had some other system to make people whole again, but we simply do not. Money is a no compensation for the loss of a loved one or to live with chronic illness or injury, but it is all we have at the moment.

    We constantly denigrate individuals who sue as a result of injury and say nothing about the corporations that continually sue one another as a tactic of harassment to increase profits or shut down competition.

    It makes me batty how “tort reform” is entirely funded by large corporations who wish to immune from suit (and very nearly are), but focus on the lawsuits of individuals to make a case for eliminating lawsuits by individuals, but preserve corporate “rights” to sue.

    The Goldmans were right to sue Simpson and had every right to do so under American law. I don’t know why their decision to do so should be treated as a moral failing, simply because they are the victims in this instance.

  17. NameChanged

    OJ has been as much of an attention whore since the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. He tried to make money off the gruesome murder. If he were innocent, he should want nothing to do with the case. The Goldmans are truly victims, and they want to do anything possible to have a voice for their murdered son. They deserve to speak out. If you disagree, don’t buy the fucking book.

  18. What no one is talking about here is that he was tried. We might not like the verdict, but there it is. Trying to be an armchair judge is pointless; despite all the TV coverage, unless you were in the jury, you simply weren’t part of the process and shouldn’t pretend otherwise.

    There is no similarity between what I’m talking about and the parents of a murder victim in a small town – unless said parents, being dissatisfied with an acquital, decided to hound the accused for years after the fact.

    I don’t have a problem with civil litigation, except when it’s used to get around a verdict legitimately reached in a criminal court. With OJ we’ve got one court of law saying he’s not guilty and another saying that he is – oh, sure, the wording is responsible or liable or something but that’s just mumbo-jumbo. The presence of an acquittal for the murder of Brown Simpson and Goldman should have been enough to dismiss the suit.

    One of the unfortunate consequences of a legal system that presumes innocence, among other protections for defendants, is that there are times when justice is simply not served. I think we should be willing to pay that price.

  19. I don’t have a problem with civil litigation, except when it’s used to get around a verdict legitimately reached in a criminal court.

    Stephen, even in criminal murder (or wrongful death) cases when defendents are found guilty, families often also sue in civil court to get monetary damages.

    You’re talking about this like it’s an either-or scenario, but criminal and civil courts deliver two separate pieces of justice. The criminal court acts of behalf of the community, to get criminals “off the streets” and metes out justice in prison terms. The civil court acts on behalf of survivors, dealing in personal and measurable loss, and metes out justice by requiring compensation for what was taken.

    They are complements, and to seek justice from both is not “double jeopardy,” as you seem to be implying.

  20. They are complements, and to seek justice from both is not “double jeopardy,” as you seem to be implying.

    They are not complementary, or the “not guilty” verdict from the criminal court would have mattered.

    Again, I’m not arguing against civil litigation. The idea of suing in civil court after a guilty verdict to recover damages is fine, and not what I was talking about at all. My problem is that miscarriage of justice or not, OJ was acquitted. According to this layperson’s understanding of American law, it means that in the eyes of the law OJ didn’t do it. If he didn’t do it, then why was a civil case alleging that he did do it even allowed to proceed, let alone produce a verdict contrary to the criminal court?

  21. sundry

    First off, I fucking LOVE the Goldmans. They have had to be so creative to demonstrate that money and fame will not always get you off the hook 100%.

    As to the fact that they sued and won, doesn’t that happen all the time in drunk driving cases? In fact, all sorts of vehicular accidents (not even crimes). A crime does not have to be committed for the victim or survivors to sue and win. Neither does a crime prevent a suit. It’s two different things.

    Anyway, the verdict did not declare OJ innocent, but merely not guilty, which only means that he is not being held criminally liable. It doesn’t mean he didn’t do it.

    He did it. He’s liable. He should be held liable. And by no stretch should he be allowed to profit from his most horrible act.

    Go Goldmans!

  22. mustelid

    Hot damn! It’s willful ignorance in all its oblivious glory! Stephen, I recommend you go back over the thread again, paying special attention to the differences between “beyond a reasonable doubt” for a criminal case and “preponderance of evidence” for a civil suit. Apples and oranges.

  23. paying special attention to the differences between “beyond a reasonable doubt” for a criminal case and “preponderance of evidence” for a civil suit. Apples and oranges.

    Big sigh. That’s what I’ve been talking about, why I have a problem with all this.

    Hot damn! It’s willful ignorance in all its oblivious glory!

    Grow up.

  24. They are not complementary, or the “not guilty” verdict from the criminal court would have mattered.

    A civil court isn’t deciding criminal liability, so a verdict from a criminal court shouldn’t matter.

  25. According to this layperson’s understanding of American law, it means that in the eyes of the law OJ didn’t do it.

    That’s a misunderstanding, Stephen. It means that in the eyes of the criminal law, which is a separate code from the civil code, he was found not guilty of the crime of murder.

    There’s no such thing as “the eyes of the law” in such cases insofar as it applies to both criminal and civil law simultaneously.

    I say this will all due respect and huge fondness for you, as you know, but honestly, I don’t actually think there’s anything for you to be mad about here. You shouldn’t hate the Goldmans. They didn’t have access to any kind of special justice because they were rich (I don’t even know that they were rich; wasn’t Ron a waiter?), and they didn’t do anything that an average American family in any small town in the country couldn’t do themselves, to seek compensatory damages in addition to criminal justice.

  26. oddjob

    According to this layperson’s understanding of American law, it means that in the eyes of the law OJ didn’t do it. If he didn’t do it, then why was a civil case alleging that he did do it even allowed to proceed, let alone produce a verdict contrary to the criminal court?

