Simpson Sentenced Up to 33 Years

081205-oj-speaks2300wA Nevada judge has sentenced O.J. Simpson to up to 33 years for his role in taking property in a Las Vegas hotel that he claimed was stolen from him. While this may not be popular, I think the sentence is excessive and that the entire case was overcharged. He was convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and assault 13 years to the day after his acquittal in the killings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Lyle Goldman.

Before sentencing, a clearly upset Simpson, 61, apologized in court and insisted he was merely trying to recover property that had been stolen from him. For the video of his statement in court, click here. He was facing a recommendation of 18 years in a pre-sentence report.

Judge Jackie Glass was unmoved and repeatedly referenced his words on the tape — showing that tapes not only have an overwhelming impact of juries but judges also. She stated “[e]verything in this case was on tape. 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.”

There is no question that he deserved to be prosecuted and deserves jail time. However, 33 years? This is not for the earlier murders, which I happen to believe that he committed. This was a serious but not uncommon act. People will often feel empowered when retrieving what they believe is their own property. Yet, no one was injured and there was a valid claim of ownership by Simpson. I can see jail for one or two years, but this is a sentence that you would get on murder charges.

I certainly have no sympathy for Simpson and I am glad that the Goldman family will feel some sense of relief. However, this strikes me as a case where celebrity status worked to the disadvantage of the defendant.

He will be eligible for parole in nine years.

For the full story, click here and .

12 thoughts on “Simpson Sentenced Up to 33 Years”

  1. Wasn’t the motive for Simpson to steal the memorabilia because he still owes the Goldman’s and the Brown family $33 million for the wrongful deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman? Simpson was attempting to commit robbery by stealing the memorabilia and reselling it. Keeping the profits and avoiding having to pay the Goldman and Brown families.

    He got sentenced for first-degree kidnapping, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. The time befits the crime. And to quote mass murderer Richard Speck, prison life provides all the sex and drugs you could need. Party on Juice!

  2. Let me make it clear that I disliked OJ as a football player, highly
    overrated. I further couldn’t stand him as an actor and as a flack after he retired. That said, OJ’s trial coincided with a period in the employ of the NYC Govt., there for a period of months I was persona non grata because of my pissing off a Commissioner by telling him the honest, but unwanted truth. There I was in a large corner office, getting paid for months with nothing to do and instructions by my superiors to literally stay out of sight.

    This coincided with OJ’s trial. Bored stiff I brought in a small TV and watched the entire trial. I believe that the jury’s judgment was correct and based on the case rather than his color. Was he guilty in some way of these murders, probably so, but since our system says reasonable doubt acquits he deserved to go free.

    From the onset of the case the DA’s office tried him in the media.
    The police investigation was botched, replete with lies and common to the LAPD obvious racism. Clark and Darden for the DA were boobs, more interested in the celebrity this brought them, than prosecuting properly. Judge Ito also was caught up in his celebrity moment. The jury ruled correctly, but in some way this guy had something to do with the murder. However, that is our legal system and many people have been unjustly convicted because they lacked OJ’s wealth and fame. Beyond a reasonable doubt is a fair milestone to be achieved by prosecutors in criminal cases and in the OJ murders, watching from a jurors perspective and personally disliking the man, the prosecutors did not reach that milestone.

    Which gets us to the case in point. White America overwhelmingly believes that OJ was a guilty man, released because of the number of black jurors, voting their color. This prosecution from the start took place because it offered an opportunity to extract revenge on this egotistical fool. No doubt the Judge and the Prosecutor see future political capital to be made and the police see rosy visions of promotions in their futures. The jury saw the opportunity to gain some revenge on this murderer who went free.
    From the time of his arrest in this case OJ was “going down,” one way or the other, to be punished for the murder verdict.

    Do I feel sympathy for him? Not in the slightest. Hubris will get you every time and I did believe in his murder guilt. However, I also believe, in the theory at least, of our legal system. To me this wasn’t a trial, but a lynching. I can take no pleasure in this bastard’s getting his just deserves, while the process of getting it done further corrupts our rule of law.

