Court to hear Tyson's appeal for new trial

February 15, 1993|By New York Daily News

Mike Tyson, who never got a chance to regain his heavyweight crown, today gets a chance to regain his freedom.

A year after Tyson, 26, was convicted of raping an 18-year-old Miss Black America contestant in an Indianapolis hotel room, lawyers for the former champion will argue before the Indiana Court of Appeals that Tyson's conviction should be reversed because of mistakes by the trial judge, Patricia Gifford.

The hearing is Tyson's last best hope for winning a new trial after a scandal that derailed his career and became a flash point for race-and-gender politics. If the appeal fails, Tyson will remain in the Indiana Youth Center outside Indianapolis for at least two years before becoming eligible for parole.

Tyson's effort is led by legal heavyweight Alan Dershowitz, who has submitted nearly 200 pages of arguments and will have an hour to make his case. Opposing him will be the Indiana attorney general's office, which will argue that Tyson's trial was fair and that his conviction should stand.

Mr. Dershowitz, the high-profile Harvard University professor and successful defender of many celebrity clients, has been crusading against the verdict for months.

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