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Sunday, June 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Court Hears Challenge to O.J. Jury Secrecy

CARSON CITY (CN) - Attorneys for two media outlets appeared before the Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday, hoping for a ruling that the judge overseeing O.J. Simpson's kidnapping and burglary trial improperly withheld jury questionnaires from the media, and improperly released redacted forms when the trial ended.

The panel made no decision Tuesday, but it is expected that any forthcoming opinion could impact future cases involving jury questionnaires.

Last September, Clark County Court Judge Jackie Glass stated that the questionnaires would be withheld because she promised jurors to keep them private. She also stated that releasing the questionnaires before the trial's end could taint the jurors, especially given the existence of a Web site that was posting odds on Simpson's verdict. She then issued blackened-out questionnaires when the trial ended.

The Associated Press and the Las Vegas Review-Journal said Glass failed to provide a legitimate legal reason for delaying the jurors' questionnaires, and for issuing the censored copies.

Simpson and his last-standing co-defendant, Clarence "C.J." Stewart, were convicted Oct. 3, 2008 of all 12 charges against them, including armed robbery and kidnapping, for holding up a pair of sports memorabilia dealers in a hotel room in 2007.

Last December, Simpson was sentenced to at least nine years in prison, exactly 13 years to the day that he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in Los Angeles.

Stewart got at least seven years for his role in the hotel room heist.

Also Tuesday, Charles Cashmore, one of Simpson's former accomplices who received leniency in exchange for his testimony, was given a slap on the wrist by Glass after he was arrested and tested positive for methamphetamine on New Year's Eve.

Instead of sending Cashmore to prison for violating probation, Glass instead ordered Cashmore to attend an inpatient drug treatment program, the Review-Journal reported.

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