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October 4th, 2008
10:19 AM ET

O.J. Trial: Simpson got no last look

The verdicts are read in O.J. Simpson's armed robbery and kidnapping trail.
The verdicts are read in O.J. Simpson's armed robbery and kidnapping trail.

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

The O.J. Simpson three-ring, huge crowds, big show, never materialized during his Las Vegas trial.
"Juice" was just a media afterthought, with his men behaving badly case buried by election stories and dispatches of an economic meltdown.

The media parking lot was two thirds empty.

So no O.J. Media circus under bright lights, but instead a twisted sideshow seemingly rolled in off a flatbed truck with the freaks climbing onto the unpaved road.

The witness stand became the dimly lit stage for all manner of jaw-dropping mutants.
They took their turns - obscenity gushing gunmen, double-talking hucksters, fawning admirers.
All of them linked somehow to the formerly acquitted major football and minor acting star.
The witness stories meandered like ivy grows, just moving forward and tangled.
But the freaks told a tale that sent Simpson directly to jail, do not pass go and get the hell out of Judge Jackie Glass' courtroom.

Walk out of the wooden front doors room courtroom 15A and you look upon a picture postcard of the Las Vegas strip.

Simpson got no last look.

There was no last bombastic walk before the cameras in handcuffs either.

They hauled perhaps the world's most infamous defendant through a side door, a tunnel and into jail across the street.

The Friday Night in Las Vegas was warm and windy and filled with theories of superstition and bad karma.
A Las Vegas jury threw the book at Simpson, knocking him out exactly 13 years after he was acquitted of double murder.

The jury deliberated 13 hours.

There wasn't a black cat in the courtroom, but there was a blackout, a momentary flicker of darkness in the side show tent when the power went out.

Most of the country slept when the court clerk read guilty repeatedly against Simpson and his buddy Clarence "C.J." Stewart.

The prosecution was 24 for 24 on all those kidnapping and armed robbery charges - two defendants, twelve guilty verdicts each.

The prosecutors refused to gloat in public, the jurors walked away in the dark without comment.
With little fanfare, O.J. Simpson became new kid on the cell block.

soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Donald

    Well i guess thats the justice that all Black high profile people get........i would generally assume that the jury was diverse but that did not happen. I do not know how people totally missed the plot behind this, from the get go of the so called robbery an unsanctioned recording takes place of which OJ does not know, i would assume that if he knew there was guns involved he would just give the order on when to draw them. I am really disgusted at the fact that this kind of justice still exists......guilty by being innocent in a high profile case that people generally thought you were guilty. If OJ was a KILLER i would assume at least on person in that group was going to leave in a body bag

    October 6, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  2. JGM

    Very sad ending for OJ. It could have been so different. The loss of lives, and the copping lives, the wasted life. Terribly sad that OJ didn't get help for his anger and insecurity problems years ago when he needed it.

    October 6, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  3. Kathy

    Regardless of whether he did or did not get away with murder 13 years ago, one would have expected him to be more careful and not get into brush after brush with the law as he did. In the end his celebrity did hurt him – he thought he was invincible ... untouchable ... He took one too many risks. You can only play russian roulette so long. You break the law (or make a 'mistake' as Nate below says), you pay in our society.

    October 6, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  4. GLORIA

    I think the jury did a very good job. I heard OJ talking on the the tapes. He was laughing the loudest. He thought if they all got their stories straight, they would have no problems. Sorry OJ, the jury was not afraid to find you guilty. If he was just going after his personal stuff, why didn't he take the cops to preserve the peace? He didn't take the cops because he new the mementos were assets he had hidden for years from Goldman family for the judgement they had against him. He had been selling mementos for years and doing autograph signings using other people's names to get the money. He didn't want to take the chance of cops keeping the stuff to be given to Goldman family. OJ will fit right in with the scum bags in prison. I think justice has finally come back to bite him. He is already getting special treatment, being kept separate from other felons.

