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The People vs. OJ Simpson: Closing Thoughts on “The Verdict”

By April 13, 2016 March 13th, 2019 Criminal Defense Law, Current Events

The “Trial of the Century” started nine episodes ago, taking us back to the night of the killing of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson and then to the famous chase of the Ford Bronco through Los Angeles.

Prosecutor Marcia Clark appeared to have an overwhelming case–a glove matching the one found near the victims surfaced on Simpson’s property, and DNA tests showed that the blood was Simpson’s.

oj verdict

“There is an ocean of evidence that has been unchallenged by the defense, and in an attempt to distract you, they took you through a twisted road,” Clark said.

After his surrender, OJ Simpson’s legal team would grow to become known as the “Dream Team,” including F. Lee Bailey, Robert Kardashian, Robert Shapiro, Alan Dershowitz, Gerald Uelmen, and lead trial attorney Johnnie Cochran.

Cochran successfully raised reasonable doubt to the jury. Cochran famously dismissed the matching gloves, turning the case into one about the racial bias of the LAPD.

In the end, the jury returned a not guilty verdict, and it came stunningly fast. The jury took a straw poll with a vote of 10-2 in favor of acquittal, then asked to review the testimony of the limo driver and within a couple of hours, the two in favor of convicting gave in to return a unanimous verdict of not guilty.

“They’ve discussed this case less than anyone in America,” Shapiro says, shocked, upon learning that the jury has reached a verdict.

Something that was not well known nor has been proven, but according to rumors, Simpson was very friendly with the police in jail. According to Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Run of His Life,” the basis for the show, “It was the last leak in the case — from the sheriff’s deputies guarding the jury to their colleagues guarding Simpson: O.J. was going to walk.”

Despite being a long time friend of OJ and one of his lawyers, Kardashian was rumored to have serious doubts as to the innocence of his friend and client. He kept this to himself during the trial, as he was ethically bound, but expressed his opinion after the trial was over: “I have doubts,” said Kardashian to Barbara Walters during an interview. “The blood evidence is the biggest thorn in my side; that causes me the greatest problems.” Kardashian throwing up in the bathroom after the verdict was delivered may simply be a dramatization, but Karadashian’s doubts were portrayed throughout the show.

When Marsha Clark says  “Everyone wants justice for victims, I never doubted this until now,” this illustrates her lack of the bigger picture understanding of the case. OJ’s lawyers, and specifically Johnnie Cochran, convinced the jury that minorities were victims of the LAPD and that the greatest justice would be achieved by “sending a message” that they would not convict OJ based on evidence that came from a fundamentally corrupt police organization.

At the end of the series, we are provided with a short “where are they now summary” where we learn that OJ is eligible for parole next year in 2017, as he was incarcerated for kidnapping and robbery. According to The Christian Science Monitor, Simpson’s parole board stated he’d been a model inmate with a positive record in prison. In 2013 Simpson made an appeal to the board based on a record of good inmate behavior, and they agreed with his argument, granting parole on some of his convictions but not on the weapons charges.

If Simpson’s good behavior continues for the next year, there is a realistic possibility he could be released by 2017.