  3. “However, this strikes me as a case where celebrity status worked to the disadvantage of the defendant.” Considering the inverse is usually the SOP, this strikes me less as an injustice and more as karma. Yeah, karma! The whole idea of “celebrity” is nonsense to start with, but I’m very hard to impress. Running around throwing a ball and being a bad actor (double entendre intended) should not qualify someone for hero/celebrity status. It makes one lucky perhaps, but not deserving special social status. Celebrity is a gift we as a society seem to dole out without discretion. I for one am glad to see it misfire for OJ. An indication that the universe still seeks equilibrium.

  4. As usual JT, I agree with your legal analysis of the case, but I can temper my outrage in this particular case.

  5. I Do Not consider this as payback. I see the judge as a stern legal disciplinarian and my background in law enforcement says that she is correct with the sentencing, primarily because of the firearms use.

    If Mr. Simpson conducts himself with good behavior, he can be released in 9 years. Then I would like to see the man I once admired become accepted by society as a criminal who has paid his debt to that society and then given the full rights granted to an ex-felon.

  6. I agree. This was payback. While his first trial showed how much money and fame can help with the jury, this showed how it can be used by the prosecution and eventually by the judge.

    But it reminds me a little of the scene of Saddam’s execution in this way: When it’s painfully obvious the sentence is payback for past conduct and carried to excess it ends up leaving the state’s, and the court’s, image tarnished in the process.

    It’s one thing for a prosecutor to try to set the stage for a Senate run by catching a big fish; it’s another for the judge to carry out Mark Fuhrman’s wish by going above an already harsh recommendation.

  7. I have to confess to being torn here on the OJ sentence. On the one hand I agree with Professor Turley that clearly there was existing prejudice at play here.

    On the other hand, we’re talking about a man who cut off the heads of two innocent human beings and walked away from it.

    Ultimately I feel that justice lost by not originally getting a conviction for such an obviously guilty man, mostly due to a grandstanding Judge (Ito) and a poorly prepared DA, and now justice is trying to circumvent itself to recoup that loss.

    But at the end of the day, I’m glad they put him away. I’m glad he’s off the streets and I’m glad for OJ, because now he has a chance to at least feel like he’s paid something for this terrible crime even if it is less than he deserved. (9 years isn’t very long for decapitating two people). It’s a sad case all around, because I loved OJ when I was a kid and I was devastated to see him fall from grace.

    Hopefully he’ll find some peace in prison knowing he’s where he belongs.

  8. bictho,

    I fear that you are dyslexic and that you have inadvertently transposed the c & t in your screen name.

  9. Bictho,
    Not only are you a fool, but I suspect a racist fool at that. Your first comment, while a non-sequitor, is obviously referring to Simpson’s color and drawing ignorant analogies. Your second, also a non-sequitor, shows you know nothing about either foreign policy or weaponry. The missile defense system is mainly an unworkable handout to defense contractor’s and if finally effective will only set off a competition that in the end will be expensive and ultimately bring the world closer to destruction. By the tone of your comments I can only guess that you are about as intelligent as Reagan and the Bushies, to you that’s a compliment, to anyone with half a brain it’s an indictment.

  10. THank you Reagan & Bush’es!

    Missile defense gains another success
    posted at 1:00 pm on December 4, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
    Send to a Friend | Share on Facebook | printer-friendly
    Should Israel attack Iran, or should we just blow one of their missiles out of the air during the mullahcracy’s next test? We may be able to do that now, after the Air Force scored another impressive success with its airborne missile-defense platform. IBD notes that the progress gives the US more flexibility in its military plans:

    The news that Iran has enough nuclear material to build a nuclear weapon in relatively short order and is well along on missiles to deliver its nukes has put a sense of urgency on the proposed missile defense system slated for Poland and the Czech Republic.

    Fortunately, another answer to the threat posed by rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea has just passed a critical milestone.

