Nicole Brown was an 18-year old waitress in 1977 when she met football
superstar Orenthal James “OJ” Simpson. He was married at the
time, but they began a relationship. Simpson divorced his wife in 1979
and continued his relationship with Brown. He married her in 1985. They
had two children from their marriage. In 1992, Brown filed for divorce
citing California’s “irreconcilable differences.” The
divorce was granted. During the marriage Simpson was investigated many
times for alleged domestic abuse against Brown. He pleaded no contest
to misdemeanor spousal abuse in 1989. In 1993, Brown called 9-1-1 crying
and saying, “He [Simpson] is going to beat the s**t out of me.”
On June 13, 1994, Brown was murdered at her home. The autopsy report stated:
“[Brown] had been stabbed seven times in the neck and scalp, and
had a 5.5-inch-long (140 mm) gash across her throat, which had severed
both her left and right carotid arteries breached her right and left jugular
veins. The wound on Brown's neck was so severe it had penetrated a
depth of 0.75 inches (19 mm) into her cervical vertebrae, nearly decapitating
her. She also had defensive wounds on her hands…” Simpson
was criminally charged and tried for her murder but was found not guilty.
Brown’s family filed a civil suit against Simpson and he was found
liable for Brown’s wrongful death.
Brown’s story was a rallying cry for women suffering from domestic
abuse and no societal help in preventing it. The brutality of her death
and the domestic abuse that preceded caused people to demand the laws
be changed. And they were.
Today, in California (as well as many other states), a conviction for domestic
violence has numerous consequences including:
Criminal Penalties: Include jail or prison time; protective orders against the perpetrator;
community service obligations; and court fines.
Loss of Job Opportunities: Most employers in today’s economy do background checks on their
potential employees. A conviction for domestic violence almost automatically
prevents an employer from hiring that individual. Employers have a legal
obligation to protect the health and safety of their employees. Hiring
convicted violent offenders will subject those employees to possible future
harm, and if so, the employer can be held liable for the harm to those
Immigration Consequences: There are negative effects for those who are not United States citizens.
In many cases these convictions will subject them to immediate deportation.
Crimes of domestic violence are considered crimes of moral turpitude and
can lead to deportation, exclusion from admission and denial of naturalization
Other Possible Consequences: Those convicted of domestic violence abuse will not be allowed to possess/own
weapons. If the abuser is a police officer, he/she will lose his/her job
because carrying weapons is part of the job.
If children were involved in the relationship, the convicted abuser will
have his/her interactions curtailed with those children to protect the
children and the victim.