Friday, December 5, 2008

The Juice Done Been Squoze!!!

When O.J.Simpson was convicted on October 3, 2008, it barely made a blip on the collective radar screen. There were a couple of stories here & there, but nothing like the total news coverage of his murder trial in 1995.


(AP Photo/Daniel Gluskoter)


Or the coverage today of his sentencing for armed robbery & kidnapping. He is the lead story of every newscast.


Oct. 3, 2008 Thirteen years to the day after he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife and her friend, a Clark County jury found Simpson and Stewart guilty on all 12 counts. Sentencing is scheduled for December 5. Simpson faces life in prison.

O.J. Simpson, was found guilty on 12 counts including kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon stemming from an alleged incident involving the theft of his sports memorabilia. A weary and somber Simpson released a heavy sigh as the charges were read by the clerk in Clark County District Court.

The Hall of Fame football star was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and 10 other charges for gathering up five men a year ago and storming into a room at a hotel-casino, where the group seized several game balls, plaques and photos. Prosecutors said two of the men with him were armed; one of them said Simpson asked him to bring a gun.

Simpson's co-defendant, Clarence "C.J." Stewart, 54, also was found guilty on all charges in the Las Vegas case.

Sentencing for the 61-year-old former football star was set for Dec. 5.

Kidnapping is punishable by five years to life in prison. Armed robbery carries a mandatory sentence of at least two years behind bars, and could bring as much as 30.

Simpson, who now lives in Miami, did not testify but was heard on a recording of the confrontation screaming that the dealers had stolen his property. "Don't let nobody out of this room," he declared and told the other men to scoop up his items, which included a photo of Simpson with former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Four other men charged in the case struck plea bargains that saved them from potential prison sentences in return for their testimony. Some of them had criminal records or were otherwise compromised in some way. One, for example, was an alleged pimp who testified he had a revelation from God telling him to take a plea bargain. Memorabilia dealer Thomas Riccio, who arranged and secretly recorded the hotel-room confrontation, said he netted $210,000 from the media for the tapes.

Similarly, minutes after the Sept. 13, 2007, incident, one of the alleged victims, sports-memorabilia dealer Alfred Beardsley, was calling news outlets, and the other, Bruce Fromong, spoke of getting "big money" from the case.

"The audiotape recording of the incident overcame, I think, serious doubts that jurors may have had about the credibility and the reliability of the witnesses against Simpson," Cohen told CBS News. "And when the defense argued that he case turned on Simpson's intent when he went into that hotel room, jurors simply didn’t buy that Simpson had any innocent motives."

Simpson's past haunted the case. Las Vegas police officers were heard in the recordings chuckling over Simpson's misfortune and crowing that if Los Angeles couldn't "get" him, they would. During jury selection, Simpson's lawyers expressed fears that people who believed he got away with murder might see this case as a chance to right a wrong.

As a result, an unusually large pool of 500 potential jurors was called, and they were given a 26-page questionnaire. Half were almost instantly eliminated after expressing strong feelings that Simpson should have been convicted of murder. The judge instructed the jurors to put aside Simpson's earlier case.

In closing arguments, Galanter acknowledged that what Simpson did to recover his memorabilia was not right. "But being stupid, and being frustrated is not being a criminal," he said. He added: "This case has taken on a life of its own because of Mr. Simpson's involvement. You know that. I know that. Every cooperator, every person who had a gun, every person who had an ulterior motive, every person who signed a book deal, every person who got paid money, the police, the district attorney's office, is only interested in one thing: Mr. Simpson."

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- Former gridiron great O.J. Simpson will serve at least nine years in prison for his role in an armed confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel in 2007. O.J. Simpson told the judge Friday that he was sorry for what he did but didn't think it was wrong.



Simpson was sentenced to a maximum of 33 years after a rambling, emotional apology in which he told District Judge Jackie Glass, his voice shaking, that he was sorry for his actions but believed he did nothing wrong. Glass, however, brushed his apology aside, saying his actions amounted to "much more than stupidity," and calling him both arrogant and ignorant.

"Earlier in this case, at a bail hearing, I said to Mr. Simpson, I didn't know if he was arrogant, ignorant or both," Glass said. "During the trial and through this proceeding, I got the answer, and it was both."

