Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

May 20, 2013

OJ Simpson lawyers say he is closer to freedom

(Continued)

"I felt a genuine fondness for O.J. and was devastated when he lost," Galanter said.

However, when Simpson testified Wednesday, he recounted his hotel room confrontation with memorabilia dealers, and his interactions with the lawyer he blamed for his conviction.

He said he trusted Galanter based a long professional relationship. "He was my guy," Simpson said.

He said Galanter made no mention of a plea deal and advised him not to testify in his own defense when other lawyers said it would help.

Galanter, when he was on the stand, said Simpson brought "too much baggage" to testify given his 1995 acquittal in the murders of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Following the "trial of the century" Simpson was ordered to pay $33.5 million when he was found liable for the killings in civil court.

Galanter also testified that Simpson confided to him that he had asked two men to bring guns to the hotel room in September 2007, and Simpson "knew he screwed up."

Simpson lawyer Fumo, however, said that claim wasn't credible.

"Galanter tried to throw O.J. under the bus, but it was inconsistent with the entire defense he presented," Fumo said. At trial Galanter had said Simpson never ordered guns to be carried and didn't see firearms in the room.

Simpson's lawyers have a high legal burden to prove their case under a writ of habeas corpus, which relies on showing not only that his lawyer's work was ineffective but that if he had acted differently it would have changed the outcome.

But there is another key issue — conflict of interest.

"An actual conflict is a violation of the right to counsel," said Jennifer Carr, a criminal law professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas."

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