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. ray

    I used to like O.J. as a ball player but since Nicole and Ron,s death I followed that Trial real close and I truly fell He got what he deserves. The Lawers for O.J. where all bought and and the Jury were all scared if they found him guilty. This jury was not scared in coming with the right verdict. Mr. Scotto you been had by O.J.Simpson. He needed a scapegoat and you was it just like all the rest of them that Thought O.J. was a nice guy. To the Goldman's Justice is finially done

    October 5, 2008 at 10:14 am |
  2. Troy

    He's an idiot...yup there is bias in our system, in society as a whole. Everyone know who OJ is...I just don't understand why they are throwing the option of life as a sentence out there. For what? He isn't being charged for murder, and doesn't have any priors,

    October 5, 2008 at 6:00 am |
  3. Kingsley (Switzerland)

    I am not a fan of O. J. Simpson. I find him arrogant, foolish and reckless. However, the way and manner he was tried leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It was simply jungle justice or what one could call Judicial linching.

    October 5, 2008 at 1:34 am |
  4. mauriice udobia

    Nothing is hidden under the sun.This was not a trap like some portray it to be.This was Nicole and his friend begging God to use his power and bring their killer to justice.

    October 5, 2008 at 1:09 am |
  5. Peter

    This is the story of a man who finally broke down from his own guilt. He grew tired of living with the constant memory of committing murder against a woman he loved, and not having to pay for it. He can now finally say to Nicole and Ron, "Okay. I'm sorry. I am now paying for what I did to you". He has finally brought closure to himself, to many other loved ones, and to the justice system as we know it today. This man will now breath easier than he has in thirteen years.

    October 5, 2008 at 12:48 am |
  6. Tina

    They had his personal stuff, and the CA police and FBI refused to help after several requests. If someone had my stuff, my family stuff, my Mom's stuff, I would want it back. The ONLY real issue here is the stupid thugs who had guns. Now that was dumb and unfortunate for OJ. But other than that, he went to get his stuff back. And if they had not called the police – the ones who wanted to make money on the scam – and if this was not O.J. – it would have just been a minor scuffle in a Las Vegas hotel room to retreive property from some scumbag dealers and thugs.

    October 4, 2008 at 11:59 pm |
  7. Cindy

    This was an armed robbery. There were two guns involved in the crime. Not only could the people holding the memorabilia have got hurt or killed, but also the men in the room, including Mr. Simpson could have been injured. The jury came to the right decision despite Mr. Simpson's past. Do not say they were biased because of his first criminal trial. There was just too much evidence in this trial to find him not quilty.

    October 4, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  8. Maria

    Smells like a great setup to me!!! UNBELEIVEABLE!!! 13 years later and 13 hrs of deliberation....what a show...only in Vegas!!! Since when is someone guilty based on opinions and not the facts??? This man has been hounded for 13 years, they were just waiting to get him again. Surprised the haven't got him for watering his grass on a raining day!!!! He clearly was found guilty this time, because of all the hatred from the last trial....your justice system is critical condition!!! If you don't smell a setup, then come to this side of the border.

    disgusted in Canada

    October 4, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  9. carol kesling

    people should not blame the jury for o.js. indescretions.. they watched all the evidence and all the witness's for 3 long weeks !!!!! they made the decisions the way they saw it, NO MORE give them credit for being able to put their own thoughts aside.... witch i think they DID!!!!! some of you may think it was payback, but in the end it was O.J. who walked in that room and made a BIGGGGG MISTAKEEEE!!! so think long and hard before you put the blame on the jury !!!!!!!

    October 4, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  10. rick

    Sorry OJ , but you got what you deserve. Try to circumvent the law and the long arm of the law will snatch you from freedom. I agree that the kidnapping charge was perhaps a bit harsh, but, dang , you knew there were guns. Face the music with a modicum of dignity. Watch the appeals fail as you spend the golden years behind bars. Best Wishes, Rick

    October 4, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  11. Kristine

    Hello!? Anyone who goes to a room to take something away from someone else by GUN point and basically takes people hostage, deserves what they get!!! The fact that it is OJ just makes it bigger than if it were Ed Smith. And the fact that it was OJ implies that the 'memorabilia' was probably worth more than has been implied. Regardless of what it was worth, it didn't really 'belong' to OJ anyway as he has a judgement against him....does it sound curious that the jury deliberated for 13 hours on the 13th anniversary of his acquittal for the double murders? Yeah, But karma is weird like that; or haven't you ever noticed?

    October 4, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  12. M R A

    This guy should have never even considered being associated with these thugs the way he was. What did he expect? With all the publicity he was generating he should have lead an exemplary life, but he chose to not do so. Did the courts set him up? I doubt it. Did the polioce? I'm not sure, but he was stupid to even consider being in association with these people.
    That said there is still no law against being an idiot. Perhaps there ought to be a law called criminal stupidity.

