O.J. Simpson Testified Today in his Hearing on a Motion for New Trial

O.J. Simpson Prison Photo

O.J. Simpson Prison Photo

OJ took the stand to testify today in his bid for a new trial. It appears the main thrust of his claim as to why a new trial would be appropriate are shortcomings in his representation by his attorney. As Defendants are Constitutionally guaranteed the right to representation, the courts have held that if their attorney makes egregious errors, they were not properly represented at trial and can potentially get a new trial.

Not only do the errors have to be extreme, they must seriously indicate there would have been a different outcome. Also, the courts will usually not grant a new trial if the claim is based on strategic decisions, as opposed to outright mistakes. The burden is on the Defense to demonstrate the extent of the errors, and the likelihood of a different outcome.

Simpson testified that he had been given bad advice by his attorney before the incident- basically claiming that his attorney approved his actions in attempting to collect the property. If true, that could be a conflict of interest since the same attorney represented him at trial. Also, he claims that his attorney failed to inform him of the plea offer, which he would have been done serving his time by now had he accepted it. Also, he testified that his attorney kept him from testifying, thereby depriving him of his key defense. Again, the burden is on OJ to convince the judge of these claims. Such motions are generally long-shot, last-ditch attempts to overturn convictions. However, the allegations made by OJ are more dramatic that most. As far as I can tell from news reports, the hearing has not been concluded.

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One response to “O.J. Simpson Testified Today in his Hearing on a Motion for New Trial

  1. Pingback: O.J. Simpson’s Motion for New Trial Denied | crimcourts : A Criminal Law Blog

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