O.J. Simpson, the football legend who famously beat a murder rap with the help of a dream legal team but then went to jail for armed robbery and kidnapping, will be back in court this week claiming his lawyer in the latter case was so terrible that Simpson deserves a new trial.
Here’s what you should know.
1. O.J. Says the Bad Legal Advice Began Before the Robbery
Simpson is arguing that he received shoddy legal advice during the 2008 court case — claiming his lawyer, Yale Galanter, told him not to testify and never told him about a plea bargain offered by the prosecution. In total, the judge will hear 19 claims of bad counsel and conflict of interest.
Simpson claims Galanter, before the robbery, told Simpson the ex-star would be within the law in his attempt to recover his personal family photos and belongings from memorabilia dealers. A September 2007 confrontation with the dealers went awry at a Las Vegas casino hotel, where Simpson brought a posse of friends, some of whom were armed — though he claims he didn’t know they were packing heat.
Because Galanter was embroiled in the drama prior to the criminal case, Simpson alleges there was a conflict of interest that led to tainted advice during the trial — that Galanter made moves to prevent himself from becoming a witness in the trial.
Simpson’s new lawyer, Patricia Palm, tells the AP:
To me, the claims are solid. I don’t know how the court can’t grant relief.
2. He’s Making a “Hail Mary” Motion
Appropriately, Simpson will attempt a legal motion often linked to a football metaphor. The writ of habeus corpus is sometimes called a Hail Mary motion because it’s a last-ditch effort that rarely works. However, with Simpson’s history of legal miracles, you never know.
Fox quotes Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson:
Nothing is the same when O.J. is involved. An O.J. case is never like any other case.
3. He’s Fat Now
The L.A. Times reports Simpson may not be recognizable after four years behind bars:
“He’s slow,” said close friend Jim Barnett, who has visited the former football star several times. “Last time I saw him, he had gotten quite heavy.”
4. If This Doesn’t Work, Simpson Could Die in Jail
Simpson is 65 years old and is four years into a maximum 33-year sentence. He is eligible for parole in five years, but how likely is the legal system to release a man who many believe “got away with murder” once?
5. He’s a Rock Star in Prison
As desperate as he is to get out of prison, by many accounts he’s having more fun behind bars than most jailbirds do. Consider this rumor: