Court fight to free OJ Simpson over ‘robbery’

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Lawyers for OJ Simpson have appealed to Nevada’s supreme court, asking for his release from prison and a new trial in his 2007 armed-robbery case.

The lawyers met a midnight Wednesday deadline to submit a request for the court to review Simpson’s claim that the 2008 trial in Las Vegas was tainted by his fame and notoriety following his 1995 acquittal in Los Angeles over the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend.

The trial of Simpson, a celebrity sports star turned actor, was one of the most sensational in recent US history.

The court has not decided whether to hear oral arguments. Simpson’s lawyers complicated matters by submitting a document totalling 19,993 words –some 43 per cent longer than the 14,000-word limit the court had set, according to a court spokesman.

It will be up to the seven justices to decide whether to accept it for filing and consideration. Until that time, the document has not been made public.

Simpson, 66, is serving nine to 33 years in a Nevada prison after being found guilty of leading a group of armed men in a September 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas casino hotel.

He was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges and is not eligible for parole until late 2017.

Simpson claimed he was trying to retrieve stolen goods to help pay off the $33.5m (£19.9m) owed to the estates of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, by civil courts who found him responsible for their unlawful deaths.

He said he thought he had a right to get his own belongings back and never knew any of the men with him were carrying guns.

The appeal stems from arguments rejected last year by Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell that Simpson’s trial lawyer botched his trial and first appeal to the state supreme court, which acts as the only appeal court in Nevada.