20th May 2013
The Juice is loose! And, he’s talking! For the first time since OJ Simpson ran afoul of the legal system back in the 90s, OJ Simpson took the stand in his own defense this week as he fights for a new trial in his sports memorabilia robbery conviction. At issue is whether attorney Yale Galanter gave OJ the best possible defense or whether he fumbled in the end zone, resulting in OJ’s stiff 9-33 year prison sentence. OJ’s new legal team filed a habeas petition, in which they outlined numerous claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and conflict of interest, 19 of which the Judge agreed to hear. These petitions are filed regularly by inmates and the majority are given short shrift by the Court, but something about OJ’s petition clearly caught the Judge’s attention enough to grant a hearing. OJ will not only have to prove his lawyers botched his trial, but also that the outcome would have been different, but it is going to be a case of he said/he said with conflicting testimony from OJ himself and Galanter. While his former attorney is scheduled to take the stand today, OJ testified he went to a Palace Station hotel room in Vegas only AFTER speaking with Galanter and getting the go ahead. (Please NOTE, the Attoreny Client Privilige is now TERMINATED). He also claims Yale never shared a plea offer with him, which would have had him cooling his heels in a Vegas cell for only one year and Galanter did not allow him to testify in general, but specifically about his drunkenness on the day his sting went down. Of all of his arguments, the never shared plea offer is probably the strongest as all defense attorneys have an obligation to share every plea offer with his or her client, no matter if they are for or against it. It is up to the client, with guidance from the attorney, to make the decision whether to accept or reject a plea. While these ineffective assistance claims generally go nowhere, even after a hearing, if OJ is able to convince the Judge Galanter kept that plea to himself, he may just have a shot. Interestingly, Galanter’s local counsel, Malcolm LaVergne was firmly on OJ’s side as he testified about Galanter’s handling of the case, including his “my way or the highway” attitude. LaVergne claimed Galanter was not open to suggestions, did not share legal information with Simpson and was more concerned with the media than the legal implications of the charges on Simpson. I am sure after OJ testified he felt very, very good and that lasted until his former Attorney Galanter took the stand and blew OJ up. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and aint no way Vegas is letting the Juice to leave.