Just when we thought it was safe to turn on the television set, O.J. Simpson surfaces again to become the defendant in yet another trial of the century.

Well, after all, 1995 was in the last century. That was when the former college and professional football star was tried and acquitted in Los Angeles of killing his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. But this time, it is Las Vegas where prosecutors will attempt to convict Simpson on one or more of six felony charges after he and others attempted to retrieve a collection of O.J. memorabilia.

Americans ó and perhaps the rest of the world ó will need to brace themselves. Thousands of media outlets have already booked their flights and made their hotel reservations, anticipating a long-term stay. Their assignments, which they are eager to accept, will be covering every move of this latest O.J. Simpson legal saga.

Call in some reporters based in Iraq while youíre at it; thereís more important news now to dig up back in the states.

That is the way, at least, the wall-to-wall coverage of this incident appears to be developing. Itís no different than the circus that developed around the 1994 murders and Simpsonís trial the next year in Los Angeles. Hopefully, the judicial system in Las Vegas will be able to maintain a firmer grip on the process as the criminal justice proceedings unfold.

Simpson remains sitting in jail after accusations of barging into a room in the company of five men, some of them brandishing guns, and confronting two sports memorabilia collectors. Many of those who followed his 1995 trial believe thatís exactly where he should have been during the past 12 years. But others will see this as another example of unfair and discriminatory prosecution. Few people are neutral these days on the topic of O.J. Simpson.

So let the circus of coverage begin. And may justice be served, if that is possible.

Brownwood Bulletin