Simpson in isolation, focuses on future


O.J. Simpson is being kept in isolation from other prisoners for his own safety, and is focusing on future hopes that hinge on a motion for new trial and a strong bid for appellate reversal of his conviction on kidnapping-robbery charges, his lawyer said Sunday.

Attorney Yale Galanter said he will continue to pursue a request for Simpson to be released on bond pending appeal.

Meanwhile, Galanter said Simpson will be living a lonely life, advised by his lawyers to do no media interviews and allowed to see only family members and a few friends placed on a special list at the jail.

Simpson will be held in Clark County Detention Center until his Dec. 5 sentencing, then is expected to be transferred to state prison.

"He is in isolated custody and being protected from other inmates," Galanter said. "The jail is taking very special precautions to make sure he is safe."

Galanter said the appeal cannot be filed until after Simpson is sentenced.

"We are planning to fast track that as much as possible. You can expect the notice of appeal to be filed five minutes after sentencing," he said.

The 61-year-old Hall of Fame football star was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and 10 other charges for gathering five men a year ago and storming a room at the Palace Station hotel-casino to seize Simpson sports mementos -- including game balls, plaques and photos -- from two collectors. Prosecutors said two of the men with him were armed; one said Simpson had asked him to bring a gun.

"I visited him yesterday and he is OK," Galanter said. "He's disappointed and a bit melancholy. We talked about our future plans for the case."

Galanter said he believes Simpson has a strong argument for reversal of his conviction because of legal errors made during the trial, beginning with the jury selection process. He said issues to be raised on appeal will include the elimination of all African-Americans from the jury and the inclusion of jurors who believed that Simpson should have been convicted of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in a 1995 Los Angeles trial.

Juror Fred Jones acknowledged to the Los Angeles Times that he thought Simpson killed his ex-wife and her friend, but said he put that aside when considering the Las Vegas case.

"We went out of our way not to mention that," Jones said. "That was never, never in our thoughts."

A motion for a new trial for both defendants will be filed before Judge Glass by Friday, Galanter said. It is seen as having little chance of success.

 

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