Saturday, October 4, 2008

13 Years Overdue

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 3) -- Thirteen years to the day after being acquitted of killing his wife and her friend in Los Angeles, O.J. Simpson was found guilty of robbing two sports-memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel room.
The 61-year-old former football star was convicted of all 12 counts late Friday after jurors deliberated for more than 13 hours. He released a heavy sigh as the charges were read and was immediately taken into custody.
Simpson, who went from American sports idol to celebrity-in-exile after his murder acquittal, could spend the rest of his life in prison.
His attorney said he would appeal.
Many people considered the four-week trial justice delayed. Simpson was cleared in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in one of the most sensational trials of the 20th century, but was later found liable for the deaths in a civil case.
"I don't like to use the word payback," defense attorney Yale Galanter said. "I can tell you from the beginning my biggest concern ... was whether or not the jury would be able to separate their very strong feelings about Mr. Simpson and judge him fairly and honestly."
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 and taken into custody.
Simpson showed little emotion as officers handcuffed him and walked him out of the courtroom. His sister, Carmelita Durio, sobbed behind him in the arms of Simpson's friend, Tom Scotto, who said "I love you" as Simpson passed by. As spectators left the courtroom, Durio collapsed.
Jurors made no eye contact with the defendants as they entered the courtroom. They declined to answer questions after the verdict was read.
Galanter said his client had expected the outcome, and in a courthouse conversation with an Associated Press reporter on Thursday, Simpson had implied as much.
Simpson said he was "afraid that I won't get to go to my kids' college graduations after I managed to get them through college."
You think this is just a coincidence that 13 years to the day that he was acquitted of a murder he so obviously at least to me committed, he is now convicted and faces up to life in prison? It's interesting to me that his concern is being "afraid that I won't get to go to my kids' college graduations after I managed to get them through college." What about Nicole, the children's mother? She not only won't get to go to their college graduations but she has already missed them growing up and will never get to attend any event for them. What about that book he wrote about if he did commit those murders, how we would have done it. Are you serious? One major flaw in our justice system in my opinion is Double Jeopardy. I understand that we can't have people tried over and over again for the same charge. But I don't get how someone can basically release a book confessing to a crime and go out and play golf that afternoon, because they've already been cleared. Something just doesn't sit right with me about that. I remember exactly where I was when OJ Simpson's passport and money-filled white bronco was fleeing the police and every station interrupted programming to follow it. I was 14 years old. I was sitting on my bed a futon in my room in Houston. I was watching the NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets & New York Knicks. Where were you?