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O.J. Simpson's lawyers request another trial

  • Story Highlights
  • Motion: Simpson didn't get a fair trial because black jurors were dismissed
  • An all-white jury convicted Simpson earlier this month on robbery charges
  • He could get life in prison during his sentencing on December 5
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LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- Lawyers for O.J. Simpson have filed a motion for a new trial, saying he was denied a fair hearing when two African-Americans were dismissed from the potential jury pool.

O.J. Simpson, convicted of robbery and kidnapping last week, could be sentenced to life in prison on December 5.

O.J. Simpson, convicted of robbery and kidnapping last week, could be sentenced to life in prison on December 5.

An all white jury found Simpson guilty on October 3 on 12 counts related to a September 13, 2007, robbery involving sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas hotel.

The 61-year-old former football star could get life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for December 5 in Las Vegas.

Jury members said at the time of his conviction on robbery and other charges that they relied mostly on audio and video evidence and very little on testimony from witnesses.

"We honestly felt we could not rely on that witness testimony," said Michelle R. Lyons, one of seven jurors who spoke to reporters in Las Vegas after the verdict. "There was not one decision we made that was based only on witness testimony."

Jury foreman Paul Connelly said some of the prosecution's witnesses didn't seem trustworthy. At least three former Simpson co-defendants who cut deals to testify in the case had criminal records.

Asked whether the jury trusted the witnesses, Connelly answered: "Not entirely, no." Video Watch jurors explain their verdict »

Prosecutors produced an audiotape of a confrontation in which authorities said Simpson and five men burst into a Las Vegas hotel room. The men allegedly made off with pillowcases containing Simpson sports memorabilia.

Several jurors said audiotapes of the incident and conversations between Simpson and others that were recorded surreptitiously before, during and after the heist proved the prosecution's case.

"It would have been a weak case" without the tapes, juror Dora Pettit said.

The jury of nine women and three men found Simpson and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart guilty of 12 charges, including conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery, assault and kidnapping with a deadly weapon.

Simpson's lawyer had indicated he planned to appeal the conviction, partly because some of the jurors had indicated during jury selection that they disagreed with a 1995 verdict in which Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. Video Watch Fred Goldman hail the verdict »

Teresa Owens, one of the jurors in the Simpson robbery case, said any suggestion that the jury found Simpson guilty because of the verdict 13 years ago is "terrible."

"There's reports right now that we've had some kind of vendetta against Mr. Simpson for ... 13 years ago," she said. "That in no way had anything to do with this case whatsoever."

Connelly said the murder trial "never came up."

"I don't think it was on anybody's minds. For that, I can say I'm proud of the jury," he said.

Before the robbery and kidnapping trial, the jurors promised they could disregard Simpson's past and solely consider the evidence against him and Stewart, 54.

Owens also said it would be "preposterous" for anyone to suggest that the makeup of the jury -- 11 jurors were white, and one said she was Hispanic, while Simpson is black -- hurt the defense's chances.

"They chose us. Five hundred people ... filled out these questionnaires," Owens said. "They had the [opportunity] to pass us."

Pettit said the jury has been painted by some "as an all-white jury that hates O.J."

"That's just not true," she said. "It couldn't be further from the truth."

Asked whether they felt the crime was bad enough to warrant life sentences, Connelly said that was for the court to decide.

Pettit said that "if he walked out tomorrow, I'd be fine with that."


However, she said Simpson had to be found guilty and that his argument about just wanting to recover his own things didn't work.

"Under Nevada law ... even if you're recovering your own stuff, you can't do it in the manner that they all went in and did it," Pettit said.

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