Posted Dec 05, 2008 06:30 pm CST
Near tears and apologetic, O.J. Simpson was sentenced to at least nine years for his role in an armed robbery last year that was part of a botched attempt to retrieve sports memorabilia, the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.
“I stand before you today sorry,” an emotional Simpson told Judge Jackie Glass. “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.”
FOX News reports that Simpson told the judge that he was taking advantage of an opportunity to recover his property.
“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.”
In October, Simpson, 61, and co-defendant Clarence Stewart, 54, were convicted for their roles in a 2007 armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a the Palace Station hotel. Simpson, who is appealing the conviction, faced a sentence of six years to life in prison.
Debate will continue about whether Simpson is being punished because of his high-profile acquittal 13 years ago on charges that he murdered his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.
His case even continues to elicit discussion about whether there’s a two-tiered system of justice, one for regular folks and one for celebrities and those with money to hire lawyers.
But the Los Angeles Times points out that there’s another two-tiered system in place in Vegas. “The perception is that crimes that take place inside the tourist corridor are pursued more aggressively than elsewhere in the Las Vegas Valley,” blogs Richard Abowitz in the Times’ blog The Movable Buffet.
“I know when my car was vandalized at my old apartment, I could not get an officer to even show up,” Abowitz notes. “Whereas when I had a similar car issue in a casino lot, the resort security easily summoned police to assist me.”