O.J.’s Sentencing Speech Causes Spectators to Weep, Judge to Reverse Conviction

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Wait, I'm reading this wrong — turns out he was the only one weeping, and the judge didn't buy his bullsh*t for a second.  He got 15 years in prison.

I stand corrected.

O.J. Simpson did address the court this morning at the sentencing hearing related to his October 3 conviction in Las Vegas for armed robbery, kidnapping, and assault. The conviction came 13 years — to the day — after Simpson was acquitted of killing Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.

Simpson was prosecuted for bringing some cronies, one of whom had a gun, to a meeting at a hotel where Simpson demanded a variety of sports memorabilia that he said belonged to him.  One of the participants secretly recorded the meeting, and O.J. could be heard giving orders and making demands.  Prosecutors said that Simpson was the "ringleader" of the group and "chose to use force and violence to take this property."  No one was injured, but the case "could have turned out a lot worse" because of Simpson's actions,  prosecutor David Rogers told the judge.

Simpson's attorneys conceded that their client was "clearly . . . not using good judgment" when he charged into the meeting with an armed posse.  (One described his actions as "beyond stupid.")  But they asked for a lenient sentence, partly because it was only a mild kidnapping.  "This isn't one of those kidnappings where you have people egregiously detained, tied up, pushed into a safe," and so on, said defense attorney Gabe Grasso.  No, it's not one of those.  Nor is it one of those kidnappings where you have someone buried in a shipping crate with only a tube for air, or suspended in a cage over a pool of sharks in your secret base under a dormant volcano.  So let's try to keep this in perspective.

Grasso also argued that Simpson deserved leniency because he was a "first-time offender who showed no criminal intent."  First-time offender.  This is like saying "don't even think about the elephant in the room," the elephant in this case of course being the 1994 murders, of which Simpson was somehow acquitted but then was found liable for in a civil suit, and about which he then wrote a book called "If I Did It," in which he detailed how he might have committed the murders that he denied having anything to do with.  That elephant.

For O.J.'s part, he suggested he was still "confused" about the whole brouhaha.  "I stand here today sorry, somewhat confused," he told the judge, fighting back tears.  "I feel apologetic to the people of the state of Nevada," he continued, presumably meaning the ones he had held at gunpoint.  And yet, it was unclear just what he was apologizing for. "I didn't want to steal anything from anybody," he said.  "I just wanted my personal things.  I was stupid.  I'm sorry.  I didn't know I was doing anything illegal.  I thought I was confronting friends."  And sometimes good friends just need a little armed encouragement.

Judge Jackie Glass was unimpressed.  The words he spoke in court, she said, were not as powerful as the ones on tape.  "Everything in this case was on tape," she told Simpson.  "And it's your own words, Mr. Simpson . . . that brought you here to this seat in my courtroom.  The evidence in this case was overwhelming.  You went to the room.  You took guns.  You used force.  You took property, and in this state, that amounts to robbery with the use of a deadly weapon."  She continued, "[e]arlier in this case . . . I said to Mr. Simpson I didn't know if he was arrogant, ignorant, or both.  During the trial and through this proceeding I got the answer.  It was both."

Although this may seem bad for O.J., there may be a silver lining, since now he can devote 100 percent of his time to his continuing search for the real killers of Ron and Nicole.

Link: CNN.com