Private or Not, the Judge Will Decide

A guard overheard

A confession in the works?

Rosey Grier was there.


Pro football great Roosevelt “Rosey” Grier-turned Christian minister enjoyed “clergy-penitent” privilege during his jailhouse visits with O.J. Simpson.  The privilege is honored so long as both the clergy person is acting as the penitent’s religious adviser and/or confessor have a reasonable expectation of privacy. A sheriff’s deputy at his assigned post in a control booth within proximity of the visiting area overheard a short outburst from Simpson during a conversation with Grier. The two comments he said he overhead were sealed and apparently no news organization learned what Simpson said. The prosecution contended that since the both Simpson  and Grier knew the deputy was regularly posted in the booth they had no expectation of privacy if either one of the raised their voices. The defense said they right did have the expectation of privacy, thus the deputy couldn’t testify about what he overheard. Judge Lance Ito said he would make a ruling on Jan. 4.

That became the subject of one of the many time-consuming hearings that punctuated court proceedings throughout the duration of the case in court.





2 responses to “Private or Not, the Judge Will Decide

  1. As I recall it was also the subject of a totally erroneous New York Times story picking up an erroneous National Enquirer report. Was I the only one writing the facts?

  2. I don’t know that I saw the NYT or Nat’l Enquirer reports, but the Daily News, Daily Journal and Daily News of L.A. did stories about the deputy on duty at the time testifying at the court hearing that Simpson’s outburst was so loud he could hear him inside the booth he was in, his supervisor saying that no one had told either Simpson or Grier or anyone else that deputies wouldn’t be in the booth and lawyers arguing over whether Simpson gave up his right to privacy because he shouted.

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