    October 6, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  5. Bev, Town of Tonawanda, NY

    Please folks, dry your tears. He's exactly where he belongs. I suppose that wasn't him on the tapes? Like those "ugly ass shoes" weren't his, and the picture of him wearing them was faked? Yes, people can come to a conclusion based on the EVIDENCE.

    October 6, 2008 at 12:03 pm |
  6. SUZY

    I can't THANK the jury enough for their verdict...Finally OJ got what he so long deserved! INPRISONMENT!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 at 11:51 am |
  7. Susie

    I watched the trial 13 yrs. ago and thought OJ should have been convicted of a double murder. I am an avid watcher of InSession and I believe that this whole ordeal was a witch hunt. The jury selected was unfair, Judge Glass was unfair, and I don't believe OJ got a fair trial. McClinton should be serving the most time for waving the gun around. OJ wasn't even armed and he's looking at life (NOT FAIR!) I believe the guns were brought along for protection only. McClinton made things go bad and turned it into a kidnapping/burglary !!!! He's the thug!!! OJ chose the wrong people to assist him in getting his things back which I believe he had every right to get back. Pictures of his mother, come on........

    October 6, 2008 at 11:45 am |
  8. Sharon

    How could anyone say he was not guilty! Amazing what some cannot see even when they are hearing it right from the horse's mouth. Tapes do not lie.

    October 6, 2008 at 11:43 am |
  9. Donna Frankson

    I could not be more disappointed in our Jury system. I believe that the Jury took the past into consideration in making their decision. The prosecution witness's lied and the Jury bought it. Alexander admitted he would slant his testimony toward who ever gave him the best deal, WHAT PART OF THAT DOES THE JURY NOT UNDERSTAND. The jurors should be ashamed of their decision. I can only hope that the higher courts system will see all the things that went wrong in this trail and correct them in a new trail. The Justice System does not always get it right, but in this trial they got it ALL WRONG. I feel they already knew what their decision was going to be. They can say they did not consider past acts, but I DON'T BUY IT. Also, it happened on the 13th, 13 hours of deliberation, 13 years since the murder trail, AND THEY DID NOT TAKE THE PAST ACTS IN TO CONSIDERATION, give me a break.

    October 6, 2008 at 11:27 am |
  10. Louine McManus

    Should we now have a Pity Party for O.J. ? I don't think so.! Just because he was a sports figure at one time does not make him an idol. He just got what any other person would have gotten if they had commited the same crime that he commited. Good job jury!

    October 6, 2008 at 11:25 am |
  11. Tammy

    Mr Simpson and Mr Stewart were overcharged and found guilty on the mere fact that OJ was a defendant, not the facts of the alleged crime (I still say alleged b/c I do not see it or agree with it)shame on these jurors – my faith in the system is fading

    October 6, 2008 at 11:00 am |
  12. Shari

    OJ guilty....you bet he is. Why does he think he can continually break the law and get by with it? He knew they had guns. Just because he is OJ Simpson he can get men to follow him ? Even knowing they are braking the law. He is a dangerous man and belongs behind bars.
    To the jury. A job well done.

    October 6, 2008 at 10:53 am |
  13. linda

    it is something to think about. it was 13 yrs. 13 hrs. and the 3rd of Oct. the same date as the first. then the light's go out. maybe oj's lawyer is right and a higher power was speaking. or maybe it was Ron and Nicole.

    October 6, 2008 at 10:51 am |
  14. Anthony

    "No Justice, No Peace." Until the portion of the country that wanted O.J. guilty for the murders allow O.J. any peace until they got what they called Justice. When will America stop fighting itself?

    October 6, 2008 at 7:01 am |
  15. Maria Quiroz

    I always feel that OJ was guilty, since he murdered his wife.
    I am happy that justice has been done. Nicole must be happy
    in heaven.

    October 6, 2008 at 3:43 am |
  16. Rich

    I hate OJ but this verdict was so unjust. It was definitely payback for the failure of the jury in the criminal trial. It was a sad way to administer justice.

