OJ Submits New Appeal of Vegas Robbery Conviction
O.J. Simpson’s lawyers submitted a supersized appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, seeking the former football star’s release from prison and a new trial in his 2007 Las Vegas armed-robbery case.
The lawyers met a midnight Wednesday deadline to submit a request for the court to review Simpson’s claim that 2008 trial in Las Vegas was tainted by his fame and notoriety following his 1995 acquittal in Los Angeles in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend.
However, the document totaled 19,993 words, court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer said Thursday. That was some 43 percent longer than the 14,000-word limit the court had set.
It will be up to the seven justices to decide whether to accept it for filing and consideration. Until that time, the document hasn’t been made public. The court hasn’t decided whether to hear oral arguments.
Simpson, 66, is serving nine to 33 years in a northern Nevada prison after being found guilty of leading a group of armed men in a September 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas casino hotel. He was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges. He’s not eligible for parole until late 2017.
The appeal stems from arguments rejected last year by Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell that Simpson’s trial attorney botched Simpson’s trial and first appeal to the state Supreme Court, the only appeals court in Nevada.
Simpson attorney Patricia Palm said the appeal ran long because she and attorneys Ozzie Fumo and Tom Pitaro were responding in detail to the judge’s Nov. 26 ruling, which totaled 101 pages.
Palm said the state high court routinely accepts oversized filings in complex cases. She also submitted 36 appendices to the appeal brief.
Bell’s ruling came after she held five days of hearings in Las Vegas on a 94-page petition that Palm filed in May 2012 seeking a new trial on 22 possible grounds.
The judge said she reviewed the entire Simpson court record and determined that evidence was overwhelming that Simpson orchestrated the armed kidnapping and robbery, and that Simpson’s current attorneys failed to demonstrate how his former lawyer’s actions changed the outcome of the case.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he was confident that Bell’s ruling would be upheld. Wolfson’s wife, former Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass, presided over Simpson’s 2008 trial and sentencing.
Simpson claimed he was trying to retrieve from the memorabilia dealers items that had been stolen from him after his Los Angeles trial and a 1997 civil court a wrongful-death judgment that put him on the hook for $33.5 million to the estates his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
The NFL hall of famer testified last year that he thought he had a right to get his own belongings back, and he never knew any of the men with him were carrying guns.