After four years in prison, the formerly great athlete OJ Simpson returned to a Las Vegas courtroom on Monday, this time hoping to leave it as a free man.
The 65-year old Simpson entered the courtroom heavily shackled and restrained, despite the fact that his lawyers argued that such measures weren’t necessary. He is four years into a minimum nine-year sentence, but he now contends that he had poor representation during his first trial, which involved the gunpoint robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in 2007.
According to an ESPNLA report, His former attorney, Yale Galanter, rejected appropriate defense moves and “even met with Simpson the night before the disastrous heist to bless the plan as long as no one trespassed and no force was used”, Simpson alleges.
His new lawyers further claim that Simpson paid Galanter $700,000 for his defense, but Galanter had “a personal interest in preventing himself from being identified as a witness to the crimes.” They want a new trial for Simpson, on the grounds that he was misled by his counsel during the first one.
Simpson will testify on his own behalf on Wednesday, and it is believed that he will say that Galanter told him he was within his rights to retrieve his own memorabilia.
The former Trojan’s fall from grace has been one of the most notorious cases in American history, beginning with his 1995 “trial of the century” for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman–of which he was ultimately acquitted)–and ending with the robbery trial for which he is currently incarcerated.
Of the 22 allegations of conflict-of-interest and ineffective counsel that Simpson’s new counsel–led by Patricia Palm and Ozzie Fuzo–Clark County District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell has agreed to hear 19.
For the full account of Monday’s court proceedings, click here.