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updated 6/14/2004 5:50:06 PM ET 2004-06-14T21:50:06

Ten years ago, most Americans weren't able to see just how guilty O.J. Simpson actually appeared. Most people did not witness the civil trial, like I did.

After the televised criminal trial, almost anyone who came into it with an open mind and watched all the testimony, would have to say that the evidence was overwhelming. There was no way that all that blood and fiber evidence at her home, in his home, and in his car could have been planted or contaminated to make it look like someone else with size 12 shoes actually killed O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife.

And you would have had to have been a close relative or friend of Simpson’s to believe his testimony in the civil trial. Again and again, he contradicted himself or couldn’t explain key details in the case.  For instance, he couldn’t explain exactly how he gouged his hand that night.  At the trial, he said he believed he cut it on some glass in a hotel, but he told police he thought he did it at his home.  Either way, there were significant cuts or a significant amount of blood found at his home that he couldn’t explain. 

He claimed Nicole lied in diary entries when only days before the murders she wrote that Simpson had repeatedly threatened her.  This evidence didn’t come up in the criminal trial.  He said that phone records that suggested he called his answering machine and heard a message that night from his then-girlfriend threatening to break up with him was incorrect. 

And finally, and arguably most importantly, there were 30 photos, only discovered during the civil trial of Simpson, months before the murders, wearing the exact type of rare shoe worn by the killer.  He said the photos were doctored— that he never had worn those ugly shoes.  Yet, Simpson could not explain why one of the photos appeared in a Buffalo Bills newsletter seven months before the murders.

Even if you accept both jurys' verdicts, it still means the jurors are saying Simpson likely committed the crimes.  The criminal jury was not convinced there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The civil jury found it was more likely than not that he did it. 

So both juror verdicts are to be accepted.  That should make those few remaining Simpson defenders think twice before saying: “Why won’t you accept the jury’s decision?"

Dan Abrams is the host of 'The Abrams Report.' The show airs weeknights, 6 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

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