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O.J. Simpson lawyer appeals 2008 conviction

June 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
O.J. Simpson's attorney is arguing the judge in his 2008 Las Vegas trial did not adequately guard against the looming shadow of Simpson's notorious past. The defense is trying to reverse his conviction on all 12 counts of armed robbery and related offenses stemming from a hotel room confrontation over sports memorabilia.

After the verdict didn't go his way, O.J. Simpson's defense team has come back to a Nevada courtroom to appeal his conviction. Lead attorney Yale Galanter says the hotel room heist amounted to prejudicial payback for Simpson's 1994 double murder acquittal.

"We had jurors on there who thought he was a double murderer, thought he should have written a book, thought he should have done life in prison 13 years ago," Galanter said. "With the trial judges help in this case, we believe this case was not a search for the truth, but became a search for redemption."

In 2007, Simpson and a group of men stormed into a room at the palace station hotel in Las Vegas and confronted two sport memorabilia dealers at gunpoint.

The court found what resulted was kidnapping and armed robbery when Simpson tried to get his sports memorabilia back. It's a move he later regretted when a judge sentenced him to a maximum of 33 years in prison.

"I wasn't there to hurt anybody," Simpson said. "I just wanted my personal things and I realized that was stupid of me."

Galanter accused the trial judge of misguiding the all-white jury and not shielding them from Simpson's notorious past. He also took aim at the prosecution for removing the only two African-American jurors.

Galanter said the judge was unfair to the defense team, a charge the prosecutor denied.

Simpson was not in court today. He remains in a Nevada prison. It will be several months before he finds out if this appeal will set him free.

The Nevada Supreme Court denied Simpson's request to be freed on bail while his appeals are heard.

Simpson's Nevada conviction came exactly 13 years after a Los Angeles jury acquitted him of charges that he murdered his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman, in the biggest trial of its time.


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