December 5th, 2008
11:06 AM ET

With OJ, expect the unexpected

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/CRIME/12/05/oj.simpson.sentencing/art.closings.jpg]

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

Today at 9a PT (noon ET) Sentencing in the O.J. Simpson trial begins

On October 3, a jury convicted Simpson, 61, and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart of 12 charges, including conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery, assault and kidnapping with a deadly weapon.

Their convictions stem from a September 13, 2007, fracas at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Prosecutors alleged that Simpson led a group of men who used threats, guns and force to take sports memorabilia from dealers Bruce Fromong and Al Beardsley.

Length estimated: one to two hours

Courtroom insiders expect closer to one hour as Judge Glass stays true to her no-nonsense form.

Besides defense and prosecution lawyers, another expected speaker is former prosecution witness and alleged victim Bruce Fromong.

In this bizarre tale of Men Behaving Badly, memorabilia dealer Fromong will testify FOR Simpson, saying the crime does not warrant a long sentence.

The prosecution will call no one.

Simpson for now is not expected to speak, unless asked to by the judge.

Judge Jackie Glass is expected to be tough on Simpson. There was palpable tension between Glass and the defense team all trial long. Glass has called Simpson arrogant and cut him zero slack in his legal proceedings.

Glass has tremendous leeway under Nevada State law to impose a variety of senteces ranging from eligible for parole in six years (according to several sources) to life in prison.

Pay very close attention to when eligible for parole. Of course parole eligibility as with most state prisons requires good behavior, work in prison and in Nevada some sort of "Merit" bonus to get to that parole hearing as fast as possible.

Whatever the sentence, Simpson will be taken out of the courtroom and then through a tunnel back to his cell in the Clark County Jail.

One Prison source says a likely scenario is in a few days, Simpson would be transported by bus the the High Desert State Prison 45 mins north of Las Vegas.

Simpson could stay at High Desert for the rest of his sentence or eventually wind up in facilities in Ely or Carson city or elsewhere.

It is not yet known if Simpson will be put in protective custody.

Brent Bryson will most likely speak for Simpson co-defendant and one time golfing buddy Clarence "C.J. Stewart."

Bryson is fiery and was himself acquitted of manslaughter in the killing of an attacker in. Wyoming bar fight in the 1980s. (See past piece on CNN dot com for more)

Stewart may speak for himself.

Fred and Kim Goldman will attend the sentencing and are expected to read a brief statement after.

The prosecution will lift it"s ban on commenting and break it's silence in a presser one hour after the end of sentencing.

OJ lawyers plan to appeal.

Oh, and with OJ, expect the unexpected

A heckler with a booming voice holding a "read the bible" banner blasted O.J. Simpson this morning outside the courthouse, where the former football star will be sentenced.
The man screamed "O.J., prison is not the problem.  Prison is a vacation compared to hell, where you will burn for killing your wife (Nicole Brown Simpson."
Simpson was convicted in Las Vegas in October on 12 crimminal counts including armed robbery and kidnapping for masterminding a raid of sports memorabilia in a hotel room.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Paul Vercammen
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. KSuzanne

    Karma is a mighty powerful thing. I also believe it is time for not only the Goldmans and the Browns to move on and let go of the unforgiveness, but it is time for the nation to also let it go and heal. In the varying reactions to the first verdict it was obvious there was great pain existing, as well as this verdict. I lost a brother to violence and I have long ago let go of the anger, it wasn't going to bring him back, only keep me in a box of unhappiness!

    KSuzanne from San Leandro

    December 8, 2008 at 8:59 am |
  2. Jeri

    I was relieved to see that OJ finally got the justice due him. OJ never thought and still doesn't think that he would get jail time. After the sentences were handed down, he told his lawyers he would be out in a year.
    All of his brushes with the law, my feelings are that he has also brushed up against many star struck people and that has just added to his arrogance. He was offered a plea but because he didn't think anyone would ever convict 'The Juice', he declined it. No one has ever told him no. A star athlete and he had everything. He really and truly thought the worst they were going to do to him was stand him up in front of a camera and make him publicly apologize. Please!
    Randy Weaver got his house shot up and wife and son killed over a failure to appear on a gun charge, wonder what would have happened if his name was OJ.
    As for the murders, the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming and what little forensic evidence they had put him at the scene. But, that is what a multi million dollar defense team will buy you.
    To me, it really doesn't matter..Ron and Nicole are still dead and no amount of haggling over 'whodunit' is going to bring them back, somebody killed them and if OJ didn't do it then there is a murderer out there somewhere. Nobody looked for the 'real killers' because they, OJ included, knew exactly where the 'real killer' was.
    Im hoping this is the final chapter of his karmic journey. They read the first verdict on my birthday in 1995 and the second one on my birthday in 2008. What does karma have with my birthday and OJ verdicts? I hear they are appealing the decisions of the sentences, watch what I tell you..it will be October 03, 2009 before that verdict gets read, lol. I'm just saying.

