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O.J. Simpson Loses Bid For New Trial

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By Betty Wang, JD on November 27, 2013 11:22 AM

O.J. Simpson won't be getting a another trial after his latest loss in court. In the most recent development for Simpson, who was most famously known for having stood trial for the killing of his ex-wife, a judge has now denied Simpson's bid for a new trial, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Simpson, 66, was convicted in 2008 of kidnapping, armed robbery, and other charges stemming from an incident at a Vegas hotel room in 2007.

What was Simpson claiming in order to receive a retrial?

Direct Appeal vs. Habeas Petition

Simpson's legal team filed this latest appeal, seeking a new trial, after an unsuccessful direct appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. How was this move different than his first appeal?

The typical appeals process involves a defendant requesting a higher court to review the final judgment of a lower court (like Simpson's trial court) for improper application of the law or other errors. When an appellate court decides an appeal, it generally only views the current record of the proceedings from the lower court -- no new evidence is brought in or considered.

Simpson's appeal of his robbery and kidnapping convictions was denied by the Nevada Supreme Court in 2010, with the Court finding his arguments for overturning the verdict unconvincing.

This recent appeal was a slightly different procedure called a habeas petition. This legal move is most criminal convicts' last chance to appeal their case based on allegations that their constitutional rights had been violated. In Simpson's case, he began his habeas appeal in May, arguing to Judge Linda Marie Bell that his former attorney in both his trial and direct appeal was ineffective, violating his Sixth Amendment right to an attorney and demanding a new trial.

Simpson and his new legal team claimed that Simpson's attorney had shoddily guided Simpson through his trial, which resulted in his supposedly unfounded conviction. However, the courts saw that despite any new evidence or proof of ineffective assistance, the "overwhelming amount of evidence," in the case still supported the validity of Simpson's conviction, the Times reports.

Simpson's New Life

Simpson, who is no stranger to the trial process, can still attempt to appeal Judge Bell's decision to the state Supreme Court. If that fails, he could also then petition to the federal courts, likely based on the claims that his constitutional right to effective counsel was violated, for one.

For now, however, Simpson's conviction stands and he will remain behind bars. He could face prison time for up to 33 years.

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