OJ Simpson Possibly Facing Life in Prison
The Juice did not get such a sweet deal this time around. Thirteen years to the day after being acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend, OJ Simpson was convicted of kidnapping and robbery, among other crimes, at the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Simpson faces a minimum of fifteen years in a state penitentiary, with a possibility of parole after five years. That is the best case scenario. Worst-case scenario puts him in prison for the rest of his life and beyond. The judge who presided the case, Jackie Glass, has the discretion as to whether Simpson will serve twelve consecutive terms, again, the minimum of which is fifteen years to life, for first-degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon, along with eleven other felonies. Simpson is sixty-one years old.
Simpson does, of course have the right to an appeal, which, undoubtedly his legal team was working on while they were still working on his current trial. Surely a contingency plan was in place. Simpson's attorney's will be likely to point out that there was not an African-American on the jury. It is also highly plausible that they will scour the prosecution's case for any technical errors, and will likely take advantage of the possibility that the jury could have theoretically been tainted by bias about Simpson's 1995 acquittal of the 1994 murder of his ex-wife and mother of his two youngest children, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Those who were convinced of Simpson's guilt in 1995 were further embittered by the savagery of the crime, the murderer having nearly completely decapitated Ms. Simpson. Ronald Goldman was a waiter at Mezzaluna, an Italian restaurant where Nicole Simpson's mother had left her glasses the day of the murders. He had been dropping the glasses off at Nicole's home. He was, quite literally, and most unfortunately, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Although Simpson was found to be not guilty of the murder charges, there is still, even to this day, strong sentiment among the American public as to the fact of Simpson's guilt or innocence in the murders. The murder and the sensational trial that followed was a catalyst for many a heated debates about race and the American judicial system. For the better part of a year, an undercurrent of racial tension ran, with the general consensus of half the population being that if Simpson walked, it would only be because the jury did not want to be accused of racism. The other half of the country felt just as strongly that if Simpson was convicted, it would only be because he was African-American. There was speculation that there could be riots in major urban cities.
The current legal trouble Simpson has found himself in stems from an incident that occurred last year in a Las Vegas hotel room, where Simpson convinced five other men, on of whom claims Simpson instructed to bring a gun, to help him forcibly confiscate sports memorabilia that Simpson claims was his property. The men who had possession of the memorabilia were there for a convention, to sell the collectibles. For some yet inexplicable reason, Simpson showed about as much forethought as he did with the wild, careening ride through downtown Los Angeles in the infamous white Ford Bronco. He, along with four other men, two of whom were carrying guns, and whom Simpson claims he did not know, ambushed the two collectors, taking with them, according to the two victims, hundreds of sports memorabilia items, some of which weren't even related to Simpson, but to other sports stars. He also claims he wasn't aware the men had guns. Unfortunately for Simpson, the entire incident was caught on audio tape, which was then sold to TMZ for a reported $165,000. Another blow to his case, two of his cohorts rolled over on him and took plea bargains in exchange for testifying against him.
OJ Simpson will remain in the Clark County Detention Center until December 5th, when he will face Judge Jackie Glass again. It will be up Judge Glass as to whether or not OJ Simpson will spend the rest of his life in prison, barring the decision being turned over on appeal. His legal team will, of course, use every available option to the better of the case. The claim that the trial was tainted by bias about the murder trial in 1995 is, for all practical purposes, a moot point, considering coverage of the entire tragic, sensationalized event was broadcast for a full year to every corner of the globe. The other most probable main appellate points, that race placed a major role in the decisions of the all-white jury, and that there were obvious technical errors and legal snafus throughout the prosecution's case, are also both fairly easily dismissed. One point to counteract the race theory is that the jury spent over thirteen hours in deliberation, and went through twelve days of testimony from twenty-two witnesses. The amount of time they spent in deliberation is a good indication that theirs was a thoughtful, serious decision. Whatever "legal snafus" the defense may be able to find in the prosecution's case, it would have to be some grandiose error to outweigh the magnitude of the audiotape that clearly proved Simpson's part in the crime.
There is, of course, a popular notion that OJ Simpson has finally gotten what was coming to him, albeit thirteen years late. Although this most current legal trouble didn't draw quite as much media attention as the last, there are those who feel that justice has finally been served. Gone is the strapping young man in the snazzy football uniform, smiling to the cameras, hero to kids and adults alike. In his place is a drawn, tired man, whose hedonistic, completely self-absorbed lifestyle may have finally caught up with him. There are not as many high-powered telescopic lenses hoping to catch even the faintest sight of him for a picture as there were in 1995. Paula Barbieri is not there to comfort him. There are fewer, if any, signs telling the champ to just keep fighting. OJ Simpson has let his temper and complete disregard for the law and the rights of others to destroy his life. He is a laughingstock. The conspiracy theorists are already jumping on the "13" bandwagon, pointing out all the different ways that the number thirteen plays a role in the crime and the case. It could be noted that it is almost sad that an All-American hero such as OJ Simpson, once so adored by the American public, is now just a common criminal, a street thug whose newest fans will be sending him fan mail on X-Files stationery.
Tags: Oj Simpson , The Juice , Nicole Brown Simpson , Ron Goldman , Mezzaluna , Murder , Robbery , Las Vegas , Sports Memorabilia , Trial
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