    October 6, 2008 at 1:43 am |
  17. cj

    The thing that bothers me about this case is not that O.J's actions werent illegal based on the criminal code but that, i would like to know about the legitamcy of the ITEMS in that room and how out of all the hotels and such in vegas he was pointed to go to that room and find stuff that was ABOUT HIM - not mario andreditti or shaq or tiger woods or nancy kerigan but his old stuff.

    So i do fault OJ for not making a better decision but i hope on the flip side that other angle will be shown. Plus i hope the judge puts an injuction or makes an order that NO body can profit from this case. At somepoint i wish he would have just LEFT this alone.

    October 6, 2008 at 1:36 am |
  18. eric

    He broke the law – Simple as that ! What an idiot !

    Once he determined that somebody had what he believed was stolen property that belonged to him, he should have shown up with the police..... not a bunch of armed thugs !

    October 6, 2008 at 1:12 am |
  19. Misty

    Such a miscarriage of justice. I didn't know you could be convicted of a weapons charge with actually having one in your posession. Nevada courts and legal system and the jury should be ashamed of the way rail-roaded O.J. Lets hope their "get even cause they didn't agree with the out come of the murder trial 13 years ago" don't come back to bite them in the tush in their personal lives. Maybe them or their loved ones will be the next to meet this vigalanty justice that they handed to O.J. and Mr. Stewart.

    P.S. When in Las Vegas remember to never enter a hotel room when invited in Because there that will get you charged with breaking and entering.

    October 6, 2008 at 12:39 am |
  20. jafus

    Another example of white injustice. O.J. was acquited by an all black jury concerning the murders 13 years ago. The majority of the public never respected the decision. I guess they don't think blacks can make good decisions. Now the all white jury decided to get even. I beleive Cato Kalin has got away with murder, and now has his own show on TV. He had the motive, and was never really viewed as a real suspect. I beleive he was jealous of Ron. They got in an arguement, he killed Ron, Nicole came out and saw what happened so he killed her so there would be no witnesses. How can you have a trail of blood up to the door and not have blood all over the white carpet. And bloody socks were found under the bed? Why didn't those two college students traveling on the plane with O.J. see the cuts on his finger since they were looking at his hands to see his superbowl ring? Why didn't the people at the airport that he gave autographs to see the cuts on his hand? I can't feel sorry for O.J. because he knew people were just waiting for something to send him to jail for, and he kept during stupid things.

    October 6, 2008 at 12:37 am |
  21. Scott

    The evidence clearly showed that OJ is clearly guilty. The audio tapes did him in. Also there is no way he did not see any weapons in such a small room. I hope he rots in prison while being bubas wife. Enjoy the honeymoon OJ.

    October 6, 2008 at 12:36 am |
  22. pamela kenney

    Four casino bus crashes in two months. Coincedence?

    Has anyone invested?

    October 5, 2008 at 11:48 pm |
  23. Donna

    It was only a matter of time that the system would get him, how ironic, 13 hours, 13 years....and another mistake of justice. Yet, I am not surprised, they were determined to get him at any cost, thank goodness for an appeal court who may have a fair jury this time, and not people tainted with their own prejudices of years past...Free OJ

    October 5, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  24. Shayleen

    PLEASE could someone tell me why if the "property" was taken back in the late 90's, there is a football signed by OJ and dated 2003?

    October 5, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  25. Suzanne - TN

    Sounds like OJ's own anger and words on the tape played a large part in his conviction. I'm glad to see this guilty sentence; no one is above the law, even OJ.

    October 5, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  26. Aida

    I believe that the defense acted arrogant and got the oppossite results they expected from the jurors. Both attorneys interrupted and acted solely for the media. They are not as good as court tv indicates every hour on the hour.

    October 5, 2008 at 9:42 pm |
  27. Terrel

    The final chapter in all of this drama is the sweetest of revenge. This verdict will finally commence the healing of all the harm done by that monster. The verdict also puts all of his supporters, who lack moral compass, right in their place.

