Why O.J. Simpson was so eager to take stand in new trial (+video)
O.J. Simpson wants a new trial to reconsider his 2008 conviction on charges of armed robbery and kidnapping, saying he was misled by a bad lawyer. It's a common problem, legal experts say.
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Although the decision is to be made by a single judge rather than a jury, the perceived veracity of Simpson is important. How did he do?
This is the first time Simpson has testified at any of his trials, going back to 1995’s so-called “trial of the century,” in which he was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. He was later convicted in a civil trial and ordered to pay more than $35 million to the two families, but again, never testified.
Though this trial is unrelated, "He's been wanting to tell his story. He's excited about telling his story," Simpson's current attorney, Ozzie Fumo, told the Associated Press.
Simpson maintains that advice from Galanter not to testify in 2008 is, in fact, part of the reason for this week’s appeal.
“While prison has had a major effect on his physical appearance, with weight gain, puffiness, and graying hair, O.J. Simpson did not show any signals of deception as he testified," writes Lillian Glass, author of "Toxic People: 10 Ways Of Dealing With People Who Make Your Life Miserable,” in an e-mail. “He is fluent and doesn't hesitate and appears plausible. O.J also sounds and shows plausible signs with regards to his not using weapons.”
“He appeared forthcoming, especially about his drinking and his drinking at breakfast and throughout the morning. O.J.’s explanation of security makes sense,” she says.
However, the standard of proof is so high that Simpson is unlikely to meet it, even if the judge believes everything he says, says Norman Garland, a professor at Southwestern Law School.
“Simpson has to prove not only that the advice given to him was deficient, but that he was prejudiced by that deficiency,” says Professor Garland. “The requirements for demonstrating ineffective assistance of counsel are demanding, and the defendant must overcome a strong presumption that counsel’s performance was within the range of competent representation in order to prevail.”
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