    October 4, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  13. JoAnn

    OJ wasn't hounded he just couldn't stay out of trouble. He kept playing
    with fire and he finally got burned. Hope he gets a very long stay in Nevada.

    October 4, 2008 at 8:17 pm |
  14. dena

    IF this was a real case on O.J the world would have been watching this was a farce set-up I hope the J uors feel good about this in -Justice they became a party of lets get O.J.

    October 4, 2008 at 6:54 pm |
  15. Debbie

    The real injustice is that this man, O.J. Simpson, walked the face of the earth for 13 years as a free man when a prejudiced "gloves don't fit" jury found him innocent of killing Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. It's apparent that Judge Glass was not going to entertain a media circus or a Mad Hatter's tea party in her courtroom. This jury was not going to be "prejudiced" like the last, nor influenced by "celebrity" or "race". This jury obviously considered only the facts and evidence to come to their verdict. Well Mr. Simpson....if the "shoe fits" go to jail and don't pass go.

    October 4, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  16. Josh

    nate are you serious. his first trail was so based on race it made me sick... the jury with the black power signal etc. That was the most racially divided trial I have ever seen. The man is a thug and needs to be in prison..

    October 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  17. Kevin

    The "system hounded the man until he made a mistake"? Are you kidding me? This is the result of a man who got away with murder thinking he was, again, above the law. Juice is finally where he should have been 13 years ago; the injustice is that it took him 13 years to get there.

    October 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  18. Gina

    For far too long, this man has gotten by with his attitude of entitlement. He has continued for years to break the law. Do I think this verdict was a "payback." Absolutely not!!! While the witnesses were shady, the audio tapes told the story. I personally don't believe that OJ is man enough to do the time. He will try to take his life. The only people I feel sorry for are OJ and Nicole's children. The legacy that OJ has left them is sickening.

    October 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  19. kibet Rauji

    if the jurors believe he committed the crime he was charged with then they will have peace at heart but if not it will haunt them forever,let justice be done let it not look vindictive,the least i expected was not guilty.

    October 4, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  20. David`

    OJ, I KNOW you are innocent (again)! Remember when you promised us you were going to search for Nicole's killer? Anyone that is wonderful and dedicated his life to that mission could not possibly have done these things. If only Johnny were here, he would know what to do. We want you to HANG in there OJ.

    October 4, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  21. James

    The Da made sure their were no blacks on the jury this time.
    A sure conviction. The Vegas police and the FBI should be the one on trial for refusing to go with OJ to retrieve his stolen property.
    What a mockery of justice

    October 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  22. Matt

    O.J. Simpson has now been at the center of two travesties of justice - one when he got off in the murder trial, and another now that he's going to be put away for these bogus charges.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  23. Brenda Harris

    GOD help America
    this has been sooo pathetic
    The man has been on trial for 13 years
    now two children will have no parent.
    Today I'm not proud of my country.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  24. Michael G. Kershaw

    When a person is found guilty, it is because all elements of a crime have been proven. The DA did his job which is to prove these facts. O.J Simpson's lawyer attempted to prove all elements of the crime were not proven. This would lead a door open to a lesser included crime, it did not. Define Robbery: Carrying away the personal property of another with intent to permanently deprive, which includes two other elements; by violence (force) or intimidation. Define Kidnapping: It is a form of aggravated false imprisonment.

    All crimes have elements. Entrapment can only be performed by law officers and agents only. God can forgive a crime but not the punishment.

    Mr. Simpson for years based on his notoriety believed he was infallible. He has stumbled on his own errors. In October 4, 1995, Mr. Simpson was found guilty not by the elements of the crime, but fear which was imposed on Los Angeles California in 1991 when an amateur video produced an Afro-American man being beaten. This man was Rodney King. LA feared another costly riot. So if you want to quote law, pick up a " Gilbert Law Summaries" manual and a " Black Letter of Law" manual as well. Then tell us Mr. Simpson did not get a fair trial.

