Last Monday on my daily radio show, Face The Tribune, I stated that OJ Simpson is now a halfway-free man, and after the show someone tried to correct my statement thinking that I was wrong due to my so-called lack of knowing the English language, but I gave him a little lesson on our judicial system that many Americans are not aware of.
First of all, OJ went to prison in Nevada because those managing his legal affairs on both sides of the aisle were looking for media recognition for their own political career and believed that the jury system would work as long as the jury ruled as they wanted it to; also, they are looking for the publicity and the money that comes with that ruling.
It always has been my belief that if we are not going to respect and accept the decision of the jury, we should not have a jury system and just place our fate in the hands of a judge, who might or might not rule the right way, depending on who offers a bigger campaign donation.
Las Vegas is the only city in this great nation to which people come on vacation and leave on probation because the major part of the prosecutor’s office has “black robe illness,” they all like to claim that they have a one hundred percent conviction rate.
One attorney once told me, “Rolando, if you plead guilty you walk, but if you are crazy enough to plead not guilty, you do twenty-five years for making the prosecutor work”; and that is the honest-to-God truth as I learned during my nineteen years in covering the court system in Clark County.
During the aftermath of the Palace Station Casino episode during which OJ went to pick up some of his memorabilia, I was told by defense lawyers, prosecutors and even sitting judges that OJ’s case was at most a gross misdemeanor and most likely punishable by probation; but after OJ was offered a deal that would keep him behind bars for ten months and he refused to accept it, he was sentenced to thirty-two years for the same charges he was offered ten months. How dare he refuse the deal!
I am using the title of the book he wrote to head my column, but I want to add my own little change to that title. Instead of “If I did It,” I would say, “If I were OJ” (I’m hoping that the Juice may read this column and listen to me; but as I have said many times before, just because I talk with an accent does not mean that I think with an accent).
I have been in Las Vegas for many years and I know how the system here works from back in the sixties when a man was persecuted by Sheriff’s Deputies in those days, which is now called LVMPD ever since the police and the sheriff merged because the Undersheriff wanted to date the man’s wife.
In the late sixties I was given the opportunity of owning my own snack bar and two Mexican Sheriff’s Deputies (Lopez and Orduñes) did not like the name I gave to my snack bar and they forced me out of business by harassing me until I could not handle it any more.
But going back to OJ Simpson; after he did nine years for his gross misdemeanor, which could have been punishable by probation, he was planning to go back to his Florida home, but the Florida Attorney General, Pamela Bundi, did not allow him to go back so he had no choice but to stay in Nevada.
However, If I were OJ, I would find another city to move to, any city in New York like Buffalo, Rochester or New York; if he doesn’t like the cold weather, he could go to Encino, Beverly Hills, Westwood or even sunny San Diego in California, any place but Las Vegas, because with his money he can buy a nice home and live very comfortably without the risk of being harassed by P&P officers and risk having his parole revoked.
But If I were OJ, before all that, I would sell my home in Florida, arrange with my children to move them out west, and tell Pam Bondi — the Florida Attorney General that does not like OJ Simpson — where to go, and wait until she loses her job after someone runs against her and wins.
I am glad that OJ is out, even if he is only a half-free man, because being on probation in Nevada is like going to hell and back because even if a person behaves and follows the rules and orders of the Parole Department, they can make a person’s life miserable and multiply the chances of having that probation revoked.
These P&P officers have all types of assistance that can make a parolee’s life miserable; they can make parolees afraid of the PO; they can brainwash a police officer to help with the task of revoking the parole, and do any number of other things to harass the parolee.
Please, OJ, don’t give these people who conspired to destroy your life the pleasure of doing it again; don’t give the Goldmans the pleasure of seeing you back behind bars; and most important of them all, don’t deprive your family of being by your side again.
I am glad that OJ is out and I wish him the best.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.