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O.J. Simpson Trial
Transcript of O.J. Simpson Trial
Sunday, June 12, 1994
The O.J. Simpson Trial
Orenthal James Simpson
One of the most famous running backs in American football history
First marriage ended in divorce – Nicole Brown Simpson was his second wife
Began dating Brown before the divorce was finalized
Had a very positive relationship with the LAPD due to his celebrity status
Before the Bronco car chase, LAPD allowed him to surrender voluntarily to save him embarrassment of public arrest
LAPD refused to charge Simpson with any crime when Nicole Brown Simpson would report domestic abuse
1977 - Met O.J. at age 17 while working as a waitress – he was 30
Married on February 2, 1985
Divorced in 1992
Victim of domestic violence
O.J. denied ever hitting her
Age 25 at the time of murders
Waiter, Karate practitioner, model, aspiring restaurateur
A friend of Nicole Brown Simpson
Had been working as a waiter at a restaurant where Brown Simpson’s mother accidentally left her sunglasses
Agreed to return the sunglasses to Brown Simpson at her condominium
A single male entered the back entrance of Nicole Brown Simpson’s condominium at 875 Bundy Drive
In an enclosed area near the front gate, the male struggled with and stabbed Ronald Goldman approximately thirty times
He then viciously slashed Nicole, nearly severing her head from her body
ABC: 77% of white Americans believed Simpson was guilty, 82% of black Americans believed that he was innocent
1995 Gallup Poll: 42% whites and 78% blacks believed verdict was right, 49% whites and 10% blacks believed verdict was wrong
Bodies were discovered when a neighbor noticed Brown Simpson’s howling Akita dog covered in blood
Meanwhile, O.J. was on American Airlines flight #668 to Chicago
Received a ride to the airport from limousine driver Allan Park, who would later be a witness
Limousine had left Simpson estate half an hour late – Park arrived at 10:25, witnessed a man he assumed to be Simpson enter the house at 10:56
Simpson was informed of his ex-wife’s death early next morning
Reactions to Verdict
The coverage of the trial was brought up questionable generalizations about the discrepancy between the races, law enforcement, and the justice system
Major newspapers with a largely white readership focused on evidence that accused Simpson
Black owned newspapers focused on Simpson’s defense strategy and portrayed O.J. as being framed
Victim's families distraught
Defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran dismissed claims that his counsel had 'played the race card'
Support for verdict in black community
Some jurors admitted they believed Simpson to be guilty but the prosecution failed to prove their case
Case put the issue of race before the American public
Case filed in downtown LA not Santa Monica
Santa Monica much whiter
The 250 Potential jurors had to fill out lengthy questionnaire
Ito imposed strict rules onto potential jurors and dismissed those who did not follow them
Voir Dire Process
Defense and prosecution questions potential jurors
Challenge jurors who they believe are prejudiced
Can use peremptory challenge on jurors based on anything but race or sex
Cochran claimed many challenges were racially motivated
Jurors more suspicious of policemen and police testimony today
Jurors expect higher level of proof
William Hodgman, member of prosecution team
"I've talked to groups of judges, prosecutors, detectives, civic leaders, cops, criminalists throughout the country, and all of them talk about the O.J. Simpson case as kind of a benchmark."
JAN 12: Defense questions racial attitudes of Detective Mark Fuhrman, who found bloody glove at O.J.'s estate
Million Man March
Million Man March was a gathering of social activists that involved black men who marched for black leadership.
The event took place two weeks after the verdict of trial was revealed
Some people wanted to use the event as a campaign to combat negative racial stereotypes seen in the American media and in popular culture
Prosecution lawyer Marcia Clark agreed to disproportionate number of women
Despite data that women were more likely to side with defense
Black females actually did not like Nicole Brown or Marcia Clark
MARCH 9-10, 13-16: Fuhrman explains his finding of the glove at O.J.'s estate, declares he had not used racial epithet in 10 years
APR 7: Ousted juror Jeanette Harris reveals racial divisions in the jury
JUN 15: O.J. tries on leather gloves linked to killings, but they barely fit his hands
The Defense Attorneys ("The Dream Team")
F. Lee Bailey
JULY 24: Frederic Rieders finds evidence of blood preservative in two pieces of evidence, implying police planted the evidence.
JULY 28: Defense finds interview tapes that reveal Fuhrman is racist, who lied about not using racial epithet.
Whites believed with enough accusations and evidence, Simpson would be convicted.
Blacks believed that Simpson was another black man drawn into the criminal justice system.
Racism is Still Alive
AUG. 7: North Carolina appeals court clears way for O.J.'s defense to get tapes of Fuhrman using racial epithet
AUG. 15: Prosecution calls on Ito to step down after his wife, police captain Margaret York, is derided by Fuhrman in tapes; second judge steps in to decide
AUG. 18: Ito stays on case after another judge blocks York's testimony about Fuhrman
AUG. 29: Interviews of Fuhrman reveal he used word "nigger" 41 times and described police brutality
AUG. 31: Ito rules defense can tell jury of two instances of Fuhrman using epithet, none of misconduct
Whites were shocked and surprised by the Fuhrman tapes, while blacks were not
Race plays a major role in our criminal justice system even though we think we have made progress in race relations
SEPT 5: Five witnesses testify to Fuhrman's use of racial epithet within last 10 years. Fuhrman invokes Fifth Amendment protection in further testimony
SEPT 22: Simpson gets a chance to address the jury without being cross examined
SEPT 26: Clark begins closing arguments by admitting that Mark Fuhrman is a racist but that does not mean he planted key evidence at Simpson's home
SEPT 27: Christopher Darden wraps up the prosecution closing arguments by Simpson as consumed by a jealous rage. Cochran then takes up for the defense, hammering home the theme ``If it doesn't fit, you must acquit'' and references history
SEPT 28: Barry Scheck says jurors cannot trust any of the DNA analysis on blood because of police contamination and tampering
OCT 3: Verdict of not guilty is announced and O.J. Simpson is set free
Closing Statements of Johnnie Cochran