Despite the long odds that he faces, the disgraced former southern Californian, OJ Simpson, has filed an appeal of his recent conviction and 33 year sentence. The appeal was filed yesterday in the State of Nevada. Simpson will probably know the results of the appeal anywhere from 12 to 18 months from now, but most legal analysts already know the result.
Recently in this column, we wrote that a website had been set up to help Simpson raise funds for an appeal. We explained that Simpson would need all the money he could get because he needed the best appellate lawyers money could buy. We explained that this was so because appeals are tough. We explained that under the best of circumstances Simpson would have a 30% chance of success, but these are not the best of circumstances. Simpson has a few issues to complain about, but, in the end, the Nevada Supreme Court, where the appeal has been filed, will almost certainly refuse to reverse the conviction.
The issues raised in the appeal include allegations of judicial misconduct, insufficient evidence, a lack of racial diversity on the jury and other errors which the Simpson lawyers contend were made. As we previously explained, the appeal is not a new trial. The justices will merely review what occurred at the trial court. If they agree that errors were made that caused the verdict to be what it was then the justices will reverse the convictions.
Appellate Court justices are not supposed to merely "rubber-stamp" trial court results. And, they don't. Verdicts and rulings are reversed and modified all the time. However, the court will not reverse unless they believe that substantial errors were made that actually harmed Simpson and caused an incorrect verdict. So far, however, no one has shown us evidence or instances of such mistakes, and, therefore, the most likely result remains the same, which is that Simpson needs to get used to prison. That is his new home for a long time to come