While this year’s Oscars had a lot of shocking moments, one of the most notable was “O.J.: Made in America” winning the Oscar for documentary feature.
This 7 ½-hour ESPN produced film analyzes the life of O.J. Simpson pre and post the high-profile murder trial of his ex- wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman, where he was a prime suspect. The documentary touched on how race, money and fame contributed to the man Simpson became, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I want to thank the academy for acknowledging this untraditional film,” one of the film’s directors Ezra Edelman said in his acceptance speech. “I want to thank ESPN for allowing us the canvas and the time to tell this story. This is the only way it could be told.”
Edelman went on to dedicate the award to Goldman, Brown and their families, among others.
“It is also for others, the victims of police violence, police brutality, racially motivated violence and criminal injustice,” Edelman said. “This is their story as well as Ron and Nicole’s. I am honored to accept this award on all their behalves.”
Simpson started his career playing college football at the University of Southern California, achieving great success and winning the Heisman Trophy in 1968. He went on to play in the NFL for both the San Francisco 49ers and the Buffalo Bills, becoming one of the most famous-running backs in the league. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of of Fame.
In 1995 a jury found Simpson not guilty of the stabbing deaths of both Brown and Goldman, but in 1997 the Brown and Goldman families filed a civil suit for wrongful death and won, forcing Simpson to pay $33.5 million in damages, according to ABC.
The time the infamous athlete is currently serving is unrelated to the murder trial, and for a 2007 robbery in Las Vegas, where he led a group of men to a hotel and attempted to steal his sports memorabilia at gunpoint. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, according to ABC. He is currently serving his time in Lovelock Correctional Facility in Nevada.
However, this year Simpson is up for parole and is likely to be a free man again. Gregory Knapp, a former prosecutor in Las Vegas who is now a criminal defense attorney, told USA TODAY the judge will be looking for Simpson to show remorse, and for any indication he will not be a threat.
“I’ve known people that have served time with him up there and he has a good reputation for getting along and doing what’s right,” Knapp told USA TODAY. “I can’t imagine any possibility of him being denied parole.”
The 69-year-old could have a parole hearing as early as July.