o.j. simpson’s parole hearing

last month the u.s. media turned it’s attention back to a familiar personality. o.j. simpson was up for parole (conditional release) for his 2007 robbery conviction. he gave over 30 minutes of testimony to show that he is prepared to re-enter society.

o.j. simpson

the legal matter o.j. is best known for is being accused of the 1994 stabbing deaths (with a knife) of his ex-wife nicole brown and her friend ronald goldman, he was tried for those murders and acquitted (found not guilty) in 1995, though large portions of the american public didn’t agree with the verdict (decision).

fun english practice  :) richyrocks english on youtube

  • that’s why this clip was the one media outlets played the most, with the most darkly ironic line being

i would never, ever pull a weapon on anybody

pull a weapon means show it with the intention of using it.  notice that the ea in weapon is pronounced like bread or health, not like beat or team. at the beginning of the video o.j. also insists he  is no danger to pull a gun on anybody.


  • much of o.j.’s dialogue is a summary of the botched (poorly executed, flubbed) attempt to recover his personal property at a meeting with memorabilia collectors in a hotel room in las vegas. simpson explained that the meeting was set up (arranged) through thomas riccio,  a memorabilia dealer who

had contacted me over a period of time, told me that there were some guys that was trying to get him to fence my property and he thought i should come and get it. well, i kinda blew him off because i’m really not interested in football property. i don’t collect memorabilia, only my own personal items.

had contacted is past perfect. it is used to refer to the robbery and the time leading up to it. fence means buying and selling stolen things. blow off means not pay attention to. memorabilia are collectibles, in this case, with a connection to o.j.


  • as 3rd conditional is often used to talk about regretted actions (things u feel sorry about), it’s not surprising to hear o.j. use the structure several times. for example, he gave the idea that he was talked into (persuaded) bringing security personnel with him though he didn’t believe he needed them. one of the security professionals, michael mcclinton, pulled a gun during the meeting, initiating all of the subsequent legal problems. o.j. admits

i shoulda vetted him

vet means investigate, evaluate closely. 3rd conditional is often reduced from would have, could have or should have to woulda, coulda or shoulda.


  • o.j. talked about how spending the past 9 years in jail has affected his family life.

u know i spent the 12 years leading up to this incident in vegas raising two kids [in miami]. and u know, with all the media stuff……. i was able to keep them to keep their eye on the ball, get great grades and went to the college of their choice and i end up missing their graduation because of it, trust me, i wish it would never have never happened.

lead up to means precede. raise means take care of while they grow up. keep their eye on the ball means stay focused on what is important. grades are evaluations at school, NOT qualifications which is a common spanglish. end up means it happened that way even though it was not his intention. would never have happened is 3rd conditional. it is common to see it used with wish.

o.j. with his eye on the (golf) ball

o.j. with his eye on the ball

simpson also commented on how courses he took in the prison might help him outside.

moreso, from, i think,  my commitment to being a better christian, because i thought i was a good guy, i had some problems with fidelity in my life, but i’ve always been a guy that pretty much got along with everybody.

moreso is basically the same as more. many dictionaries do not believe it’s a real word. commitment is dedication. pretty much is similar to more or less.  get along with indicates a relationship that is friendly or without conflict.


  • in this final clip, o.j. is asked by a member of the parole board if he was humbled (made less arrogant) by his incarceration.

simpson affirms (says yes), apologizes to the people of nevada, repeats two more times that he wishes it (the incident) would have never happened and laments (regrets) how he tried to get his stuff (things) back…..

if i woulda made a better judgment back then, none of this would’ve happened. i take full responsibility, because i should’ve never……..u know, i haven’t made any excuses in 9 years here, but i shoulda never allowed these alleged security guys to help me, because it turned out they were only trying to help themselves.

woulda madewould’ve happened and shoulda never allowed are all 3rd conditional. alleged means supposed, not verified. turn out means that’s what happened.

o.j. simpson was granted (given) parole. he could leave jail as early as october 1.

can u think of any other situations where it is typical to use 3rd conditional?  do u have any other questions about o.j. simpson’s parole hearing?  post your ideas/questions under leave a reply




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