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The racial makeup of the jury and the conduct of the judge who oversaw O.J. Simpson's conviction have emerged as key issues in the former football star's appeal for the Nevada Supreme Court to overturn his conviction in a gunpoint Las Vegas hotel room heist.


"Mr. Simpson really believed he was recovering his own property," Simpson attorney Yale Galanter told a three-justice panel hearing oral arguments in Las Vegas on Friday. "Our theory of defense was never put before the jury."

Clark County District Attorney David Roger called the September 2008 trial contentious but fair, and the sentences just. He urged the justices to deny both appeals.

After Galanter characterized Simpson's conviction as prejudicial "payback" for his 1994 double-murder acquittal, justices Michael Cherry, Mark Gibbons and Nancy Saitta posed pointed questions about whether convicted co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart received a fair trial alongside Simpson.

Both men were convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery, conspiracy and other crimes for what Simpson maintained was an attempt to retrieve family photos and mementoes. Four other men took plea deals and received probation after testifying for the prosecution.


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