Solitary O.J. Blames Judge and Jury for Armed Robbery Conviction
By Stacey Silberman
HOLLYWOOD, CA(RUSHPRNEWS)10/14/08 â€“ O.J. Simpsonâ€™s attorneys scramble to find an out as their star client sits locked away in a Clark County 7-by-14 foot jail cell, far away from his adoring friends and family after being convicted of 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping. The jury of nine women and three men sided with the prosecution following 13- hours deliberation on Oct. 3.
Seven jurors granted interviews to defend their verdicts after media reports said they were biased, basing their verdicts on Simpsonâ€™s 1995 acquittal, as opposed to the facts of the current case. Now Simpson attorneys are using the interview as evidence against jurors, claiming they did not consider all available evidence brought out during the four week trial.
Miami attorney Yale Galanter, along with Las Vegas attorney Gabriel Grasso, say O.J. is hopeful about winning a new trial, because the fallen football hero believes that â€œhe was absolutely railroaded,â€ lawyers told the Associated Press.
â€œHe is really very hopeful now, especially after the jury interviews. He knows that he was absolutely railroaded,â€ Galanter said by telephone to the AP.
Simpson, 61, and Clarence â€œC.J.â€ Stewart, 54, took their gang of four fools to the Palace Station Hotel & Casino on Sept. 13, 2007, to allegedly â€œrecoverâ€ personal mementos stolen from Simpson several years before.
According to testimony, prior co-defendant Michael McClinton said he brandished a gun during the incident that victimized sports memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley.
Both Simpson and Stewart sit in prison awaiting sentencing on Dec. 5. In the meantime, their attorneys desperately search for anything to free their clients from a potentially long prison sentence.
Both prisonerâ€™s attorneys filed motions Friday, seeking a new trial citing judicial errors by District Court Judge Jackie Glass during jury selection. They claim that Judge Glass limited their ability to question potential jurors on cross-examination during the selection process. They also cite insufficient evidence and errors in the judgeâ€™s instructions before deliberation.
Stewartâ€™s attorneys continue to call for a severance of their clientâ€™s trial based on O.J.â€™s infamy and allege misconduct by jury foreman Paul Connelly.
Galanter and Simpson concur, alleging that Connelly led the jury into the verdicts based on his bias against Simpsonâ€™s 1995 acquittal in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
â€œHe should not have been on that jury,â€ said Galanter after the juror made comments to media as to the caseâ€™s merits and why the current jury convicted both men on all 12 counts. (See related story by HT).
Galanter also cited a complaint that the foremen kept jurors deliberating for 13 hours because he worried one of them might suffer a mishap and require replacement by an alternate.
â€œHe commandeered that jury and took over,â€ said Galanter.
All jurors interviewed at the press conference claim to have based their decision on surreptitiously recorded audiotapes made by middleman Thomas Riccio and McClinton. Both men testified for the prosecution after making plea deals.
Jurors also said they discounted a lot of the testimony by witnesses due to their sordid backgrounds.
Simpson and Stewart chose to not testify on their behalf. Galanter claims the jury disregarded Simpsonâ€™s state of mind prior to and during the armed robbery. However, jurors had no testimony to base that assertion, since the Heisman Trophy winner chose to stay mum.
Galanter told reporters heâ€™s studying jurorsâ€™ interviews carefully, looking for anything that may set O.J. free after being convicted in the Nevada court by an almost all white jury.
The attorney is searching for points that support his appeal to the state Supreme Court. Galanter said it was surprising to find out jurors were most influenced by the audio recordings.
Jurors said they listened to them again and again â€œwith fresh earsâ€ and without any court transcripts to guide them. They said they listened until they all agreed that theyâ€™d heard the same things by the same individuals.
The Riccio recordings could not be authenticated by the FBI because they were digital. Riccio sold the tapes to celebrity site TMZ for $150,000 before turning them into police custody. He testified he made a total of $210,000 on tapes and interviews related to the case.
Galanter thought the tapes would vindicate his client because some of the comments clarified O.J.â€™s state of mind relative to the crime. Unfortunately, he was wrong, and the jury disregarded the comments in light of other evidence.
Prosecutors are making no comment on the case until after the appeals process.
Simpson sits in isolation from other inmates for his own protection. He is allowed two hours visitation every two weeks, but is not allowed any direct contact. His visitors must speak to him through a closed-circuit video system. So far, only best friend Thomas Scotto of Miami has visited.
However, Simpson is allowed unlimited person-to-person visits with his attorneys. Grasso or another member of defense counsel visits daily to talk about the case.
In the meantime, this case serves as a warning to anyone considering the idea of taking the law into his own hands.
SOURCE: Hollywood Today