Image: O.J. Simpson
Daniel Gluskoter  /  AP
O.J. Simpson arrives in court Friday before being found guilty on felony kidnapping, armed robbery and conspiracy charges at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas.
updated 10/4/2008 6:52:32 PM ET 2008-10-04T22:52:32

Jurors had been told to ignore what they knew about O.J. Simpson's past, but for many observers, the line connecting the former NFL star's murder acquittal last decade and his new conviction for robbing memorabilia peddlers couldn't have been clearer.

The attorney for the family of Ronald Goldman — who was killed along with Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson in Los Angeles in 1995 — said he thought his hounding of Simpson for years to collect a $33.5 million wrongful death judgment pushed him to a desperate gambit to recover personal items he had lost.

"We drove him into that room to grab the sports memorabilia before we could seize the stuff," said David Cook, who represents Goldman's father, Fred. "Going to jail for beating Fred Goldman out of footballs and family mementos. Is this closure for Fred Goldman? No. Is this closure for America? Yes."

Simpson lawyer Yale Galanter said Saturday, the day after Simpson and Clarence "C.J." Stewart were convicted of all 12 charges against them in the hotel room confrontation, that the Las Vegas jury was "on an agenda" to make up for Simpson's murder acquittal. The two face up to life in prison.

"This was just payback," Galanter said.

"A lynching from the first second to the end," agreed Thomas Scotto, a close Simpson friend who testified and was overcome by emotion in the courtroom after the verdicts were read. "It's a total injustice."

The case against Simpson was won the moment the jury was chosen, according to the consultant who helped prosecutors pick the panel.

Video: Legal analysts review the case "That was the best possible jury prosecutors could ever have," said Howard Varinsky, who drafted a questionnaire for the prosecution that formed the basis of a survey used to cull 12 jurors and six alternates from a pool of 500 prospects.

"I was surprised that we got all the counts," he said Saturday. "But it wasn't an accident that the jury wound up looking like that."

Whatever the jury was thinking, Fred Goldman praised the verdict.

"We're absolutely thrilled to see the potential that he could serve the rest of his life in jail where the scumbag belongs," he told CNN.

The jury of three men and nine women included one woman who identified herself as Hispanic on her questionnaire, a court spokesman said, and no blacks. Both defendants are black.

Jurors declined interviews and avoided the media after the verdicts were read, and Judge Jackie Glass has not released the questionnaires despite a court challenge by The Associated Press and Stephens Media LLC, the owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Prosecutors have declined to comment throughout the trial.

Lawyers and jury analysts recalled that prosecutors succeeded in removing two black jurors from the final panel.

Varinsky insisted that Simpson and Stewart got fair trials, saying jurors answered several questions attesting to their ability to set aside their feelings about the Los Angeles case.

But he acknowledged the questions also reminded jurors about that case.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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