LAS VEGAS — Under questioning by Palm, he addressed the main points of his writ of habeas corpus petition seeking a new trial on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel. His points were succinct:
— His lawyer advised him he could not be convicted and urged him not to testify in his own defense. He said had he known he could be convicted, he would have testified.
— He was never told that Galanter was having preliminary discussions with prosecutors about a potential plea deal that could have limited his prison term to two to five years and perhaps resulted in probation. Prosecutors said Galanter broke off negotiations and they assumed Simpson had turned it down. If he had taken the deal, he would have been out by now.
— He met with his lawyer the night before the hotel room confrontation and informed him that he planned to reclaim his possessions from memorabilia dealers. The lawyer said he was within his rights as long as there was no trespass or violence.
“It was my stuff. I followed what I thought was the law,” the 65-year-old former NFL star and actor said. “My lawyer told me I couldn’t break into a guy’s room. I didn’t break into anybody’s room. I didn’t try to muscle the guys. The guys had my stuff, even though they claimed they didn’t steal it.”
— He had been drinking all day before the incident but his lawyer never suggested arguing that he was impaired.
— Simpson said he neither discussed nor saw any guns during the entire episode.
H. Leon Simon, the attorney representing the state, eschewed the fire and brimstone rhetoric of prosecutors in Simpson’s trial four and half years ago. He questioned Simpson for a mere half hour, focusing on the strange robbery among friends. Simpson knew the memorabilia dealers trying to peddle his possessions.