    October 5, 2008 at 9:18 pm |
  28. prelshea

    KARMA! BABY! KARMA!

    Subject: OJ – GUILTY – AFTER 13 YEARS!
    
    For OJ. the deadliest weapon was his tongue, you could hear him cussing and screaming like a mad man on that tape. The jurors didn't care if he wasn't guilty or innocent its pay-back time and got darn he is going down tonight.....

    Here is my scenario – OJ has never dealt with himself by beating that not guilty in butchering his wife Nicole and Ron Goldman. Ron who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. OJ knows that he had to take Ron Goldman out because he happens to be there and he had to make sure the both of them had to die.....OJ did not care if Nicole died that night, but to take out someone that had nothing to do with anything weighed heavy on him. Now he can breathe again and as much as he looked hurt at that trial, he knows darn well he did killed two people and deep down he needs to pay for it........

    Peace!

    October 5, 2008 at 7:45 pm |
  29. JimC

    Praise the Lord, justice has been done. I hope O.J. enjoys life behind bars.

    Well... actually I hope he's miserable beyond words. Maybe his cellmate can do to him what he's done to everyone else for most of his life.

    October 5, 2008 at 7:37 pm |
  30. Donna

    He wasn't guilty of all those charges, and we all know it! This jury found him guilty of the past, shame on you jury!

    October 5, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  31. Patrick of Ohio

    I can't believe this, I trully can't believe this.

    We're on the cusp of economic crisis, we just doled out 810 billion dollars to corporations to keep their CEOs at their desks after running their companies into the ground and nearly bringing America down with them.

    And OJ Simpson is the spotlight of your blogs?!

    THAT IS OUTRAGEOUS! At least try to distract us from the real issues with something other than celebrity gossip.

    October 5, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  32. Denny

    Nate, if you like his so much have him live is your area and you can pay for his lawyers since he can not afford a dream team now. SHAME on you for thinking that he was not guilty.

    October 5, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  33. Denny

    I am so sick of hearing people that he was convicted because of the murder trial 13 years ago. OJ thinks that he can ger away with anythin, actually he has for 13 years. This time he had a no none sense judge, and an audio tape of the robbery. It was not hard to find him guilty. This verdict just shows that people are tired of famous people, and stars getting away with anything. We are all the same and should ALL be accountable for our actions. He robbed people of property that he did not own (it beonged to the goldmen's or should have). He wanted guns brought in and now he is paying the price. Thank God the jury looks past the past and judges him for his actions. No dream team this time.

    October 5, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  34. Kerri - Calgary, Canada

    Interesting, the wrong verdict was rendered 13 years ago and the wrong verdict was rendered on Friday. I am mistified. I watched both trials from start to finish and just don't understand. I do know that the defense must have been out of their minds to NINE WHITE WOMEN on the jury.

    Judge Jackie Glass was in far to much of a hurry to get this verdict. She was constantly pushing....she never seemed to let the lawyers try their case. I have never seen a judge before that was so involved and was on and on with her non stop with her "commentary".

    It's so spooky as to how this verdict came down with number 13 being the unlucky number for OJ. The verdict's both of them are wrong. What does that mean? Do they cancel each other out. I am so very confused.

    October 5, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  35. Kathy

    OJ is in jail most likley because of the murder trial of his wife, except he was found innocent. I don't think this guy will ever get a fair trial no matter what he does. The only good thing is that I will no longer have to see the face of Fred Goldman any more I hope. I am so very sick of seeing that guy on TV. The news puts that mans face on tv every time OJ's name comes up and it is an insult to the famlies of crime victims all over because everyone forgets about them except their famlies when the story is over and the person responsible has been found guilty. Other famlies still try to get by even if they never find out who killed their loved ones and no one puts their faces on the news to help them keep their cases open and pressure the police keep looking for the person or persons responsible for their deaths. Get it news people?

