Knife Found at O.J. Simpson's Former Estate Raises More Questions Than Answers

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on March 09, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Over 20 years after O.J. Simpson was acquitted for the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman, the Los Angeles Police Department announced it had "recovered an item with possible evidentiary value related to the Brown/Goldman double homicide." (The fact that this announcement was made on Twitter, while a dramatized miniseries on the trial airs on television, demonstrates just how far removed we are from1995.)

While the discovery of a knife supposedly recovered from Simpson's former estate has piqued even more interest in the case -- after all, the murder weapon was never found -- for now it only raises more questions about the police investigation, and offers little in the way of answers. But we do know whether O.J. could face a new murder trial.

Will We Get Another "Trial of the Century?"

And the answer is most certainly no. Even if the knife was a smoking gun linking O.J. to the killing, with his DNA and the victims' blood on it, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits "[a] second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal." While in some cases new evidence can lead to an exoneration or overturned conviction, it cannot lead to a new trial on the same charges once a person has been found not guilty. The prosecution gets one bite at the apple, so to speak.

Because a jury acquitted Simpson, the state of California cannot re-try him on murder charges. Simpson was found liable in a civil trial for the wrongful death of Ron Goldman and is currently serving a 33-year prison sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping.

What's the Deal With the Knife?

There are some questions surrounding the knife that do deserve answering, however. Exactly when was it found? Where? And why did it take so long for it to come out? CNN reports that former LAPD officer George Maycott says he got the knife from a construction worker who told him he found it "on or near" Simpson's former estate. But, according to The New York Times, that estate was demolished in 1998. And there is even debate as to the size and shape of the knife now being tested by the same department that came under fire during the murder trial for mishandling evidence.

At this point, there's no telling what further analysis of the knife and its history will reveal. But we do know that it will have little, if any, legal impact on O.J. himself.

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