As Brooke Baldwin put it during her coverage immediately following O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing Thursday, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin “literally wrote the book” on the former NFL star’s legal history. That book, The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson, became the basis for the FX mini-series about the 1995 murder trial that captured America’s imagination all over again last year.
“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,” Toobin began, “but I thought his statements were self-justifying, self-pitying, showing no remorse, no understanding, no sense of reality about his own life.”
Toobin zeroed in on the one statement by Simpson that got perhaps the most attention, when he “claimed that he had led a conflict-free life.”
“Put aside the murders, which I think he committed, but he was acquitted of,” the analyst said. “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 parole people were, who seemed catatonic and not even listening to anyone what they said,” Toobin continued. “The guy with the Kansas City Chiefs tie, very impressive for a former NFL guy who is the defendant.”
All of that being said, Toobin admitted, “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.”
Later, Toobin reiterated that recent events have “only reinforced” his belief that Simpson killed his wife and Ronald Goldman more than two decades ago. “He was acquitted so he didn't have to acknowledge that,” he said. “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 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,” Toobin continued. “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.”
“Jeffrey Toobin, holding back—not so much,” Baldwin said, laughing. “This is why we love talking to you.”
Simpson was granted parole under an hour later.