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New alleged evidence in OJ case and the risk of double jeopardy

You've probably heard by now the news that the LAPD has in their possession a bloody knife that is believed to be related to the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. According to reports, the knife was discovered on property that had been owned by O.J. Simpson at the time of the murders. The knife was recently turned over to police and is currently undergoing testing.

But like so many people here in Virginia and across the nation, you may be asking one simple question, "Will this new piece of alleged evidence matter?" In order to answer this question, we must consider the double jeopardy clause in our U.S. Constitution and whether the LAPD is even able to pursue charges.

While some of our readers may remember watching the O.J Simpson trial unfold on television, others may only know about it from conversation or from watching the show called "The People v. O.J. Simpson." Wherever you fall, you may know that Mr. Simpson was acquitted of the deaths of Nicole and Ron in 1995. This means he was found innocent of the crime.

But if the newly discovered knife could be linked to the murders, could Mr. Simpson face prosecution again? Unlikely, say some experts, who say that new charges would be considered double jeopardy.

For those who do not know, double jeopardy occurs when a person is accused and faces prosecution for the same crime. The U.S Constitution grants protection from this, which means, in the case of Mr. Simpson, he cannot be charged again for the murders because he was already charged and prosecuted for them 20 years ago.

Though the O.J. Simpson trial happened hundreds of miles away from residents here in Virginia Beach, it was a case that grabbed national attention at the time. But after considering the current media buzz regarding the bloody knife found on property once owned by Mr. Simpson, it would seem our country is still fascinated by his case to this day.

Sources: The Los Angeles Times, "Knife reportedly found on former O.J. Simpson property is being tested by LAPD," Richard Winton and Joseph Serna, March 4, 2016

FindLaw, "Double Jeopardy," Accessed March 4, 2016

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