    December 7, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  3. La Joyce

    wouldn't it be something if it show up that O J was innonece and the real killer of necole sinpson and Ron Goleman showed up I think it would have to be a lotta heaver hearts after all no one saw him do it.

    December 6, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  4. Kenny Charleston WV

    What we have here is a good example of a Corrupt Judicial System. It doesn't matter if he did or didn't kill two people, he was acquitted of the trial, so that shouldn't be held against him. If someone that doesn't have his history or popularity did this they would get a lighter sentence than what he received. The judicial system is corrupt in every way possible. Really think about it you get more time in most cases for attempted murder than you do murder or even rape.

    December 6, 2008 at 2:19 am |
  5. Gale Moore

    It's karma, and about time. Put this arrogant narcissist away forever.
    With all his money, he couldn't afford therapy to control his rage?

    December 6, 2008 at 2:13 am |
  6. La Joyce

    oh yes it is a shame that O.J had to be tride for what he was accuse of during in the pass I thought you could only be tride once so now that's over I guess they will tride him for trying to get his proety back now ooh well, I think it is a shame when a judge because they have the earthly power in their hand they fill that they can demean you and say what ever to you what if the shoe was on the other foot, what you speak in a person life it take roots and grow no reason I kids are going a stray look where they get a lot of it from.

    December 5, 2008 at 10:58 pm |
  7. Peggy Flanders

    It is very sad that I justice system is so unjust. When a person has animosity in their heart for another person or just want to destroy another person life, they can always find one. If this judge, the prosecuter, and jury was not interesting in destroying OJ life because of pass accurazations of which he had been foound not guilty, why was the family stating happy he was finally be hind bars where he belong. This clearl;y was a frame and on going anamosity. It is not wrong for someone to take your property but is a major crime worth destroying someone life if that person try to retrieve their property. Why one queestion if OJ property had been stolen; apparently the judge and no one esle in the justice system cares. Is it not robbery to take property that done not belong to you or does it matter it this case. How could so many especially those representing the justice system hate another person. When it is not you or your family member, why should you care. There is a Judge coming who needs no jury, who know everybody, everything. His sentence/vertdict will be eternal.

    December 5, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  8. Megan Dresslar (Shoreline, Wa)

    I agree with Ranch.....
    I disagree with judge Clark that too harsh for O.J. Simpson too long in prison for 33 years....... I think he will file a appeal to released at least.... only he is 61 years old! only way reduced only 9 years than 33 years..... that's period!

    December 5, 2008 at 9:07 pm |
  9. winston williams

    If the oil companies made recorded profit ? Why can the big three auto companies ask them Exxon and the other oil companies for the money. Why should the American people get left holding the bag. The big three has great ideals on how they are going to pay the people. If the plan is good enough for us then why not the oil companies. When oil company profit off of the gasoline cars the big three make. I am pretty sure if the two business sat down and put there heads togather they could come up with some that would profit all parties involved.

    December 5, 2008 at 8:39 pm |
  10. JC-Los Angeles

    Although OJ Simpson represents the lowest form of life, one could easily argue that endless leaders, executives and politicians deserve far more jail time and have done far more harm to our nation than the harm Simpson did in Las Vegas.

    When we finally incarcerate the connected few who routinely loot and pillage, run companies into the ground and pay themselves handsomely while smugly dismissing the genral public as nuisances, we will have justice.

    December 5, 2008 at 7:50 pm |
  11. Annie Kate

    I think the sentence OJ got was fair. He cannot go around bullying people just because he is OJ and he doesn't like something. I hope that in prison he will be able to get counseling in anger management as this appears to have been his main problem for a long time.

    I had things stolen a few years ago and the police told me where they might be pawned and cautioned me that if I went in and saw one of my stolen items to not try to take it back but to call them – otherwise they would have to arrest me and charge me with theft.

