Las Vegas Sun

September 30, 2014

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O.J. Simpson’s appeal moving at a snail’s pace

Former football great O.J. Simpson, known for his quick moves through the defense, is finding out the wheels of justice move more slowly.

There have been delays allowed for the defense and the prosecution in submitting documents to the Nevada Supreme Court in a case that was supposed to be handled expeditiously.

Defense Attorney Patricia Palm of Las Vegas filed a notice of appeal with the court Dec. 4 and asked it to put the case on a fast track.

The opening brief by the defense was due April 18, but the lawyers got two extensions after saying the issues were complex. Palm also got permission from the court to exceed 14,000 words in the first brief.

The opening brief was submitted May 22. But on May 30, the court rejected the document, saying it did not follow court standards. Palm submitted a corrected brief June 4.

The Clark County District Attorney’s Office was required to file its answering brief by July 7, but it asked for an extension, noting the defense received two delays and had six months to prepare its opening brief.

Chief Justice Mark Gibbons on Tuesday granted the DA’s motion and set Sept 5 as the deadline for the answering brief. The judge said there would not be any more extensions “absent extraordinary circumstances” and that the DA’s office could face sanctions if it doesn’t meet its deadline.

After Sept. 5, the defense will have time to file a reply brief.

So the motion to “fast track” the case is fading. The court probably won’t hear oral arguments until late this year or in early 2015. And it could be months before a decision is published.

Simpson was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison for entering a Las Vegas hotel room accompanied by armed accomplices to reclaim sports memorabilia from Bruce Fromong and Al Beardsley.

Now 67, Simpson has served six years. His next parole hearing will come in 2017.

The pending appeal before the Supreme Court says Miami attorney Yale Galanter, the trial and first appeal lawyer, was ineffective and deficient in his representation of Simpson. It asks the convictions be overturned.

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