Everybody should be familiar with O.J. Simpson whether you know him because of his football days or the 1995 case that caught the attention of every U.S. household and was heralded as the trial of the century. Today O.J Simpson is serving 9-33 years at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada for armed robbery and kidnapping. What you may not know is that Simpson has a chance at parole at his upcoming hearing this July. There will most certainly be mixed opinions regarding his opportunity at parole. Some may believe that he does not deserve the right for parole solely based on his past and the ever-looming cloud regarding the 1995 trial. However, others may believe that he does deserve the chance at parole because he should be judged on his character today and not his past.
I believe that a person can change and that their past does not define who they are today. However, for a person to change that individual must make a conscious effort to change and have an ample amount of support to make said change. Today Simpson is considered to be a model inmate that does not cause trouble and claims to be truly remorseful of his past crimes. Of course, this is the likely attitude of an inmate due to their desire to make parole and be set free. My skepticism regarding his parole is not based on his past or what I believe his character is today. My skepticism is based on our country’s ineffective prison system and its ability to effectively rehabilitate individuals. In many cases, convicted criminals do not receive any amount of support in our country’s prison system and therefore are unable to change their character for the better.
Whatever happens with Simpson’s parole hearing I hope that the decision that is made is not based solely on his past, but is based on his current standing as an inmate and what his character is today. If he is not granted parole I hope that an effective rehabilitation process can take place. If he is granted parole I hope that he was successfully rehabilitated and will reenter society as a productive member. Whether you agree with him being acquitted or him possibly getting parole, it is not our responsibility as citizens to decide or judge the outcome of trials. Our responsibility as citizens is to support and have faith in our justice system and that whatever decision is made, was handled with the best judgment and foremost intent in upholding every individual’s constitutional rights.
This blog is part of a two-part series title The American Prison System. Next week’s blog will break down some aspects of the American Prison System and its effectiveness in rehabilitating prisoners. Please feel free to leave comments I would love to hear from y’all and will be happy to reply.