OJ Simpson has slammed the US legal system for allowing the kind of double trials which have seen both him and Robert Blake found liable for murder in a civil case, despite being acquitted by a criminal court.
BARETTA star Blake was ordered to pay his stepchildren $30 million (GBP16.6 million) after a civil court jury declared he was responsible for his ex-wife Bonny Lee Bakley's death on Friday (18NOV05) - even though Blake was acquitted of murdering his wife in a lengthy criminal trial eight months previously (FEB05).
Simpson, who describes the dual legal process as "double jeopardy", was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his wife and her friend RONALD GOLDMAN, but was later ordered to pay $33.5 million (GBP18.6 million) in damages.
Simpson is highly critical of the "preponderance of evidence" standard which is set in civil cases - meaning the jury need only be convinced by 51 per cent of the evidence to find in favour of the plaintiffs.
He says, "I still don't get how anyone can be found not guilty of a murder and then be found responsible for it in any way shape or form.
"If that was the standard in criminal trials, only 51 per cent, then so many people would be convicted that we'd have to build more jails. The standard is the difference."
Simpson is amazed such high damages were awarded in both his and Blake's civil hearings because lawyers on both sides were aware the defendants had used all of their money to finance their criminal defence.
He adds, "I'd love to see the Supreme Court rule on one of these cases. To me, the thing that's most disturbing is to watch these lawyers grand standing. It's all for TV and for the book deals. I predict they will make a book deal. They did it in my case.
"If Robert Blake has friends and family around him, he'll do fine. I would give him the same advice I gave MICHAEL (JACKSON). You've got your kid. Go and raise your kid."