LAS VEGAS (AP) — O.J. Simpson’s lawyers are asking a three-judge Nevada Supreme Court panel to reconsider whether the former football star should get a new trial following his armed robbery and kidnapping conviction in Las Vegas.
Simpson attorney Yale Galanter asserts in a request for rehearing filed Tuesday that the justices overlooked or misunderstood several key arguments — including that the former football star lacked the necessary intent to commit a crime, that the last two black prospective jurors were dismissed without proper cause, and that jurors weren’t completely screened for bias.
Before trial in 2008, the judge had 500 potential jurors fill out 26-page questionnaires that included questions about Simpson’s 1995 acquittal in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles.
Half the Las Vegas jury pool was eliminated after expressing strong feelings about Simpson’s guilt in that case.
“This court fully understands Simpson’s name is shorthand for murder,” Galanter wrote, citing a reference in the court panel’s Oct. 22 opinion granting a new trial to convicted Simpson co-defendant, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart.
That opinion was separate from the 24-page denial of Simpson’s appeal. Simpson, 63, is serving nine to 33 years in Nevada state prison in Lovelock, east of Reno.
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Athletes Behaving Badly
“This court goes on to say that ‘there is a significant indication that the general public views the former football great as a criminal,’” Galanter wrote in his request for a rehearing.
He alleges Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass abused her discretion in denying defense attempts to ask prospective jurors “probing questions” that Galanter said were “necessary and required under the law.”
“The trial court would not permit challenges for cause of prospective jurors who thought Simpson was a murderer, or that he did it,” Galanter wrote.
Through her clerk, Glass declined to comment Tuesday.
Galanter has argued that Simpson thought he was retrieving personal items when he, Stewart and four other men confronted two sports memorabilia dealers and a middle man in a Las Vegas casino hotel room in September 2007.
Before and during the Las Vegas trial, Glass instructed jurors to put aside their opinions about the Los Angeles murder case.
Clark County District Attorney David Roger said Tuesday he hadn’t seen Simpson’s request for a rehearing, but said he believed the state high court had already thoroughly dealt with Simpson’s appeal.
“I am sure O.J. Simpson will be like every other convicted criminal and will file numerous repetitious, frivolous appeals,” the prosecutor said.
Galanter on Tuesday characterized his request for a rehearing for his client — an NFL hall of famer, former movie actor and advertising pitchman — as one step in a long process that could include a request for a hearing before the full seven-member court.
Galanter told The Associated Press that Simpson was “not happy we lost” his initial appeal, but added that ruling was “not unexpected.”