Simpson’s legal team’s bid, which followed an unsuccessful “direct appeal,” asked for a new trial on 22 specific grounds related to his trial and appeal. But they didn’t sway Clark County Judge Linda Marie Bell, who sided against Simpson point-by-point-by-point.
“Given the overwhelming amount of evidence,” Bell wrote, “neither the errors in this case, nor the errors collectively, cause this court to question the validity of Mr. Simpson’s conviction.”
His current legal team expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling.
“We’re shocked and disappointed,” said Patricia Palm, one of his attorneys. “We’re convinced the law provides relief for Mr. Simpson.”
The Heisman Trophy winner, as college football best player, and Pro Football Hall of Fame member had starred as a TV commentator, in commercials and in movies after his retirement from the sport.
Yet he found himself accused of murder in 1994, following the killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman. After a lengthy, high-profile trial, a jury acquitted him in that case. But Simpson’s life hardly returned to normal.
He lost a civil trial brought against him in the deaths, and was ordered to pay millions in punitive damages — including $33 million to Goldman’s estate, according to Tuesday’s ruling. Years of legal fights ensued; by 2007, the Goldman and Brown families had yet to collect any money from Simpson, according to their lawyers.
That September, Simpson and several others went into a Las Vegas hotel room to get sports memorabilia Simpson said belonged to him. The six men confronted the dealers Bruce Fromong and Al Beardsley, brandishing weapons, but not firing them.
Simpson, 66, insisted he was going after what was rightfully his, saying he regrets only bringing along men “who I didn’t know and one I didn’t trust.”
The jury didn’t trust his side’s arguments, finding Simpson guilty on 12 counts, including kidnapping and armed robbery. He was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison.
A parole board partly reduced his sentence early this year, though he still has at least four more years to serve.
This latest appeal attempted to throw out the conviction for several reasons, most of them related to his defense team.
Simpson claimed his one-time lawyer, Yale Galanter, had a conflict of interest in the case, his lawyers improperly advised him not to testify, didn’t tell him of prosecutors’ plea offer and didn’t present “voluntary intoxication” as a defense.
One of the grounds was particularly sweeping, with Simpson asserting that his attorneys didn’t properly address “judicial misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct and the admission of prejudicial evidence,” before citing several specific instances.
But as with each of the other claims, Bell didn’t accept his arguments.
“Mr. Simpson has failed to provide any evidence supporting his claim for ineffective assistance of trial counsel,” she wrote about this matter, specifically. “Consequently this claim is denied.”