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SIMPSON’S SPECIAL TREATMENT UPSETS SOME PUBLIC DEFENDERS

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O.J. Simpson is getting special treatment in jail, including more showers, weekend visitors, hot meals and time outside his cell than other inmates.

Simpson's privileges have upset some public defenders, who complain their clients get little slack at Los Angeles County's Men's Central Jail."What it looks like, to an attorney who goes down to the jail to see a lot of clients, is a scam," said John Meyers, who has been a defense attorney for 25 years.

Sheriff Sherman Block said what appeared to be favoritism was an attempt to run the jail more smoothly. "Those things we are doing that seem to give O.J. special treatment are being done for our benefit," he said.

The former football star is charged with murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman. He is the only occupant in a seven-cell wing reserved for high-security "keep-away" inmates such as bad cops and high-ranking gang leaders.

Most inmates held in isolation get only one hour per week in the crowded visiting room. Simpson gets unlimited - albeit no-contact - visits with girlfriend Paula Barbieri and others in a private booth in a room reserved for inmates meeting with their lawyers, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday, citing records and interviews.

Simpson also has exclusive use of the attorney visiting area on weekends and was allowed visitors on Christmas, the newspaper said. The jail's 6,000 other inmates weren't allowed Christmas visitors.

Simpson is allowed to sleep later and use about 14 hours outside his cell each week to stretch his legs, ride an exercise bike provided for his use, talk on the phone or watch TV, the newspaper said. Most inmates get up to four hours outside their cells each week.

Simpson also can take a shower with the extra time out of his cell, a sheriff's spokesman said. Other "keep-away" inmates shower every other day, the Times said.