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Brown Family Not Decided On Custody

Thu., Oct. 5, 1995

Nicole Brown Simpson’s family hasn’t decided whether to fight O.J. Simpson over custody of the couple’s two children, a family attorney said Wednesday.

The family and Simpson agree that decisions about the children must be kept free of any other emotions or lawsuits, said John Quinlan Kelly, the family’s New York attorney.

“It may take some counseling before there is a decision,” Kelly said. “But everyone realizes the issue is what’s best for the kids - forget about the Simpsons and the Browns.”

NBC-TV quoted a family friend it didn’t identify as saying Ms. Simpson’s parents, Louis and Juditha Brown, decided Tuesday night they would not fight for custody.

Sydney, 9, and Justin, 7, have been living with their grandparents at their home in suburban Dana Point since Simpson’s arrest 15 months ago in the slayings of Ms. Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

There are places in society that will never be the same in this, the post-O.J. world. But cellblock 1750 of the Los Angeles County Jail isn’t one of them.

It took less than an hour, officials said, for the 9-by-7 foot cell that had housed the city’s most famous inmate to snap back to steel-and-concrete normalcy. And less time than that for the massive mechanism that is the central jail to purge itself of O.J. Simpson.

The deputies were so eager to unload the security risk he posed that they clocked his departure - 24 minutes and 35 seconds from the time Judge Lance Ito ordered him released “forthwith” to the moment his private van hit the nearest freeway.

“Once the word of the verdict reached our people at the jail … they immediately gathered up his property and had it at the reception center before he got back there,” said Sheriff Sherman Block in an interview shortly after Simpson’s release.

A day after Simpson was acquitted for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, the suburban Oak Park neighborhood of Goldman’s family was eerily quiet.

There were no television cameras or reporters camped out in front of the home Wednesday. Florists arrived occasionally to deliver flowers.

The Goldmans reportedly were in seclusion to observe Yom Kippur. Their only statement came from a second-story window of their home, where a hand-made, white posterboard sign was placed.

“We believe you Ron and Nicole,” read the message, written in pastel blue, pink and purple.

O.J. Simpson can expect no tax relief from the legal bills in his successful murder defense.

The Internal Revenue Service permits deductions for legal fees only when they are incurred in an effort to produce or collect taxable income.

For example, someone charged with committing a crime in the course of doing business could deduct his lawyers’ fees.

Simpson’s lawyers have never disclosed how much they are charging him, but it is widely thought to be in the millions of dollars.

Retired Gen. Colin Powell said Wednesday the Simpson trial offers “troubling” evidence of continuing racial polarization in the United States.

“I don’t know that we should go into a huge national debate about this,” he told reporters before a book-signing here. “We’ve got to move on.”

But the former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and possible presidential candidate said the different reactions to the trial from blacks and whites is something “we should not walk away and forget about.”

“It should be troubling not to me but to all Americans that there is still polarization,” he said.

In a Los Angeles Times telephone poll immediately after the verdict, nearly three out four people questioned said race was an important influence in the trail and 23 percent said it was the most part. And a CBS News poll had 59 percent of whites saying the verdict was wrong and 87 percent of blacks saying it was correct.

Powell, who is considering a Republican or independent bid for the presidency, said the same America that gave “an incredible opportunity to me as a black” still leaves many citizens trapped by their circumstances.

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