California Supreme Court rejects O.J. Simpson damages appeal

Wednesday, April 25th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The California Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected O.J. Simpson's bid to overturn the $33.5 million civil court judgment against him for the deaths of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

Charged in criminal court with murdering his ex-wife and Goldman in 1994, Simpson was acquitted by a Los Angeles jury. He then was sued in civil court for wrongful death by the victims' survivors, and was found liable for the killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages.

Simpson, who has said he can't afford to pay the damages, asked the Supreme Court to reverse the judgment, saying the civil case was ``built on top of a failed prosecution, a prosecution which was suspect for corruption, fraud, contamination, coercion and collusion.''

None of the high court's justices voted to review Simpson's appeal.

To be held criminally liable in California, a jury had to find Simpson guilty of murder ``beyond a reasonable doubt,'' which it did not.

In the civil trial, a different jury had to agree to a lesser standard, that Simpson was liable for the deaths by a ``preponderance of the evidence.'' To award damages, the civil jury had to find liability by ``clear and convincing evidence.''