Friday, December 05, 2008
Justice served! With a side order of hash browns,...
O.J. Simpson was sentenced Friday to at least 15 years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping in a failed attempt to recover sports memorabilia from two collectibles dealers.
There will be the possibility of parole after six years, Judge Jackie Glass said.
His co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart received the same sentence.
Before the judge handed down his sentence, Simpson apologized to her and the Las Vegas court after learning he won't be able to be freed on bail if he appeals.
Simpson appeared at the hearing in a blue prison jumpsuit, shackles and handcuffs.
"I stand before you today sorry," an emotional Simpson told Glass, fighting back tears. "I am apologetic to the people of Nevada. ... When I came here, I came here for a wedding. I didn't come to reclaim property."
He said he thought he was taking advantage of an opportunity to retrieve items that were rightfully his.
"In no way did I mean to hurt anybody, to steal anything from anyone," Simpson said. "I didn't want anybody else's stuff. I just wanted my own. I realize that I was stupid. I am sorry. I didn’t know that I was doing anything illegal. I thought I was retrieving property from friends. I’m sorry, I’m sorry for all of it."
Simpson's lawyers called his actions "stupid" and admitted he broke the law, but said they didn't rise to the level of criminality that would warrant a long prison sentence. They asked Glass to show mercy.
Glass responded during her statements that she believed "it was much more than stupidity."
Fred Goldman and his daughter, Kim Goldman, father and sister of murder victim Ron Goldman, the friend of Simpson's slain ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, were among the 15 members of the public to gain entry to the courtroom. Most of the 63 seats were taken by media, lawyers and family members of the defendants.
After the sentence was handed down, Fred Goldman told reporters that "this is a bittersweet moment" but spoke of the satisfaction of seeing Simpson — whom he called an "SOB" and a "monster" — in shackles.
"He'll be where he belongs, with others of his kind," Goldman said.