    December 5, 2008 at 7:49 pm |
  12. Stan Smith

    OJ Sentence

    I observer and talk to a lot of Judges. I have notice that some Judges think that because they are Judges, they have the right to disparage people, because they are Judges. I only know One Righteous Judge and He is No Respect of person. I don't get it.... OJ Simpson was not given a trail based on what he knew and did wrong. This Judge said that she thought he was stupid and ignorant. Well ignorance means someone who just doesn’t know, lack of knowledge nor has no clear understanding of something. Well she sentence OJ based on that he knew what he was doing was wrong. This Judge and a lot of people were paying OJ back for what they believe he did 10 years ago. I don't know all of the facts of either case, but what I do know is that OJ will give an account for his wrongs and rights before God. Also the Judge who Think that She Is the Law will give an account for her wrongs and rights before the same God. Also, the female CCN reporter that was on the air when OJ was being sentence was so unprofessional with her comments. I wonder what she has in her closet. By the way Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman were not so innocent to all of the things that cause their death. It is just that a Black man is ACCUSED of killing a White woman and her Boyfriend a White man. Ron Goldman was caught with another mans wife and Nicole Simpson brought another man into her husband home to make whoopee… and she owed drug dealers money and OJ refused to pay, "They were in The Wrong Place, doing The Wrong Thing, at The Wrong Time. By the way, OJ Did Not Do It!


    December 5, 2008 at 6:57 pm |
  13. Jen, Pullman, WA

    The sad issue here is that the legitimacy of our justice system has gone down the drain. He was not convicted of robbery, rather a payback for the system not working the first time. Anyone else would not have gotten that sentence. Some say justice is served–in a way that undermines what are system truly is meant to stand for!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  14. Vickie MO.

    OJ has learned that, he isn't invisible after all. Justice has finally been served!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  15. Roger S

    People who think the murder trial had no bearing on this trial are sticking their heads in the sand. Up until the time of the murders O.J. had no real run ins with the law or at least nothing that anyone cared about. After the murders everything he did no matter how minor suddenly became amplified and he's the big bad monster. Why? Because there is a huge section of America that believes he's guilty and should be in jail for life. I believe that if he didn't have the stigma of that trial hanging over his head this situation would have been dealt with discreetly.

    So this is a railroading to some extent. Just look at some of th comments in this blog as well as some of the comments made by police officials in NV. Do you honestly think you can seat a jury and judge without those sentiments coming into play? Not happening in this country

    December 5, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  16. Soopy

    Well, I think if he did the crime he has to pay just like anyone else would. My only concern is- did everyone else in Nevada who committed the same crimes get the same sentence? If not, then he was sentenced based on who is and what he was found not guilty for 10 years ago. If that is the case then we still have a long way to go. I think every person man or woman that commit crimes should get what the every day John would get and not be allowed to get off so easy because of their status, but let's not just site professional athletes because last time i checked people wealthy people get off too just because of who they know or who they can pay off so its not a athlete thing its a how much money you have thing....

    December 5, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  17. ChestyPuller

    Bottom Line. If your goods are stolen do not try and retrieve them for then you will be sent to jail for stealing and possibly kidnapping. Your goods now belong to the thief who stole them. Expect what OJ received. That is fair.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  18. Cindy

    I have no idea what you people are talking about that OJ is getting railroaded and being sentenced for what he may or may not have done previously. I agree totally that the murder case should not be even brought up with this one. But the man was convicted of armed robbery and 1st degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon among other things. By Nevada sentencing guidelines the judge could have given him 15 yrs all the way up to life just for the kidnapping alone. And she could have made him serve all of his sentences consecutively, which means he would have had to serve the sentences one after another and not have served them all together. He got the minimum amount that she could give in that instance.

    So where is the injustice? If it were you or I that committed this crime we would have gotten the exact same sentence because that is what is recommended by law. If you think that you could go into someones hotel with a gun, take things that aren't yours and leave with them and not be charged then you are crazy. No one can do that!!


    December 5, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  19. Sandra Jacobs

    I watched Simpson at his sentencing today, and if there was any chance of salvaging any respect for him it was lost as I watched this grown man whimper at the prospect of facing the consequences of his actions. He has eluded justice repeatedly for years, and I am happy that the Nevada judge didn't buy his plea that he "didn't know that he was breaking the law." Give me a break!

