O.J. Simpson asked a federal court to overturn a $33.5 million wrongful death judgment against him for the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife and her friend.

Simpson's petition, filed Thursday, contends that his civil rights were violated. It claims that jurors who found against Simpson in a lawsuit trial were "inflamed by emotion," and the award to the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman was so large as to constitute "cruel and unusual punishment."

Simpson, who was acquitted of murder in connection with the slayings, has continued to maintain his innocence. He exhausted all state appeals in the civil case.

The California Supreme Court refused to consider his request for review last April.

Now living in Florida, the former actor and professional football star has not worked since the civil trial. Any money he earns could be seized to satisfy the judgment, which remains largely unpaid.

As of last year, the families had received about $430,000.