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OJ Trail

02 Dec 2016Personal Essays

Opening

The case of the state of California versus O.J. Simpson was probably one of the major cases of the 1990s. Even today there is still a disagreement as to whether OJ Simpson was guilty or innocent.  Many believe O.J. Simpson was guilty, but because he had the money and the influence, got away with murder. OJ Simpson was a famous football player in the NFL league, and actor. OJ Simpson was married to Nicole Brown Simpson, and was accused of murdering her and her friend Ronald Goldman, but was acquitted after a lengthy criminal trial.  The murder of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman happened on June 12, 1994. The leader of the murder investigation was a veteran LAPD detective named Tom Lane. Tom Lane had helped solve the Tate/LaBianca murders and the 1981 massacre of the Wonderland gang.

OJ Simpson on the other hand, had what the media called his “dream team” consisting of high profile lawyers including F. Lee Bailey, Berry Scheck, Robert Shapiro, Robert Kardashian, Alan Dershowitz, and Johnnie Cochran. Simpson's defense suggested that he was a victim of police brought in sloppy internal procedures that contaminated the DNA evidence.  OJ Simpson's defense cost 4 million US dollars. In all, 150 witnesses gave testimony during the trial, which allows a period of eight months long.  One primary piece of evidence that the prosecution presented was a tape Nicole Brown Simpson had made on January 1, 1989 when she'd called 911 and expressed fear that her husband.  O.J. Simpson would physically harm her, O.J. Simpson could be heard yelling at her in the background.  The prosecution also used DNA fingerprinting, blood and shoe print analysis, and other forms of what was considered, new technology. Although OJ Simpson may have gotten off in 1995, his recent criminal activity in 2008 has landed him a cruel sentence.

Analysis

When conducting analysis of both the prosecution and the defense,  
the grand jury did not convict OJ Simpson of murder, but rather released him.  OJ Simpson's defense played an audiotape in which Fuhrman, a member of the prosecution, was repeatedly using the word “nigger” which was considered to express his own racism.  The tape itself had been made nearly 10 years before by a young North Carolina screenwriter named Laura McKinney.  McKinney interviewed Fuhrman in 1986 for a story she was developing on female police officers, the Fuhrman tapes became one of the cornerstones of the defense's case that Fuhrman's testimony lacked credibility.

OJ's defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, persuaded the assistant prosecutor Christopher Darden and asked Simpson to put on a leather glove that was found at the scene of the crime.  Earlier, the prosecution had decided against asking O.J. Simpson to try on the gloves, because they felt the glove had been soaked in blood, mingled during scientific investigation, and frozen and unfrozen several times. The fact that the glove was too tight for Simpson to put on easily was one that inspired Cochran to use, this is one of the key arguments in his case against the prosecution's claims.

Opening Statements

The opening statements made by the prosecutor Christopher Darden, primarily concerned itself with presenting to the jury why Simpson had motivations to kill his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Christopher Darden, primarily relied on a 911 call made by Nicole Simpson in 1989, in which O.J. Simpson could be heard and early shouting and Nicole Simpson, and Nicole Simpson was obviously afraid for her life.  Another point presented by Christopher Darden was the fact that O.J. Simpson and Nicole Simpson were going through a bitter divorce, and O.J. Simpson obsessively thought Nicole Simpson was cheating on him.  Judge Lance Ito allowed cameras to stay in the courtroom during this time, in order that the jury would not hear from Simpson before the defense gave there opening statements.

The opening statements made by OJ’s defense attorney Johnnie Cochran claimed Simpson was innocent, and wrongfully accused. Johnnie Cochran primarily relied on the evidence of the glove found at the scene of the crime not fitting OJ Simpson's hand, and an audiotape recorded of one of the key witnesses, Mr. Fuhrman, making racial slurs, and using the ‘N’ Word, thus depicting him as a racist.  Johnnie Cochran claimed that evidence was planted, and the trial was really about OJ Simpson's ethnic background rather than about the facts. Johnnie Cochran claimed that evidence collected by the police in the double murder case was contaminated, compromise, and ultimately corrupted I think that the prosecution was more persuasive than the defense.  The prosecution gave the jury DNA evidence, which is far more significance than the evidence prevented by Johnnie Cochran and the defense.

