LAS VEGAS – O.J. Simpson is being isolated from other prisoners for his own safety, and is focusing on a motion for new trial and a strong bid for appellate reversal of his conviction for kidnapping and robbery, his lawyer said Sunday.
Attorney Yale Galanter told The Associated Press he will continue to pursue a request for Simpson to be released on bond pending appeal.
Meanwhile, Galanter said Simpson will be living a lonely life, advised by his lawyers to do no media interviews and allowed to see only family members and a few friends placed on a special list at the jail.
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Simpson will be held in Clark County Detention Center until his Dec. 5 sentencing, then is expected to be transferred to state prison. Because of the seriousness of the charges, it is likely that Simpson would remain in jail during his appeal.
"He is in isolated custody and being protected from other inmates," Galanter said aboard a plane as he prepared to return to his Miami office. "The jail is taking very special precautions to make sure he is safe."
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Galanter said that this will make for a difficult incarceration for the gregarious Simpson, because "it limits his contacts with other humans."
The attorney said Simpson was OK during a jail visit Saturday where they discussed future plans for the case. "He's disappointed and a bit melancholy," he said.
Galanter said the appeal cannot be filed until after Simpson is sentenced.
"We are planning to fast track that as much as possible," he said.
The 61-year-old Hall of Fame football star was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and 10 other charges for gathering five men a year ago and storming a room at a hotel-casino to seize Simpson sports mementos — including game balls, plaques and photos — from two collectors. Prosecutors said two of the men with him were armed; one testified Simpson had asked him to bring a gun.
Galanter said he believes Simpson has a strong argument for reversal of his conviction because of legal errors made during the trial, beginning with the jury selection process.
He said issues to be raised on appeal will include the elimination of all African-Americans from the jury and the inclusion of jurors who believed that Simpson should have been convicted of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in a 1995 Los Angeles trial.
Juror Fred Jones acknowledged to the Los Angeles Times that he thought Simpson killed his ex-wife and her friend, but said he put that aside when considering the Las Vegas case.
"We went out of our way not to mention that," Jones said. "That was never, never in our thoughts."
Jury foreman Paul Connelly said the murders "really didn't come up" as the jury deliberated.
"I honestly believe in my heart of hearts that it did not" affect the verdict," Connelly told the Los Angeles Times.
Lawyers for Simpson's co-defendant, Clarence "C.J" Stewart have said they also plan a strong appeal with focus on their claim that he was prejudiced by having to stand trial with Simpson. They had filed numerous severance motions, claiming that Simpson's notoriety would infect Stewart's case.