OJ heading for the 'dog box'

tough times: OJ Simpson faces jail time. 07/12/08. © Unknown.
tough times: OJ Simpson faces jail time. 07/12/08. © Unknown.

LAS VEGAS - In the harsh light of the morning after his sentencing, OJ Simpson's future was clear on Saturday. His new home will be a prison cell in the Nevada desert with his door to freedom hinging on an appeal of a trial that his lawyers say was filled with errors.

LAS VEGAS - In the harsh light of the morning after his sentencing, OJ Simpson's future was clear on Saturday. His new home will be a prison cell in the Nevada desert with his door to freedom hinging on an appeal of a trial that his lawyers say was filled with errors.

"This is not a frivolous appeal," Yale Galanter, Simpson's lawyer, said.

"There were some grave errors made by Judge Glass, and we think they are strong enough to overturn the conviction. We also think we have a shot at bail."

Galanter has cited six initial issues for appeal. The most significant concern could be the exclusion of blacks from the jury selection. The defence also will protest the judge allowing comments about Simpson's 1994 Los Angeles murder case in which he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman.

OJ remained at the Clark County Jail where he has been since his conviction on October 3, along with co-defendant Clarence "CJ" Stewart. The two men were found guilty of 12 criminal charges, including kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Simpson was sentenced on Friday to nine to 33 years in prison. Stewart got seven and a half to 27 years.

Michael Shapiro, a New York lawyer who has followed the Las Vegas case, said Simpson's case may get extra attention from the Nevada Supreme Court, the state's only appellate court.

"Superimposed over all of it is that he's OJ. He's not Joe Schmo," Shapiro said.

The justices also could be influenced by Simpson's murder trial, he said, calling it "the 800-pound gorilla in the room".

X