Attorney Yale Galanter, who defended OJ Simpson in his 2008 armed robbery trial, says his client set himself up for failure through his controversial book, If I Did It.
“And I really got the sense that the minute the jury was picked, that he was going to be convicted,” Galanter said Thursday on the LawNewz Network. “There was such hatred and vitriol against him because of that book– I really didn’t think the jury would listen.”
Galanter said the book, on top of all the other stuff, was “the camel that broke the straw’s back.”
“It was really just rubbing America’s face in it,” he said. “How does a father write a book called If I Did It knowing that his four children are going to read that book?”
Simpson was acquitted in 1995 for the double murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. If I Did It meant to depict what Simpson considered a hypothetical: what would have happened had he really killed them. Galanter said the jurors in his 2008 robbery trial accepted that previous verdict, but hated the defendant’s decision to do that book.
After the jury convicted him on the Las Vegas robbery charges, OJ was sentenced to 33 years behind bars.
Galanter appeared on the LawNewz Network on Thursday to talk about what it was like to defend the man who had previously been accused as a killer. He represented the disgraced football star for years, but OJ filed an ineffective counsel complaint against him in 2013. Nonetheless, Galanter didn’t really seem mad about it.
“He met these other lawyers who convinced him to file this ineffective assistance of counsel,” Galanter said. “Now in my world, that is a very common thing to do. Quite frankly, I fully supported it at the time. I didn’t support the way it was done because they never contacted me, they didn’t do any discovery. Typically, the old team and the new team will meet and try to find some common ground. … So I would’ve certainly fallen on the sword–not lied, certainly not, don’t get that impression–but certainly would’ve tried to find some common ground on things that I could’ve helped him with.”
Communication broke down, and the relationship became, as Galanter described it, “adversarial.”
Simpson’s appeal failed in the Nevada Supreme Court. Nonetheless, he is eligible for parole, with a hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. EST. LawNewz Network will provide live coverage of the hearing. If successful, he will be out in October after nine years in prison.
[Screengrab via Law Newz Network]