    I suggest you are misinterpreting what the eyes of the law see. The eyes of American law, as decided by the jury, don’t say he didn’t do it. In the eyes of the law, which holds the state to a high bar of proof, there was insufficient evidence to convict. While we call that “not guilty”, it’s not the same as proving he didn’t do it.

  27. I say this will all due respect and huge fondness for you,

    Oh, I know. Only mustelid pissed me off, and that only a little.

    I’m sure I don’t have the proper understanding of the way our laws work now. But I’m also sure that we’ve taken a couple of wrong turns in our legal system. Certainly words don’t mean what they plainly are intended to mean.

    Presumption of innocence is important to me, and should mean exactly what it says. So oddjob’s statement, “While we call that ‘not guilty,’ it’s not the same as proving he didn’t do it” shouldn’t have anything to do with it. No one has to prove that he didn’t do it, not OJ, not me, not anyone else. It was up to the State to prove that OJ did do it, otherwise the original presumption of innocence – that is to say, he didn’t do it – is left untouched. Outside of the appeals process, an acquittal should be the end of the matter.

    Again, I understand fully that this is not how things work now. And that’s a shame, because the protections we afford those accused of crimes are to me the most important part of our legal system.

    And to me, those protections are sacred among progressives except when OJ Simpson is brought up, as if he’s some sort of special case, different from every other legal fuckup in this country.

  28. oddjob

    It was up to the State to prove that OJ did do it

    As a criminal matter, of course, but not as a civil matter.

  29. oddjob

    Their right to sue for damages is not contingent upon the outcome of the criminal trial. Their right to sue still stands, regardless of the verdict of the criminal trial.

    The societal assumption of innocence and the legal assumption of innocence are not the same. They have never been the same.

  30. And to me, those protections are sacred among progressives except when OJ Simpson is brought up, as if he’s some sort of special case

    Well, obviously I can’t speak for anyone else, but, from my perspective, there is good reason to draw a distinction between “being found not guilty” and “being innocent of the crime.”

    Of course I believe that anyone charged with a crime should have the presumption of innocence until and throughout a trial, but a finding of “not guilty” is not the same as being innocent, nor should it be; it can also signify a failure of the prosecutor to make the case. Mind you, that’s an important thing to remember if you’re actually innocent, too! We don’t want juries convicting just because they think someone is guilty; we want juries convicting only if they believe someone is guilty and the prosecutor has convincingly made the case that they are beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Passing both of these thresholds is important, which is why it’s also important for us to recognize that a finding of not guilty can quite legitimately mean “probably guilty, but the state didn’t prove it.”

    As you know, one of my particular issues is sexual assault, which is infamously difficult to successfully prosecute. Findings of “not guilty,” when they are taken strictly to mean “innocent,” is what’s causing the increasing number of prosecutions of rape accusers in cases where the accused are found not guilty. But failure to secure a conviction is not evidence of innocence; taking it as such does a grave disservice to victims–and to our whole system, for reasons stated above.

  31. Kelley

    Stephen, you’re confusing constitutional criminal protections of the individual against the state itself, with the methods of civil redress available to citizens against one another.

    While OJ was acquitted in a criminal case, that means only that the state (body politic) failed in its constitutional burden to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Goldmans did not bring the criminal action; the state did, as only the state can do. His having been acquitted can be considered by jury in a civil case, but that fact alone is not dispositive.

    Filing suit for wrongful death is a civil, not criminal, remedy. It can be wielded by citizens against other citizens, but does not carry a criminal penalty of any sort. In short, while the Goldman’s could not file criminal charges, they can file a civil suit. One is the purview of state, and carried out by the area DA; the other is a civil remedy, available to all citizens. As I noted above, acquittal in a criminal case is not dispositive; thus that fact is irrelevant in determining whether the family can file a civil suit.

    This does not undermine double jeopardy; DJ only refers to state attempts to “take a second bite at the apple.” The state had it’s shot and failed; game over for the state. However, this does not preclude the Goldman’s from pursuing their civil remedies. Bear in mind the injured party, in the criminal case, was ostensibly the state, in that it’s penal laws were violated. The Goldmans, as private citizens, are now left with a civil suit as their remedy. It’s really the rights of two different parties that are in question here.

  32. hk

    Sorry, I can’t consider this classy, classy would be buying the rights and then never doing anything with them. Shopping that book around is just as sick as OJ writing it.

  33. mustelid

    Melissa said it better than I did. The state case was botched. This doesn’t magically change history and make OJ innocent. After the criminal case flopped, the Goldmans were able to get some degree of justice through the civil suit. And I don’t particularly feel like being nice to someone who bangs up against the same brick wall, insisting it’s really a door. Get over yourself, Stephen.

  34. Stephen:

    Outside of the appeals process, an acquittal should be the end of the matter.

    And so it was. The State of California, the aggrieved party in People v. Simpson, can never again haul OJ into court for those two murders. The State can never incarcerate him or exact any fine or other sort of punishment from him for those murders.

    As for the other aggrieved parties, the Goldmans, why should anything stop them from seeking some form of justice? Their injury was not necessarily addressed by the criminal case. That’s why it was “People” v. Simpson – an action by the government – not Ron Goldman or the Goldmans v. Simpson. Ron, Nicole and their families were relegated to the status of “victims,” not parties.

    The civil process can give the Goldmans only money. It can’t touch OJ’s liberty or life. It requires a lesser standard of proof. So what’s the big deal? I really don’t get it. The civil action has absolutely nothing to say about OJ’s “guilt” or “innocence”, which are terms of the criminal process. The civil action does not address these, only liability and non-criminal culpability.

    And let’s say that Simpson was convicted, would you then let the Goldmans sue OJ civilly? Or would you complain that they were getting a “second bite” at the bad apple, and why should they be able to take more from OJ when the State was already taking so much as punishment?

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