A trio of Nevada Supreme Court justices focused Monday on whether O.J. Simpson and a former golfing buddy received a fair trial in a gunpoint hotel room heist and whether the case was so unique that the two men should be freed from prison while their appeals are considered.
“This is post-conviction. That’s what concerns me,” Justice Michael Cherry declared during rare oral arguments by lawyers about whether the former football star and co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart should be allowed to post bond while their appeals are pending.
Cherry, the chairman of the three-judge panel considering the bond request, didn’t say how long he and justices Mark Gibbons and Nancy Saitta might take to decide.
It appeared unlikely a ruling would come before an Aug. 12 deadline for Clark County District Attorney David Roger to file a written answer to Simpson’s appeal.
Roger, who prosecuted Simpson and Stewart, argued Monday the men got a fair trial, a Nevada jury had spoken, and the pair should continue to serve their sentences for kidnapping and armed robbery.
It is unusual for the Nevada Supreme Court, the state’s only appeals court, to hear oral arguments about bond, and it would be even more unusual for Simpson or Stewart to be released. The last such high-profile appellant to get such a chance in Nevada skipped town after posting $100,000 in 1978.
The justices are weighing whether Simpson or Stewart might flee, whether they pose a danger to the community, and if they have a good chance of winning their appeals.
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