Claiming his attorney just wanted the half-million dollar defense fee, O.J. Simpson, the fallen football superhero-turned-inmate, asserted at a recent special hearing in Sin City before Judge Linda Bell that he deserves another day in court. Simpson is asking for a new trial based on what he claims was his attorney Yale Galanter’s negligence in representing him back in 2008 for his 2007 crimes, during a robbery trial that saw Simpson convicted of stealing sports memorabilia, and which gave him a minimum nine-year sentence, of which he has now served five.
Prison Life Has Aged Simpson
Prison life has definitely aged Simpson substantially, as witnessed in these photographs; the first was taken at his original sentencing back in 2008. Heavier, balder and greyer – but apparently not much less cocky or oblivious to public perception – Simpson came into court fully shackled and even had his ankle cuffs secured to his courtroom chair, making him unable to stand when Judge Bell entered the courtroom.
Simpson’s goal in the hearing was to demonstrate that his lawyers were incompetent to a degree that would have actually affected the guilty verdict.
The hearing included four witnesses, including Simpson’s own daughter Arnelle, who testified regarding phone calls between Simpson and his attorney Galanter before the Palace Station robbery took place. Galanter’s co-counsel at the original trial, Gabe Grasso, claimed Galanter refused to hire an expert to review audio recordings of the robbery, or an investigator who would profile witnesses pre-trial; but Galanter himself refuted those claims, telling the judge, “We’ve had experts look at all of them.”
Grasso disagreed, noting that he had reviewed all the audio recordings himself pre-trial and saying “there were no experts.” Grasso said he was told there was no trial budget to hire any.
Adding some color to the proceedings is the fact that Grasso is now suing his former lead counsel in the case for $250,000 – half of the fee that Simpson reportedly paid Galanter – in federal court for nonpayment. Sounds like Simpson found a lead attorney perfectly suited to his level.
Grasso and Galanter also argued over whether Simpson should have taken the stand in his own defense in the original case, with Galanter apparently having dismissed that option, while Grasso supported it. “I felt it was the only chance we had to win this case,” Grasso said.
In perhaps the strangest twist, it was revealed by Grasso that he was unaware Galanter had encouraged Simpson to retrieve his sports memorabilia from dealer Bruce Fromong. In a setup meeting at Palace Station, Simpson and five cohorts then robbed Fromong and a colleague at gunpoint. The entire confrontation was recorded, as well as subsequent conversations with Simpson. Grasso said he disagreed with Galanter not objecting to the recordings being allowed into evidence, claiming they were “prejudicial.”
In the sense that they made it abundantly clear that Simpson was guilty as hell, we can’t really argue with him there.