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Simpson asks Nev. court to consider appeal

Associated Press / March 18, 2011

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LAS VEGAS — A lawyer for O.J. Simpson is asking for the full Nevada Supreme Court to consider overturning Simpson’s conviction and sentence in a Las Vegas hotel room heist.

Las Vegas lawyer Malcolm LaVergne argued in documents filed yesterday that the jury in Simpson’s 2008 Las Vegas trial wasn’t fully screened for bias, that blacks were improperly dismissed from the jury, and that kidnapping charges weren’t proved.

The 12-page document was notable for the absence of Simpson trial attorney Yale Galanter.

Galanter said that he’s still Simpson’s lawyer but that he didn’t have a hand in the latest filing to the state high court.

LaVergne said he hoped the seven justices will agree to hear his appeal and will reach a different conclusion than the three justices who rejected Simpson’s appeal in October. The panel also denied Simpson a rehearing in February.

Simpson “sits in prison with a 33-year sentence imposed for a brief confrontation that involved no bodily harm,’’ the document says, “over a dispute involving Mr. Simpson’s legitimate claim to property stolen from him.’’

LaVergne derides Simpson’s conviction on the most serious charges, kidnapping, as flawed and “a mockery of real kidnapping cases and prior precedent.’’

Clark County District Attorney David Roger didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. He has said he believes the state high court thoroughly dealt with Simpson’s appeal.

The 63-year-old Simpson is serving nine to 33 years in prison on kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges stemming from a confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers and a middle man in a room in a Las Vegas casino hotel in September 2007. If his state appeal is denied, he could appeal to federal courts.

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