O.J. Simpson Gets One Free Hand to Take Notes, Drink Water

PHOTO: O.J. Simpson and attorney in courtPlayEthan Miller/Pool/AP Photo
WATCH O.J. Simpson Allowed One Hand Free in Court

O.J. Simpson won a small victory in his bid for freedom today when a judge ruled that his right hand could be unshackled.

The former football and movie star was granted one unshackled hand to take notes and drink water. Simpson is expected to testify on Wednesday that his former attorney, Yale Galanter, botched the 2008 armed robbery and kidnapping trial that landed him a prison sentence of nine-to-33 years.

The once-strapping athlete who used to sport designer suits wore a blue prison jumpsuit today as he listened to the second day of testimony in his bid for a new trial.

Simpson, 65, periodically used his right hand to take notes, while his left hand remained shackled to a chair.

While a small victory, it was important for Simpson's legal team. His attorney, Osvaldo Fumo, told ABC News on Monday the courtroom setting had been a challenge.

"They wouldn't let him out of his shackles. They wouldnt let us give him a mint," Fumo said on Monday. "It was pretty hard on him."

Simpson, known as Nevada inmate No. 1027820, was convicted in 2008 of leading a sports memorabilia heist at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel room. His attorneys contend he was trying to recover personal photographs he believed had been stolen.

Gabriel Grasso, a former co-counsel who worked with Galanter on Simpson's 2008 trial, returned to the stand today and criticized his former associate's handling of the trial.

"I could advise O.J. all day long, and he was very respectful of me," Grasso said. "But if I advised him of something different from what Yale said, he would do what Yale said."

Galanter is expected to take the stand on Friday.

In a sworn statement obtained by The Associated Press, Simpson said he told Galanter he'd planned to confront two sports memorabilia dealers to retrieve personal items he believed had been stolen from him.

"I fully disclosed my plan to Yale Galanter, and he advised me that I was within my legal rights," Simpson wrote. He added that Galanter told him it was acceptable as long as he did not trespass or use physical force.

Simpson also claimed in the statement that Galanter failed to tell him of a plea deal that would have gotten him two years in prison.

"Had I understood that there was an actual chance of conviction, I would have accepted such an offer," Simpson wrote in the statement.

Simpson's appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court was denied in 2010. As his current sentence stands, he won't be eligible for parole until 2017, when he will be 70 years old.