    October 5, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  36. Shane

    Finally justice has been served ! lol .. I'm glad he's going to jail cause that's where he belongs anyways? I mean you can't tell me that this man did not have a hand into his wife's murder? Even if maybe he wasn't at the crime scene he probably payed someone else to do his dirty work and evil work. I'm glad the jury was able to see this through ...

    October 5, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  37. James

    A set-up , hardly .What came first , it was OJ going into the room with his thugs and GUNS . Then the Cops get involved . The Police did not set this up to lure Simpson into the Hotel and sieze the GOODS . Excuses are always made for celebrities , WHY. We owe them nothing and We really don't know them . WE mere mortals are not given that luxury . If anyone enters a room to get whatever with thugs and guns are we to forgive that as a mis-understanding , I don't think so .What goes around comes around and Simpson has made it a full circle . Sorry Simpson but what happens in Vegas , you know the rest .

    October 5, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  38. Craig

    I believe O.J. was guilty of the murders of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. I was shocked when he was acquitted of these charges. With that said, from what I see O.J. was set up from start to finish on this current case. If he recieves life in prison for these charges it only validates the views that the jurors held in the murder trial that led to the acquittal.

    October 5, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  39. Jean

    Dear Anderson,

    I am e-mailing today regarding Governor Palin's comments Saturday (10/4/08) about Senator Obama's association with William Ayers. I am watching Late Edition now as Wolf is discussing this with Gloria Borger, Ed Henry, and Candy Crowley. No one has mentioned Governor Palin's and her husband's association with the Alaskan Independent Party and its desire to have Alaska secede from the United States. This is an area that needs some thorough investigation into regarding Governor Palin's VP candidacy. Senator Obama appears to be trying to take the high road and not launch personal attacks against Governor Palin because there are enough facts out there about Senator McCain, Cindy McCain, Governor Palin and Todd Palin. CNN ran Reverend Wright's comments over and over because of Senator Obama's relationship with him. I am an avid viewer of CNN because I think you try to be impartial and objective when reporting the news. However, to leave facts out about one candidate when the same type of facts have been put out there over and over about another candidate fairness or impartiality. I still remain a viewer of CNN but I hope you all do try to be fair.

    October 5, 2008 at 12:56 pm |
  40. jewel

    I'm shocked at the verdict.
    I thought Kidnapping was when you take a person from a location to another location,and hold them against their will....preplanned ,premeditated..
    The statement .Don't let them go any where ..is often used to detain someone...until you can sort out a problem..Store detectives have been known to ,hold a person for Shoplifting,detained them against their will,and when the person was not guilty ,dismissed it with I'm sorry... Was that not holding that person,against their will?
    Give OJ a punishment fitting the crime..His so called friends should be ashamed..

    October 5, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  41. Nancy

    Hoorah! The Las Vegas jury got it exactly right. Defandant Simpson got away with CRIMES twice. He should have kept his head down and walked the straight and narrow but NO he thought he was untouchable by the law. Everyone complains about all his "buddies/gang trying to make money off of Simpson, but what about Simpson trying to make money by writing a book about the murder and basically flaunting the fact that he got away with murder. There was more than enough evidence that a crime was commited in Las Vegas and Simpson was right in the middle of it. None of the co-defendants twisted his arm to go into that hotel room. Also, unless Simpson was blind and deaf, he knew guns were involved. My personal opinion is that he did indeed tell the men to bring the guns. WHY WOULD ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND THINK THIS MAN IS A PERSECUTED "HERO"?

    October 5, 2008 at 11:18 am |
  42. Barbara

    I don't agre with Nate, OJ was not hounded. He was his own worst enemy. He drew 30-40 thousand a month retirement from the NFL. Why in the world put your life on the line, just to get some "stuff". And requesting guns to be there was his biggest downfall. How stupid this man is!!!

    October 5, 2008 at 10:56 am |
  43. Nancy

    Why is it that when OJ gets in trouble its because "he was set up". First it was LAPD doing it now it's Las Vegas PD. Maybe OJ 's bad behavior is just catching up with him. Hmmmm

    October 5, 2008 at 10:34 am |
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