O.J. Simpson Case: Could He Be Tried Again for Murder After Knife Discovery?

O.J. Simpson
O. J. Simpson sits in Superior Court in Los Angeles on Dec. 8, 1994. POOL/AFP/Getty Images

The knife that was allegedly found buried on O.J. Simpson’s property more than 12 years ago has raised many questions — but also confirmed certain answers — about the controversial 1995 murder case. 

On Friday, TMZ was the first to report that a buck knife had been brought forward as possible evidence in the still-open investigation into the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. An unnamed police officer reportedly had the knife in his possession for years, after a construction worker gave it to him, thinking that the case had already been closed.

“My understanding is it’s a knife,” the now-retired officer said in a press conference when asked if the object turned over was a machete or another kind of weapon.

The discovery has raised the question of whether Simpson, 68, can be tried again for murder in light of this potential piece of new evidence. Multiple reports have claimed that he cannot be prosecuted for a second time, since he was acquitted in the original criminal trial (double jeopardy) — but, legal experts argue, if the former football player’s DNA is found on the knife, it could lead to the conviction of others.

“Let’s say a friend helped stash the evidence — the knife — and they get some proof from the knife of that role,” University of Southern California law professor Jody Armour told the Los Angeles Times. “Then there could be accomplice liability.” 

According to TMZ, the knife in question has a 5-inch blade, and could very well have caused the stab wounds that ultimately killed Nicole and Goldman. Dr. Irwin Golden, who served as the deputy medical examiner and performed the pair's autopsies, noted that a knife with a blade just 4 inches long could have made Nicole’s fatal neck wound — 2.5 inches deep and 5.5 inches across.

The owner of the construction company that tore down Simpson’s estate in the late ‘90s, however, told the Los Angeles Times that the timing of the knife’s discovery still makes the new information suspect.

“No one on my crew found anything,” Mike Weber said, adding that he had told his crew to turn over anything they found. “I think everyone knew at the time that the knife could be there. But I didn’t find it.”

The highly publicized case has been brought back into the headlines with FX’s miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which stars Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson.

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