The family of Ron Goldman, who was murdered along with Nicole Brown Simpson in 1994, say they were elated to finally see O.J. Simpson in handcuffs.
"It's the best picture I've ever seen," said Kim Goldman, Ron's sister, today on "Good Morning America."Seeing the killer walk the streets is like pouring salt in an open wound and now the salt is gone."
The Goldmans and other players in the so-called Trial of the Century who were angered when O.J. Simpson walked on murder charges 13 years ago called his robbery and kidnapping convictions a matter of justice finally catching up to the fallen football star.
"We said we would try to find justice and I think we got it, I think we got it," an emotional Fred Goldman, Ron's father, said on "GMA."
Karma at Play?
"In this case, justice delayed was not justice denied," said attorney Gloria Allred, who has represented the family of Simpson's slain ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.
"Mr. Simpson has appeared to me to think that he was above the law." she said. "Now he may spend the rest of his life in prison understanding that the law -- and not O.J. Simpson -- will have the last word."
Brian "Kato" Kaelin, the actor and house guest who testified at Simpson's murder trial, said Simpson was foolish not to "disappear from sight" after beating the murder rap.
"This verdict came down exactly 13 years after the verdict in his murder trial," Kaelin said. "If anybody believes in the number 13 and in karma, Simpson got his 13 years later."
The one-time gridiron great was convicted Friday night in Las Vegas of kidnapping and 11 other charges in the gunpoint robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in a plot to seize mementos that Simpson believed had been stolen from him.
The decision was rendered 13 years to the day after a Los Angeles jury acquitted Simpson of the murders of his ex-wife and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in 1994. Simpson later was found civilly liable for the deaths and ordered to pay the families of the victims $33.5 million, a figure that has since ballooned because of interest.
Simpson's Las Vegas defense tried to tell the jury that the robbery and murder cases had nothing to do with each other, but one of his attorneys said he believes the message did not get through.
"This was just payback," Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter, said of the verdict, according to The Associated Press. "They were on an agenda."
He said he would appeal.
One juror told The Los Angeles Times that Simpson's 1995 acquittal played no role in the panel's deliberations.
"We went out of our way not to mention that," the juror, Fred Jones, told the newspaper. "That was never, never in our thoughts."
Simpson's 1994-95 murder trial was a full-fledged spectacle, followed and dissected around the world. His acquittal polarized America along racial lines, with whites generally denouncing the verdict and a majority of African-Americans declaring that Simpson deserved to go free.
The Las Vegas trial, by contrast, drew little media interest, and reaction to the outcome was muted. Ironically, Simpson, 61, now faces the possibility of life in prison for what many people perceived as a petty crime. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5.
Writer Dominick Dunne, who chronicled Simpson's murder trial for Vanity Fair magazine, was one of the lone media heavyweights to sit through the Las Vegas proceedings.
"I had quite a few chats with O.J. during the Las Vegas trial. I found him to be a lonely figure with a wrecked life," Dunne said in a brief statement posted on the magazine's Web site. "This is the verdict that should have come 13 years ago."
The family of Simpson's slain ex-wife issued a statement that said, "Our family would like to thank everyone across the country for their thoughts and prayers as we work through many mixed emotions. Our focus is on the children Sydney and Justin whom we deeply love and cherish and ask for the understanding of privacy at this time."
Sydney and Justin Simpson are the children of O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson, who were married from 1985 to 1992.
David Cook, a lawyer for the family, said the Goldmans will continue pursuing assets to satisfy the multimillion-dollar civil judgment against Simpson.
"His prison wages, clearly they will be ours now," Cook said. "We look forward to collecting the 83 cents."