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Tyson’s Attorneys Ask State Supreme Court To Release Boxer From Prison

April 3, 1992

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Mike Tyson’s attorneys today asked the Indiana Supreme Court to release the boxer from prison while he appeals his rape conviction.

In briefs filed with the state’s highest court, the attorneys asked the five justices either to quickly grant Tyson bail or to send the case back to the state Court of Appeals with directions for deciding bail questions.

A three-judge Court of Appeals panel denied Tyson’s request for bail on Tuesday with a two-sentence order that didn’t explain the court’s reasoning. The decision upheld Marion Superior Court Judge Patricia Gifford’s order sending Tyson directly to prison.

Gifford sentenced the former heavyweight champion last week to six years in prison. Tyson, 25, was convicted on rape and criminal deviate conduct charges for an assault on Desiree Washington, a Miss Black America beauty pageant contestant, in his Indianapolis hotel room last July.

In a statement released today, Tyson attorney Alan M. Dershowitz said he was asking the state’s highest court to assess the issues to be brought up in Tyson’s appeal ″in order to determine that they are serious and warrant granting of bail.″

Kimberly Bradford, administrator for the Supreme Court, said the court did not immediately indicate how it would handle Dershowitz’s petitions.

Dershowitz argued that the lack of detail in the Court of Appeals’ decision showed the need for the Supreme Court to clarify what the appropriate standards are for granting bail pending an appeal.

In the court briefs, Tyson’s attorneys contended they have a good chance of prevailing on appeal. They plan to argue Gifford erred in not allowing three defense witnesses to testify, in refusing a jury instruction offered by the defense and in allowing a prosecutor to read, during final arguments, statements on the roles of defense attorneys.

Meanwhile, a prison spokesman said that Tyson is ″adjusting to incarceration very well″ as enters his second week at the Reception- Diagnostic Center in Plainfield, about 15 miles west of Indianapolis.

Tyson volunteered for work assignments and went through an educational assessment Thursday.

″He’s very polite, very cooperative,″ said Department of Correction spokesman Kevin Moore.

Moore said Tyson briefly broke his fast Thursday night, eating a portion of the meatloaf and potatoes served to inmates for dinner. However, the boxer didn’t eat breakfast today.

Tyson also has begun to buy snack items from the prison commissary, Moore said. For his first week in prison, Tyson had taken only liquids, saying he wanted to lose weight.

Today, Tyson was to go through a personality analysis as prison officials finish one phase of the evaluation that will help determine where the former heavyweight champion will serve the balance of his sentence.

Update hourly