It’s been two decades since the O.J. Simpson murder trial captivated America, and FX’s new crime drama series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story has turned the spotlight right back on those who played a part in the original controversial trial. The series gave fresh eyes to the engrossing murder case and revisited the frustrations some felt, as well as the relief others experienced when the jury found Simpson not guilty of the crimes for which he had been convicted. In fact, for the most part, all eyes were on the jurors in this case (little did they know that their verdict would define a generation). After sharing such an impacting and intimate 265 days sequestered with each other 21 years ago, the question remains: Does the O.J. Simpson jury still talk?
It’s hard to say whether or not the 12 jurors responsible for the acquittal stay in touch. In the aftermath of the trial that divided a nation, several of those jurors made media appearances, gave interviews defending their decision and the lack of evidence to convict Simpson, and some even wrote books about their experiences as jurors on one of the most infamous trials in American history.
“Who would’ve thought we’d still be talking about it 20 years later,” juror David Aldana told ABC News. “I’ve lost friends. People that I knew who didn’t want to talk to me anymore...a few couple of fistfights [over the Simpson verdict].”
Some jurors, including Aldana, have spoken with the media recently to defend the controversial verdict after the series put them back in the hot seat. “What we were given, do I think he did it?” Aldana said to ABC News. “Yeah, there’s a shot that he did do it but, then, on the other hand, the evidence didn’t prove it.”
Back in September, before the release of the series, juror Yolanda Crawford sat down with Meredith Vieira and met Kim Goldman, Ron Goldman’s sister, for the first time since the not guilty verdict was read.
“I’m sorry that I couldn’t give you what you were looking for,” Crawford said to Goldman regarding the verdict. “I felt like we followed the instructions of the judge and the system and it called for a not guilty verdict because, I want to say, of the reasonable doubt.”
Even last year, Aldana told NBC Los Angeles he still isn’t sure today if Simpson is actually guilty of murder.
“On the evidence that they gave me to evaluate, it was crooked by the cops,” he said to NBC. “The evidence give to me to look at, I could not convict. Did he do it? Maybe, maybe not [but I didn’t have enough evidence].” Aldana added he knew there was nothing further he (or any of the other jurors) could have differently back then, and that seems to ring true for the other jurors who have decided to speak out today.
The jury is definitely still talking — to the media and a variety of talk show hosts — but to be certain if they still chat with each other and discuss the ifs, ands, and buts of the trial, well, the jury is still out on that one.