    December 5, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  20. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    I agree with Ranch, the sentence is too harsh. Kidnapping is more the case of the teen in California, shackled and endorsed by his aunt to be tortured month after month...this was just a "thug thing."

    December 5, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  21. Jessie Early

    I am not a O. J. fan. I think this whole O.J. saga is the most blantant racism American has ever seen. Johbonette Ramsey was killed in her home with a mother and father. American apparently don't care about her. I"m sick of this o.J. saga. I hope the best for his children and I pray that they can find peace here in America. America, my country by choice is better than this. Let's rise to the occassion.


    December 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  22. Ranch Chimp Journal

    I believe hat the sentence should be appealed by Mr.Simpson, it was way to harsh in my opinion..and the way I see it...he was trying to reclaim what was taken from him...what would have been marketed by those who use another's fame to make a buck. I believe his "celebrity" status made him somewhat vulnerable to such a lengthy sentence. I live in Texas for instance...and I know damn well as a Juror if this was in Texas...I could find the guy somewhat guilty..but could understand and support probation. I am an NRA supporter,a supporter of ones right's to defend themselves and their property especially..and that property was his. Kidnapping? Give me a break! I think Simpson is somewhat arrogant...but a common thief? Absolutely not. I am sure that this will be appealed.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  23. jomama

    good for the judge !! harrah for her and nevada !

    December 5, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  24. Alex Lesiak

    Was justice really served today or was O.J. Simpson sentenced
    for what he was tried and acquitted of ?!? Was he ( Simpson) tried
    fairly for the crime he commited in Las Vegas without prejudice
    and personal dislike for what the LA jury acquitted Him of 13 years
    ago! This sentence raise's a fair question, can O.J. Simpson get a
    fair trial???


    December 5, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  25. Donna D.

    Here We Go! O J didn't get convicted for the murder case so he is given extra time for a simple robbery case. Even if he did the murder or not that is over let it go people. I thought double jerpody was not legal in this country, but it seems like he is being tried again for the murder case all over. This is suppose to be about a robbery case why was he giving all this time, again because of the murder. LET IT GO!

    December 5, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  26. Tina

    To this day, O.J. says he is innocent of the death of Nicole Brown and friend, Ron Goldman (may they be resting in peace)... However, he was found guilty. He did his time. Our judicial systems has a law against Double Jeopardy. Therefore, that is past...he can not be re-tried. He said he is innocent. A jury said he wasn't.
    As for the most recent conviction– I have heard of folks who've committed worse crimes and received a lesser sentence than what Mr. Clarence Stewart- clean prior record... and O.J. received today.
    I am not saying they're innocent, I am saying that their actions were based on frustration- at wanting to retrieve property that originally belonged to Simpson- and was stolen from him... Their actions were not based on intent to cause bodily harm, I don't think. How would it feel to any one to have toiled their entire lives for a home and items, to then have it stolen from us? Is that right? I believe Simpson and Stewart are both truly remorseful. These were not actions of men who would intentionally hurt their own families- their families were aware of what they were doing. The gun, I believe was there, for his/their own protection. I hope the dealers do time as well! Say what you will- the jury was prejudiced against O.J. – the judge did the right thing in not giving them Life.. Child molestors get off in a few years!

    December 5, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  27. Dusan

    Shameful for the American judicial system. First time OJ was released from the wrong reasons now he was sentenced to make up for missed.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  28. Brad from Syracuse

    YES!! Finally!! 15 years in jail!!! Justice for the Brown's and Goldman's has finally been served. Thank you NEVADA!!! California couldnt do it, they were too afraid of the ethnic backlash!!! GREAT JOB NEVADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  29. Judy Stevenson

    I find OJ to be a terrible person and feel he did in fact murder two people. I was appalled when he was acquited of both crimes. However, I do think he has been overcharged for the current crimes and the justice system is looking for a way to inprison this man for mistakes made at the murder trial. For that I do not agree. They had their chance and blew it and this is just another reminder that having money gives you opportunities that most of us will never have. I personally think OJ is living in his own hell right now. God bless him, he has bigger things to worry about than possible time in prison.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  30. tina

    All I can say, is that OJ Simpson is an adult. He knew right from wrong, and now he will pay that price. Some may say that this is a long time coming. However that is wrong, this is a totally separate issue, and justice will be served. Very simply put, a criminal is now off our streets, and we are safer every time this happens.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  31. johnrj08

