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Simpson could have taken plea deal for 30 months in prison, sources say

In Las Vegas you roll the dice and take your chances.

During his trial, prosecutors offered O.J. Simpson a deal: Plead guilty and serve 30 months in prison. That would settle the case then and there, two sources told me.

But he turned it down.

Regrets?

He’s surely had a few.

District Attorney David Roger and prosecutor Chris Owens offered Simpson and co-defendant Clarence Stewart an all-or-nothing deal. Plead to some felony charges, go directly to prison and spend 30 months there. Simpson said he would do 12 months but not 30; Stewart turned it down flat.

No deal.

So the trial continued, and both men were convicted in the burglary, robbery and kidnapping case centering on Simpson’s ridiculous effort to get back his sports memorabilia valued at $100,000.

Attorney Yale Galanter’s defense in the trial was along the lines that Simpson was stupid, not criminal. Well, he certainly was stupid to pass up the chance to get out of prison after 30 months.

Simpson was sentenced to up to 33 years and won’t be eligible for parole for nine years, which is a long time for a 61-year-oid man.

Stewart, 54, is expected to serve between 71/2 years up to a maximum of 27 years as a result of the sentence by District Judge Jackie Glass.

Two stupid men? You betcha.

(By the way, this violates my vow not to write anything further about Simpson, but it was just too interesting to keep to myself.)

 

RESURRECTION: The Barrick Lecture Series’ nearly two-year hiatus ends Jan. 22. The resurrection consists of three nationally known figures featured at a free program called "The First 100 Days: Predictions for the Obama Administration."

They’ll be handicapping what President Obama had to say in his inaugural speech two days earlier, and pontificating accordingly:

Gloria Borger, a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report and a senior political analyst for CNN.

E.J. Dionne Jr., a columnist for The Washington Post and commentator for media outlets such as National Public Radio and NBC’s "Meet the Press."

Former Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., chairman of the J.C. Watts Cos. and a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

I’m plugging the event because I’ve been so critical of the way UNLV officials handled the more than $10 million they received from the late philanthropist Marjorie Barrick, who first endowed the series in 1980 and left them millions more in her will to continue the series.

Despite that, university officials let the series languish since her death in April 2007.

The event is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Artemus Ham Hall. Tickets guaranteeing admission can be picked up beforehand at the UNLV Performing Arts Center box office.

It appears to be a top-notch event; one Marjorie Barrick would be proud to sponsor. At the very least, there should be some laughs because local political pundit Jon Ralston is the moderator.

If you really want laughs, mark your calendar for the Barrick Lecture Series on Sept. 23 when the speaker will be humorist Garrison Keillor.

 

NO RUSH: Nevada Board of Medical Examiners Executive Director Louis Ling said the new, improved, user-friendly Web site — one where you can see whether your doctors have settled a bunch of malpractice cases — will be up and running by March 15. Of course, one year ago, his predecessor said it would be up and running in about three to six months, and that never happened.

The Board of Medical Examiners removed the malpractice information about cases settled in 2005, and I’ve been banging the drum ever since to get it reinstated. It isn’t even a huge cost. Ling said the contract for the upgrades is about $19,000, and the tedious, time-consuming, cut-and-paste work to reinstate the summary of malpractice cases will be done by staff.

"It’s so stupid not to have a good Web site," said Ling, who made it one of his priorities after he became executive director in the end of September. He says it, I say it, Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley says it — the public has a right to check out malpractice settlements.

The clock is ticking.

Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail her at Jane@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0275. She also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/morrison..

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