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05/10/2013

Inmate No. 1027820 (aka O.J. Simpson) seeks his new day in court

OJ
O.J. Simpson appears in a Nevada court in 2008 for the first day of his trial. (AP Photo)

It's been about four years since the public has seen O.J. Simpson. He's been in a Nevada prison since being convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in 2008.

Now, the former football star is asking a Las Vegas court to give him a new trial. The reason? He claims his legal representation was no Dream Team -- and the Associated Press is reporting that Simpson will testify that his lawyer "is to blame" for both the conviction and a failed appeal. (The lawyer, Yale Galanter, declined to speak to the wire service.)

Simpson, you'll remember, was acquitted in Los Angeles in 1995 of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, thanks mostly to the "Dream Team" of Johnnie Cochrane, Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey and Alan Dershowitz.

But that case wasn't Simpson's last brush with the legal system: at a civil trial, he was found liable for their deaths, and in 2001, he had a few problems with the local constabulary in Florida.

Then Simpson got into trouble in Nevada, and just in case you're not a voracious consumer of crime news, I'll catch you up on what finally landed The Juice in The Clink. (You can search the Nevada Department of Corrections website for his profile, in case you're interested.)

In 2007, Simpson and five other men stormed a hotel room, looking for two collectibles dealers. He said he was trying to retrieve items which belonged to him, and which he believed had been stolen. The jury deliberated for 13 hours and in the end, clearly disagreed.

He was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison. Now 65, the AP reports Simpson becomes eligible for parole at age 70. He is scheduled to appear in court for the full hearing, which begins Monday. 

With the aggravation phase of Jodi Arias' case on hold until Wednesday, there's a real hole in the calendar of trial-watchers. A quick look at the case information file for Simpson reveals that there will -- of course -- be a camera in the courtroom.

Jennifer Quinn is a foreign affairs and investigative reporter at the Star. She travelled to Phoenix to writer about the Arias case. Follow her on Twitter @JQStar

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