Simpson waits in isolation for sentencing

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image "><span></span></div><span class="caption-text">The Palace Station hotel & casino is shown in Las Vegas on Friday, Sept. 14, 2007. Police questioned O. J. Simpson about a break-in at the property Thursday night. Simpson was released and is believed to be in Las Vegas, police spokesman Jose Montoya said.  (AP Photo&#47;Isaac Brekken)</span></div>
October 5, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
O.J. Simpson is being isolated from other prisoners for his own safety but continues to hope for a new trial and a strong bid to reverse his conviction for kidnapping and robbery, his lawyer said Sunday. Attorney Yale Galanter told The Associated Press that 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.

Simpson will be held in the Clark County Detention Center until his Dec. 5 sentencing and then is expected to be moved to state prison. Galanter said he will pursue a request for Simpson to be released on bond during the appeals process.

But because of the seriousness of the charges, Simpson would probably remain in jail during an appeal. Galanter said an appeal cannot be filed until after sentencing.

"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."

Galanter said that 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 during which they discussed plans for the case. "He's disappointed and a bit melancholy," 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 at trial in Los Angeles in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

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.