    I hope the Goldman family reads these comments. Please read these comments on the air tonight, and if you post comments, please take the time and have it spelled checked.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  25. Rob

    How can the jurors find him guilty for kidnapping and robbing one of the men when that same man said that O.J. did nothing wrong? Does that make any sense? I smell money for the jurors coming. Anyone that profits from this so quickly as it seems that most of them have should be suspect at least.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  26. Erinn Jene

    As Nicole said in a note left in her safety deposit box, OJ was going to kill her (and he did) and then he would OJ himself out of it (and he did thanks to a mostly black jury). However, this time around the jury based their just guilty verdict on the evidence. He got exactly what he deserved. The only setup there was in this case was OJ orchestrated the armed robbery and he got caught, nothing more and nothing less. Finally, justice has been served and OJ will be in jail where he should of been years ago.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  27. Pamela

    With a social climate of " You Must Be Perfect, Except For Me" in this country, the verdict does not surprise me. Whether he was guilty or not the first time should have been completely settled the first time through. It was never allowed to end. It was like the Sam Sheppard case, never ending in the minds of many. If our country wanted true justice for him they would let him serve some time and then the President would commute his sentence; allowing him to move out of the country along with his children to retire with a high level of shame and a small level of peace. That would be a balanced level of justice. For some "People In History" there is no other real justice.

    October 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  28. Jay

    What an unfortunate situation for O.J. Simpson. In my mind, there is no question that he was guilty of criminal activity in the incident that took place in the Las Vegas, NV hotel. In fact, if it were anyone else involved in such activity with the same circumstances, I believe they too would have been found guilty. Having said that, the question becomes would the charges filed against O.J. Simpson be the same for a non-celebrity, non-high-profile individual? I would like to believe so.

    Nevertheless, O.J.'s arrogant behavior has finally caught up with him. Whether the jurors sought to punish him for a previous action or not, O.J. Simpson's attitude and behavior landed him in the spotlight again. This time highlighting a character of a man who makes bad decisions and who surrounds himself with people ("so-called friends") who can care less about him as a person, but who want to take advantage of his fame and notariety.

    There's no question that he will have plenty of time to think about his actions and the choices he has made in the past. Despite the outcome (sentencing) I wish O.J. Simpson the best.

    October 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  29. Sue

    Audio tapes, video tapes.
    What else do some people need to realize this jury got it right.
    Were they able to look at the facts, and not consider the past acquittal, I hope so.
    Still, justice is served.
    O.J. has been a criminal in wait of a prison for a long time.
    I commend the LasVegas police, prosecutor, and jury for doing the right thing.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:56 pm |

    One may argue that OJ was SET UP, but he had no business doing what he did
    You can not go strong-arm a person to get back something that you say is yours PERIOD
    guess "the juice" learned that the HARD way

    October 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  31. Joan

    Justice is served, but what an end to a long, tragic and twisted tale and the impact that man has had on so many lives. His two kids by Nicole are to be pitied....dead mother all these years and now their father heads to jail, however rightfully so, these kids now are without parents even though no one can argue Simpson was any type of good parent for them.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  32. Surafel Melaku

    Thank You God! You heard my prayer, its finally over. This is how you teach him and his ego. Men i how you won't get out from that prison cell for every, he is disgrace for African/African American, his action/word dim the black race, now we can breath and clean up his mess.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  33. dawn

    You kill 2 people, you get 13 years on a golf course looking in holes for the killer, they should have put mirrows in the holes and he would have turned out to be a hero and found the killer. Now he's found guilty on 12 counts- 2 of being robbery and kidnapping he should spend the rest of his life in prison.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  34. Linda Jarsky

    Lady Justice is blind, and maybe even slow, but she does have patience. Thirteen years of freedom and myriads of bad behavior later she finally figured that this "bad boy" had not learned anything and did not truly value freedom. To me this is the definition of karma.

    My sympathy to OJ's friends and relatives, but what did you expect?

    My deepest respect to ALL of the friends and relatives of OJ's victims, including his children, maybe it's not too late for them.

    Now on to Part II – Phil Spector!!

    October 4, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  35. willa d. mcneal

    i said after the murder trail verdict 13 years ago, if oj ever get in any trouble pass a traffic citation, no mater what the trail case is, in the minds of the jury, he will be sentence for the murder. 13 years to the date, it has happened. this is what I feel has happen. after the murder oj tried to live his life like he did before the murder, but folk did not view him the same. I don't know if he was guilty of murder or not. but I think that he should have moved out of the limelight and just lived a more un-noticed life. but he didn't do that. he was almost always refered to as a murder even though he was found not guilty. really I feel sorry for him because as smart as he must have been, he did not see this coming. he has my prayers.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  36. Kurt

    Despite the mountain of evidence against him in the murder trial 13 years ago, the double murderer O.J. Simpson walked free. Although we all know that the current crime and the current trial was a separate matter that should have been judged independently, the outrage over that failure of justice so many years ago is still palpable. There are many of us that are elated to see him get his just dessert however it may happen. Its called karma, and his came back to get him with a vengeance.

