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Editorial: O.J. Simpson

Times have changed

O.J. Simpson was sentenced Friday to nine to 33 years in prison for his role in a bungled armed robbery in a Las Vegas hotel room. It was a stiff sentence for what would have been comical, had it not involved firearms.

Simpson, 61, was convicted by an all-white jury and could have received life. The former football star said he was trying to recover sports memorabilia stolen from him. No one was injured, but two of the robbers with Simpson brandished guns.

The judge said several times her sentence had nothing to do with Simpson's 1995 acquittal in the murder of his former wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. But her repeatedly bringing up the subject suggested it wasn't far from her mind. Regardless of where one stands on the earlier verdict, the two cases were separate events and shouldn't have been co-mingled in court. That's not blind justice.

It's striking how much the times have changed since Simpson's so-called Trial of the Century gripped the nation and divided it along racial lines. That overhyped event preceded the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Iraq war, the economic collapse, and the election of the first African American president.

In the scheme of things, this second O.J. verdict will be a footnote in history.