On Friday, O.J. Simpson’s ex-lawyer Yale Galanter was on the stand. He denied Simpson’s allegations that he’d botched the former NFL running back’s armed robbery trial. Also, Galanter stated that during dinner with O.J. in Las Vegas one night, Simpson said he and several other men were planning a “sting” the next morning to take back his football memorabilia.
Galanter’s testimony directly contradicts that of Simpson’s. When he took the witness stand, Galanter testified that despite O.J.’s claims, he knew that his friends had guns with them when they went to a hotel room together to retrieve some sports memorabilia.
It’s O.J.’s contention that his sports memorabilia was wrongfully confiscated from him and that his conviction should be thrown out on the grounds that his attorney did a poor job representing him.
Simpson’s former lawyer denied O.J.s allegation that he ever said it was okay to go ahead and reclaim the photos and footballs Simpson believed had been stolen from him.
Instead, Galanter stated he told Simpson he shouldn’t take matters into his own hands: “I said, ‘O.J., you’ve got to call the police.’”
However, when he was reminded that Simpson had waived attorney-client privilege, Galanter testified that he had admitted to him that he had asked two men to bring guns to the hotel room in 2007.
Also, Galanter denied another of Simpson’s claims that he had kept information away from O.J. regarding plea bargain offers which could have netted Simpson only a few years in prison.
According to Galanter, he insisted he told Simpson at least three times that prosecutors discussed plea bargains and that Simpson rejected them.
Galanter testified that Simpson said “No deal. No way,” to an offer from the district attorney of five to seven years in prison. During the trial, Simpson turned down an even better offer, Galanter stated.
“I went out in the hall and said to O.J, ‘There is an offer of two to five.’ He said, ‘See if they will take a year.’ I discussed a year with them, and they said no and the trial went on.”
As well, he said O.J. had agreed with the decision not to be put on the stand. Rather than admitting he had done a poor job in representing him, Galanter said “I put every ounce of blood, sweat and soul into it.”
O.J.’s lawyer, Tom Pitaro, suggested that Galanter had a strong financial incentive for offering testimony against O.J. Simpson:
“What Mr. Galanter has done is, this man has received over a half-million dollars and has put his interest, his financial interest, above the interest of his client,” Pitaro said.
Simpson’s 2008 conviction on charges of kidnapping and armed robbery regarding his attempts to reclaim his “stolen” sports memorabilia resulted in his being sentenced from 9 to 33 years in prison.
O.J. was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and a friend of hers, Ronald Goldman, in what was termed at the time the Trial of the Century. His conviction for kidnapping and armed robbery came thirteen years later.
After the hearing’s conclusion late Friday afternoon, Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell said she will issue her decision on the bid for a retrial at a later, unspecified time.
If Simpson’s conviction is thrown out, prosecutors will have to decide whether to retry him or offer a plea bargain.
If the former NFL running back loses, he will be sent back to prison to serve out his term for five more years, though he will probably appeal the decision. He won’t be eligible for parole until he is 70.
Written by: Douglas R. Cobb