    Last night was the first time in the last 13 years that I saw O.J. on television and smiled.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  37. Jim N

    As was the case in the civil trial, there was an objective and intelligent jury that actually viewed and considered the evidence and as a result, OJ was found guilty beyond any doubt. This would of also been the outcome inthe murder trial if the jury looked beyond the color of his skin and decided the case on the overwhelming convincing and convicting evidence. But in days to come we will have some clueless people spouting racial overtones but nothing could be further from the truth. OJ was guilty in this trial as he was in the murder trial....beyond any doubt.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  38. Maggie

    OJ was not convicted for this crime but the one 13 years ago, it was
    a setup by his so call friends, for a hand full of coins. how fair is this
    jury ????nine women come on and I am a women he was aquited in the murder and that should have been rememebered . Trust me Iam
    against any abused towards women BUT he was aquited. and that should have not come into play...The cops were right when they said "They got him" In that tape. I said it from day
    one OJ would not walk out of this one..He did some stupid stuff with his temper but to be found guilty on all 12 charges wow and others will make lots of money on this one. If he is put into general population some idiot will want to be the one to GET OJ Shame on our inpartical jury

    October 4, 2008 at 12:47 pm |
  39. Lynette

    Hopefully, in this case, justice is served. Unfortunately I can't help but feel like this is just a case of "pay back", which is exactly what the problem was in the original OJ Simpson trial.

    October 4, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  40. Donna

    Personally, this verdict is a very long time coming. He was guilty 13 years ago and he is now guilty of armed robbery. Maybe now Orenthal will learn you can't just pull a gun on people and expect to get away with it. No, this verdict wasn't for the murder of Nicole or Ron but it's still jail no matter what the charge. He finally got what he had coming.

    October 4, 2008 at 12:41 pm |

    there is justice in our country once again our justice systems is the best in the world .can't you wait to found out who's oj's room mate is ? and guess what there's no double jeporady for these charges there was blind about this verdict this is first step in oj's path to hell

    October 4, 2008 at 12:39 pm |
  42. Alex

    O.J, you thought you had friends but you were wrong. The very people that were smiling with you and having fun with you, were the very people that set you up. Again, you became a target when you were found not guilty of killing your wife. How can a man be charged with arm robbery for going to retrieve his stolen properties? This is a set up and the evidences are there. O.J, you just did not see this coming. I believe if you had money like before to pay for not being guilty, the judge would have set you free.

    Alex D.

    Providence, Rhode Island

    October 4, 2008 at 12:37 pm |
  43. Maureen / Newman, California

    I'm sure the families of the two people he was convicted of murdering in Civil Court are happy that he is at least behind bars now.

    October 4, 2008 at 12:14 pm |
  44. Jennifer from Ohio

    Even though I do not like the man at all and I think he's guilty as sin for his exwife's murder, I'm not sure if he deserves life in prison for this particular case. 10 years? Probably. What comes around goes around – he's going to have to answer to someone someday and I would not want to be him.

    October 4, 2008 at 12:01 pm |
  45. Kim

    Finally, behind bars where he belongs. I bet C.J. is kicking his behind for not taking the states deal. O.J. will appeal of course but I think there is enough on him to keep him from getting one. No bond isued either so he will stay locked up until sentencing on Dec. 5. Way to go Nevada!!!!!!

    October 4, 2008 at 11:24 am |
  46. Cindy

    I saw the verdicts being read live last night or this morning, whatever you want to call it. But when they read Stewart's verdicts first and he was found guilty on all counts then I knew OJ was doomed. But hey, what goes around comes around I say. Karma always gets you in the end. You never get away with doing bad stuff. It may take years and years but it'll get you back...it always does.

    I'm just betting that OJ and his team will scream discrimination since the jury was mostly white. But hey, they picked them that way so, no ones fault but their own!

    I guess he'll spend the rest of his life in prison now. How ironic....


    October 4, 2008 at 11:10 am |
  47. Allen

    OJ was convicted of the Ron and Nicole Simpson murders. All of those individuals on the jury who were "all white" and most others in this country were prejudice and wanted to see him in jail.

    October 4, 2008 at 11:05 am |
  48. Lesley

    Finally, he'll be where he belongs..behind bars.

    October 4, 2008 at 10:55 am |
  49. Ray

    WOW.....another "Central Park Jogger" result – guilty on the basis of opinions, disdain and not the facts. We've evolved since, lets scrap the bias and injustice within our justice system.

    October 4, 2008 at 10:47 am |
  50. Nate

    Their are some things that should just be said of a system that hounded a man untill he made a mistake, " SHAME ON YOU ".
    This really stinks, with all the signs of Entrapment, Setup, and just plain Tort, and the Courts fell for it , to how that they too wanted a peace of the action. Thank God we have another tear, Hopefully the Apeals court will see the true facts in this cace andset OJ free.
    This was a setup.....

    October 4, 2008 at 10:42 am |
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