| December 5, 2008 at 03:02 pm
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"I have mixed feelings about this case," said Jeffrey Toobin, CNN Legal Analysist and author or the infamous book, 'The People vs OJ Simpson'. "It's strange," Toobin said. "Given his conduct in this case, it's a very long sentence. What hovers over this whole case is how much is it about what went on in the Vegas hotel room or what went on in 1994." The fact remains, the minute you say OJ Simpson's name people start taking sides. It's a name that evokes heated conversations from a variety of camps and the discussion continued today when OJ Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison by Nevada judge, Jacky Glass. Glass said several times that the sentence had nothing to do with the 1994 slaying of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman. Simpson, the 66 year old Hall of Famer, stood shackled and wearing Nevada prison blues in court today. It was an image far removed from the fitted grey suit he sported at his Los Angeles trial where prominent criminal attorney, Johnny Cochran, now deceased, defended his case, winning Simpson's acquittal. Known for her harsh sentencing, Glass said she was not swayed at all by the previous trail "I'm not here to cause any retribution," the justice said. The Goldmans, who gave a press conference outside the courthouse said that it was their relentless pursuit of Simpson's assets that "pushed him over the edge" in an attempt to satisy a $33.5 million wrongful-death judgement. Many protestors were heard chanting "Golddiggers!" while the Goldman family spoke to the press. In his defense, Simpson claimed he was not stealing but merely trying to reclaim stolen memorabilia that had been taken from him. A choked up Simpson said, "I'm very sorry. I thought I was confronting friends and recovering items stolen from me."Unmoved by Simpson's quaking voice and obvious plea for mercy, Judge Glass imposed such a complex series of consecutive and concurrent sentences that many a savvy attorney were confused by how much time Simpson actually got. The OJ dialogue continues to be a hot button topic in Los Angeles and beyond. As a native of LA, I remember vividly when the day stood still and the verdict was read. Lots of people were joyous and others were horrified and cried. Some saw the trial as a vindication over a brutal police force. At Johhny Cochran's packed to the rafter funeral in 2005, a riveting Al Sharpton said, "I mean no disrespect brother OJ," Shapton told the crowd while nodding to Simpson who sat in the back, "but when the people applauded the verdict, we were voting for Johnny." Some people, who believed OJ escaped a brutal double murder charge felt vindicated by the harsh penalty of the Nevada case today. Others, who felt the old trail haunted this current charge thought this trial was a miscarriage of justice and called it a modern day lynching. Fair or unfair, the battle rages on but it would be interesting to see how many similar cases lead to 33 year convictions. I'm sure we'll find out when the appeal process begins which is already well on its way. "It's not over," OJ Simpson's sister said to the press.
I guess we just have to wait and see.
Pam Ward, LA native, author of BAD GIRLS BURN SLOW and WANT SOME GET SOME