“Simpson Case Forces Jail Renovation”

The headline on this blog post appeared on a Los Angeles Times August 3, 1994, story and explains the haiku I wrote the day before, which was:

A star defendant.

Poor jail accommodations.

Court ordered changes.

8/2/94

The problem was the rooms in the Men’s Central Jail, where O. J. Simpson was held were either too small to accommodate his “dream team,” which included the basic three–Johnnie Cochran, Robert Kardashian and Bob Shapiro, augmented by Carl Douglas, F.Lee Bailey and a host of others , or  closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, unless special arrangements were made which involved overtime pay for special guards.

The sheriff’s department, which operates the jail, said that renovations to enlarge the visiting rooms and install more intercoms, which would enable an inmate to speak to as many as four people at a time, were overdue. So Simpson just prompted what was already needed.

The L.A. Times article concludes with:

“Simpson is housed in a 9-by-7-foot windowless cell in the so-called “high-power” wing of the 6,500-inmate jail, where other residents have included Christian Brando [actor Marlon Brando’s son], Charles Keating and, currently, Erik Menendez.” [Erik Menendez and his brother Lyle were convicted in 1996 of the 1989 shotgun murder of their parents in their Beverly Hills home . I served as the L.A. courts media liaison on both trials. The first ended up with hung juries — although tried together, the brothers had separate juries — and the retrial. Fascinating times!]

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