Key Witnesses

There were over 150 witnesses in the O.J. Simpson trial.  LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman was a key witness for the prosecution, who claimed that he found blood marks on the driveway of Simpson's home, as well as a black leather glove on the premises which had blood of both murder victims on it. Mr. Lee Bailey aggressively cross-examined Mr. Fuhrman, in which Mr. Bailey claimed Fuhrman was a racist and was planting evidence because OJ Simpson was black. The defense offered evidence of an alibi for O.J. Simpson with a witness by the name of Rosa Lopez, who said she saw Simpson's white Ford Bronco outside of his house at the time when the prosecution alleges he was 2 miles away committing the murder.  Defense attorneys claim that Mark Fuhrman suppressed this information primarily because of his racism (Britannica Encyclopedia, 2008).

 A key witness for the prosecution, Deputy District Attorney Christopher Darden, was the first to speak on behalf of the prosecution.  Christopher Darden claimed that O.J. Simpson had an anger problem, and that he killed Nicole Brown out of jealousy, primarily because he couldn't have her.  OJ Simpson, Darden claimed, was an extremely controlling and possessive man driven by excessive love.  Christopher Darden later went on to describe 17 years of physical and emotional abuse that culminated in the murders. Two key witnesses in the O.J. Simpson case, was Rosa Lopez on the defense, and Mr. Fuhrman on the prosecution’s team.

Other Evidence

Other evidence in the O.J. Simpson case included, the leather glove that couldn't fit, as well as evidence that the defense brought up near the end of the case, which was a video of police walking through the blood at the murder scene, which discredited Mr. Fuhrman's theory of O.J. Simpson's footprints being found at the scene of the crime in the blood of the victims.  The defense was rather weak, only really having two witnesses claiming that O.J. Simpson was not at the scene of the crime.

Closing Arguments

The closing arguments of the prosecution claimed that OJ Simpson was guilty, they had the DNA evidence, the blood Prints, and claimed that O.J. Simpson's motivation was his jealousy towards Nicole Brown, and his obsession with her lead him to commit the crime.  The closing arguments of the defense claim that Mr. Fuhrman, a policeman for the LAPD and key witness for the prosecution was a racist and planted evidence deliberately against O.J. Simpson in order to convict him of a crime that he did not commit I think that the prosecution's closing argument was best, there was blood found in OJ Simpson's bronco, as well as near his house.  The closing arguments of the defense relied heavily on two witnesses, one being Rosa Lopez, claiming that they saw OJ Simpson home at the time of the crime.  The prosecution had substantial evidence, and DNA samples of O.J. Simpson at the scene of the crime.

Jury Instructions

Early in the case, it had gotten a huge amount of media coverage.  As a matter of fact, the O.J. Simpson case received the most media coverage out of any case before that time.  Because of media coverage on certain key witnesses, the judge decided that the media would no longer cover the rest of the event from within the court room and ordered the jurors to keep silent. I think other outside factors that affected the case that were not stated in the book include the large majority of DNA evidence that was found at the scene of the crime, and at OJ Simpson's house.

Society and Media

The media coverage caused many setbacks, and caused a case to progress on many more months than it should have. Media coverage on the O.J. Simpson case the judge ordered that there been no more coverage until after the case finished.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, I believe that the prosecution proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, using DNA evidence that O.J. Simpson was indeed guilty. A recent poll taken shows over 75% of the American public believes that O.J. Simpson was guilty.  The defense tended to rely heavily on conspiracy theories, and racism, without really giving any hard facts.  The defenses key witnesses, in which there is only two, was not substantial evidence when comparing it to the blood stains found in O.J. Simpson's bronco, and the DNA evidence found not just on O.J. Simpson but at the scene of the crime.  Although O.J. Simpson may not been convicted in 1995, he will not be so lucky concerning his recent crime spree on a location in Los Angeles.

References

Simpson, O.J. (2008). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved April  24,  2008, from Encyclopedia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9067881

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