Society

O.J. Simpson Seeks Appeal in 2008 Robbery

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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O.J. Simpson will appear in a Las Vegas court Monday to appeal his 2008 robbery trial, during which Simpson claims he did not receive proper legal representation.

Simpson was convicted in 2008 of multiple felony counts, including assault, robbery, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, and using a deadly weapon during a September 2007 robbery. Simpson led a group of four other men into the Palace Station hotel-casino in Las Vegas and removed sports memorabilia at gunpoint. Simpson claimed the items were personal mementoes, which had been stolen from him, but denied the use of a gun.

Now serving nine to 33 years in prison, 65-year-old Simpson made the “Hail Mary motion” to appeal, alleging "ineffective counsel and conflict of interest."

Simpson intends to argue Monday that his lawyer, John Gallanter, in the 2008 trial gave him bad advice due to a conflict of interest. He claims Gallanter knew beforehand that Simpson intended to retrieve the items and discussed the plan with him the night before.

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He said during his trial Gallanter "vigorously discouraged" him taking the stand and that he was never told that the prosecution was willing to give him a sentence of two years if he pleaded guilty to the charges.

"He consistently told me the state could not prove its case because I acted within my rights in retaking my own property," Simpson said in a sworn statement.

Simpson maintains that he had no idea that two of the men in his company were carrying guns when they entered the Las Vegas hotel room. He said he just wanted to retrieve what he thought were family photos and other items stolen from him in 1995, after he was acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

In 2008, when Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass sentenced O.J. she made it clear that the penalty was not "retribution or any payback for anything else."

He would have to serve at least nine years of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Since the conviction, Simpson filed 19 claims of attorney conflict and ineffective counsel.

He is expected to take the stand during this week-long hearing.

Sources: NBC, USA Today