She stressed that the sentence was not "payback for anything else," apparently referring to Simpson's acquittal 13 years ago in the slayings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. Video Watch the judge say the sentence isn't about the past »

Grimacing, Simpson was escorted from the courtroom in shackles.

Defense attorneys said Glass' sentence was appropriate.

"It could have been a lot worse," Yale Galanter said, noting that Simpson and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart both could have been sentenced to life in prison. Instead, Simpson will be eligible for parole in nine years.

"We're happy that this case is coming to an end," Clark County district attorney David Roger said. "We're satisfied that we presented a good case to a jury, that the jury listened to all the evidence, particularly the audiotapes, and came to the resolution that we asked them to come to." He said he thought the sentence was fair.

Goldman's father and sister were in the courtroom for Friday's sentencing.

"The back of his head looks the same as it did every day that we watched him in the criminal case, and we feel very proud of our efforts," Kim Goldman said. "We feel very strongly that because of our pursuit of him for all these years, that it did drive him to the brink of this."

Although Simpson was acquitted in the deaths, a civil jury later found him liable, slapping him with a $33 million judgment. Attorneys for the Goldman family have doggedly pursued Simpson's financial assets to pay the judgment.

In sentencing Simpson on Friday, Glass noted that he can be heard on tapes of the incident referring to the Goldmans as "gold-diggers" and saying he doesn't want them to get his property.

Galanter said he thought the Goldmans' presence was "inappropriate."

"I don't think they should have been here," he said. "It reminded us all how the criminal justice system can run afoul, because the only thing Simpson should have been judged on is what happened here in Nevada."

Denise Brown, the sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, issued a statement on the sentence saying, "It is very sad to think that an individual who had it all, an amazing career, beautiful wife and two precious children, has ended up like this.

"Allowing wealth, power and control to consume himself, he made a horrific choice on June 12, 1994, which has spiraled into where he is today."

Brown said she was saddened that the couple's two children "once again face the tragedy of yet another parent absent in their lives." In the statement, she asks for prayers for the children, Sydney and Justin, and the Brown family.

But Glass rejected those statements in imposing the sentence.

Simpson's attorneys asked that he be sentenced to no more than six years. A presentencing report recommended an 18-year term.

Stewart received a sentence similar to Simpson's but will be eligible for parole in 7½ years.

"I am as happy as someone could be when they know their client is going to reside for at least seven years in a cage," said Stewart's attorney, Brent Bryson.

Defense attorneys for both Simpson and Stewart have said they will appeal. On Friday, Glass denied motions asking that both defendants be allowed out on bail while the appeal is pending.
What I have the biggest problem with is the Goldman Family's reaction to the sentencing. I understand that they lost their son/brother in a most heinous way, but come on, this was 15 years ago. O.J. was acquitted. It is time to let go of the bitterness & hatred. It's time to move on with your lives.

Outside court, Goldman's father, Fred Goldman, and sister, Kim, said they were delighted with the sentence.



Do I think O.J. committed the 1993 murders? I don't know. But if he didn't do it himself, he sure knows who did because he paid for it. What the Goldmans fail to understand, is that a jury of his peers acquitted him. He used the judicial system & it worked for him. That time, anyway.


I do, however, think that this sentence was way harsher than it needed to be. Even rapists get shorter sentences than what O.J. got. Then again, Jim Bakker got 40 years for swindling his followers. That was just out of line! It just goes to show that in this country, crimes involving money are treated as more heinous than crimes that affect human lives. Our judicial system is broken & needs desperately to be fixed.Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

4 comments:

Kristina P. said...

First, I love the title post for this.

Second, I fully believe that OJ killed Nicole and Ron.

And I think that OJ is exactly where he should be.

The Head Eagle said...

There is sooo much to say! I think you stated it well, our justice system is very broken at times.

Having said that....I remember as a teenager, sitting and watching the trial with my father. Later in life I have taken classes, one which was taught by an investigator that handled the O.J case and I know I could get flogged, but I don't think he committed the crime. Do I think he was involved..yes! Do I think he knows who did it..YES! Do I think he should be held accountable...YES! and Karma has come back and served him sweet justice!

ChicagoLady said...

I agree, there are many things in our government, the judicial system being just one, that are broke in some way.

Queenie Jeannie said...

About damn time is all I have to say!!!!

 

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