    The man should have gone to jail for life back in 1995. Violence is his primary problem-solving tool. Look at the people he chose to go into that hotel room with him. He could have walked in alone, being bigger and stronger than both men, and calmly requested that they return his "family's belongings". If they had refused, he could have called the police on his cellphone right then and there. End of story. But, no. This is about OJ imposing his will on people through violent intimidation. Remember those 911 phone calls that Nicole made? That was OJ raging in the background, as he broke through her door. The sooner he gets put away, the better for everybody.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  32. ping lee

    Justice finally caught up with OJ, whom I believe cold-heartedly murdered his wife and lover, though a "crime" punishable by death in itself in some countries of the world, but luckily not around this part of the world. OJ got what he deserved and will be paying for his own deeds. Nicole and Goldman should be very pleased with the news of a long jail sentence of a minimum of 10 years before eligible for parole – if I were the judge.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:05 pm |
  33. Troy Parker

    I think OJ has been overly charged with the crimes...more then a common citizen would have been charged. It's like a pay back sentence and makes the judicial system look fraud. Judged by his bias peers and bias judge. Good job America. I just hope little Caylee's justice is as harsh against her defendant.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  34. Denny, Midland, Tx

    This is a railway....to being railroaded.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:01 pm |
  35. Germaine

    Sadly, I read somewhere that OJ did some jail time when he was a pre teen as part of a gang he belonged to. It seems his life is ending the same way it began. I guess, once a thug, always a thug. It's so sad...at one time he was on top of the world.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  36. Val

    OJ is slick. I bet he gets minimum. Even the victim is speaking at the hearing in OJs defense. Give me a break!

    December 5, 2008 at 12:30 pm |
  37. Jenine Coeur d' Alene, Id

    What a wonderful christmas gift for all of us who lost so much faith in the judicial system after the travesty of 13 years ago. Finally, some accountability. May he never see the light of day again.

    December 5, 2008 at 12:28 pm |
  38. Jeanette

    This is a very arrogant and vicious man who will do whatever he wants to because he thinks he can. He must be punished for a very long time. His money and fame are not getting him out of this. No one wants to hear anything from him again!! TAKE HIM AWAY FROM SOCIETY

    December 5, 2008 at 12:26 pm |
  39. denise

    Time for OJ to be punish of all his crimes. Hope he gets life. He is a threat to society, he has killed twice, who knows when he may again.

    December 5, 2008 at 12:06 pm |
  40. Teriss

    It is evident that OJ is not contributing to society, only causing more grief. He has been in the courts for various reasons since he murdered his wife and Mr. Goldman.

    Is there any other choice, than to send him behind bars for a very long time. If this jury does not punish this criminal this time with a very long prison sentence there is no justice in America.

    December 5, 2008 at 11:54 am |
  41. Marty North

    Simpson was given a dream-team miracle, a break, an act of grace, but as Judge Glass observed, he is arrogant, and his arrogant, heartless book, "If I Did It", shows the great extent of that arrogance. He blew it and now, 13 years later, his sins will catch up to him.

    December 5, 2008 at 11:36 am |
  42. Heather,ca

    As much as most of us want to see him get life for the obvious reasons, we have a legal system not a justice system. Yes deciding to take care of business on private property(even if that is a hotel) with his lovely cast of characters as his brothers while packing heat caught on camera from multiple locations, generally doesnt go over very well with the other guests, police, hotel owner and staff etc. But I guess we are reminded that this is the mind of OJ Simpson who got the best trial money could buy in another state and seems to be drawn to trouble on any scale. Perhaps he thought this was all in an average days work. I think he will 18 years. I know we all would like life, but lets be realistic. If its minimum 18 thats a long time. Karma has come back. Simpson gambled on Vegas, only he wasnt using chips or money. He used his ego and he picked the wrong state. He forgot that Nevada has a well history because of well the mob. They dont take to kindly to this sort of thing. Mind you if he had done this way back when the mob was running the place he would have been taken out to the desert and never to be heard from again. I guess that just might happen today. I know the Goldmans and the Browns want life we all would, but this is a different state and the last thing you want is a successful appeal. I say enjoy 18 years.

    December 5, 2008 at 11:30 am |
  43. Cindy

    I just hope that OJ gets the most amount of time that he can to teach him a lesson that he does have to follow the rules. Then I hope he goes off into oblivion never to be heard of again! I am just sick of hearing about him!


    December 5, 2008 at 11:16 am |