    That answer is the YAL-1A, a modified Boeing 747-400F equipped with the Airborne Laser (ABL) system, which includes a high-energy chemical laser designed to destroy ballistic missiles in their very vulnerable boost phase, missiles such as Iran’s Shahab series.

    The ABL program places a megawatt-class, high-energy Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL) on a modified Boeing 747-400F aircraft to detect, track and destroy all classes of ballistic missiles. ABL also can pass information on launch sites, target tracks and predicted impact points to other layers of the global ballistic missile defense system.

    This week, Boeing and the Missile Defense Agency announced another successful test — the first ground test of the entire weapon system integrated aboard the aircraft, including the firing of a high-energy laser through the ABL beam control/fire control system. Earlier tests had unit-tested other components of the system, particularly the ability to find, track and target missiles in flight.

    After hitting the boost phase, a second shot would strike the missile itself, destroying it. The remnants would land on the nation that fired the missile, which might give them a few second thoughts about launching it in the first place. In fact, they’d have to pray that the second shot hits when the first shot succeeds.

    Next January, the YAL-1A will attempt to shoot down an actual missile during the boost phase, which would make our abilities clear to the rest of the world — including the incoming administration. This gives us more options in dealing with rogue nations, and in deploying missile defense systems. As an option to installing fixed systems in nations where such facilities could create diplomatic tensions, a mobile airborne platform could fly continuous missions in international airspace around the countries posing threats.

    The YAL-1A has another application as well. It can be used to protect the American coastline from submerged missile launches, a threat that had disappeared after the Cold War. If the Iranians can start building nuclear missiles, they may opt to start building submarines as launch platforms, following the lead of the US and the Soviet Union as a means of conducting a sneak attack. The precipitous drop in oil prices puts that kind of production out of reach of the Iranian economy, at least for now, but that won’t last forever.

    General Henry Obering predicted three years ago that the Air Force missile-defense program would give the US its first “light saber”, playing off of the derogatory “Star Wars” label applied to the program by its critics. IBD says, “Let the (Air) Force be with us.” That force appears ready to take its place in America’s arsenal, and not a moment too soon.

  11. Michael Barone has his analysis — and as always, it’s a must read:

    The bottom line: The Obama campaign did a magnificent job of turning out black voters in rural and small-town counties in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia for the November 4 election. But it was not able to replicate those results in the Georgia runoff. Black turnout pretty much matched white turnout in the inner Atlanta area, where black political organizations have been active for many years, but it failed to do so in the outer suburbs with increasing black majorities and in North Georgia counties with few blacks. Black turnout did match statewide levels in black-majority cities in southern Georgia, but not enough to outweigh similar white turnout in adjacent suburban counties. As the analysts at NBC News suggest, Obama coattails that were helpful to many newly elected Democrats in the South in November 2008 may not be so helpful to them in 2010 and any special elections that occur between now and then.

    That suggests another hypothesis: that the Obama turnout effort among blacks may not be replicable. You can only vote to elect the first black president once.

    In contrast, Republicans were able to produce good turnout in affluent suburban Atlanta counties, both those with few blacks and those with growing black populations. This is a countertrend to Obama’s good showings in affluent suburban counties in November—showings often far better than any previous Democrat has done since 1964. This occurred even despite Obama’s relatively moderate choices for top economic policy positions and his hints that he won’t seek tax increases on high earners anytime soon. To be sure, you won’t find any suburban counties outside the South that are as heavily Republican as some of the metro Atlanta counties. Forsyth and Cherokee counties voted more than 80 percent for Chambliss. I’m not aware of any suburban counties outside the South that vote 80 percent Republican, and even in 2004 George W. Bush did not win more than 80 percent of the vote in any congressional district in the nation. But the results here do suggest that other Democrats will have a hard time duplicating Obama’s percentages in affluent suburban counties. Note that this runoff took place when opinion is very favorable to Obama and when he has been getting credit for bipartisan or at least nonpartisan appointments (Robert Gates, Timothy Geithner).

Comments are closed.