Just over one-fourth of Americans think O.J. Simpson will "regain his celebrity status" after his upcoming release from prison, CBS News reports in a new poll.
- 65 percent think Simpson will "mostly be ignored" upon release;
- 27 percent think he will "regain his celebrity status."
Simpson was convicted in 2008 of armed robbery and kidnapping, and although he was acquitted of the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, the majority of Americans consider him guilty of the crime.
- In 2017, 71 percent think Simpson is "guilty of murder;" 14 percent think he is not.
- In 1995, 67 percent thought he was guilty; 24 percent thought he was not.
While the opinions of white Americans has largely remained the same since 1995, black Americans today are much more likely to think Simpson committed murder than 22 years ago.
- In 2017, 79 percent of white Americans think Simpson is "guilty of murder."
- In 1995, 76 percent of white Americans thought he was guilty.
- In 2017, 41 percent of black Americans think Simpson is "guilty of murder."
- In 1995, 22 percent of black Americans thought he was guilty.
The poll also found that Americans are split over if Simpson’s trial was decided "on the merits of the case," or "by factors of race." Most Americans in general, and white Americans in particular, think the case was decided on the merits, but black Americans are more likely to think race was the deciding factor.
"In the summer before the verdict, most Americans said they thought the U.S. criminal justice system treated blacks fairly, though half of blacks said it was biased against them," the pollsters write.
"Today, the view that the justice system is biased against blacks has grown. Now nearly half of all Americans, including four in 10 whites and eight in 10 blacks, think the system is biased against blacks."
SSRS conducted the poll on behalf of CBS News, surveying 1,202 adults across the country by phone from Sept. 21 to 24, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
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