Back between the end of the Cold War and 9/11, the O.J. trial was one of those stories that got saturation coverage for the entertainment of television viewers. It was only fitting, therefore, that the parole hearing for the former football great, now in jail for armed robbery, will be televised. While Hot Airs asks why, one, in a sneaky way, can be glad of a respite, no matter how brief, from the more serious news of political mendacity at home and wars and rumors of wars abroad.

The trial of the century

Back in the early 1990s, O.J. Simpson, then a retired Football Player and occasional actor, was accused of murdering his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

His trial rapidly became a media circus and featured, among other things, celebrity justice and the racial divide in America. Without going into the mind numbing details of the case, incompetence on the part of the prosecution and the clever playing of the race card on the part of the defense won for O.J. an acquittal.

The verdict elicited widespread outrage in the white community and jubilation among African Americans. Simpson almost certainly was guilty and indeed later suffered a civil judgment against him in the deaths of Nicole Brown and Goldman.

Why is Simpson in jail?

Years later, in 2007, Simpson entered a room at a Los Vegas hotel and retrieved some sports memorabilia that he claimed belonged to him at gun point.

He was subsequently arrested and then convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping. Simpson was given a 33-year sentence, the harshness of which was ascribed to lingering anger over his murder acquittal.

Why is O.J. up for parole?

Nine years later, O.J. Simpson is up for parole, and the weight of legal opinion is that he is likely to be granted it.

He has been a "model prisoner" and has behaved himself, mainly keeping his anger management issues in check. No one, not the least the prosecution, is opposing freeing Simpson. Hence, the parole hearing is likely not to be as dramatic as the murder trial had been over two decades ago.

Parole will mean that Simpson will be free to hunt for "the real killers" of his former wife and her friend on the golf courses of Nevada for the rest of his days.

He is age 70 and is said not to be in the best of health. Simpson will not face earthly judgment again for the crime that long ago defined him, more than his feats on the football field or his goofing in the "Naked Gun" films. However, he will remain a pariah, forever with the mark of Cain.