An Unusual Request

Defense, D.A. spar.

Ito rules jury won’t hear.

Simpson wants to talk

1/25/95

This relates to a set-to in court the day before when Simpson’s defense attorney asked Judge Ito if Simpson himself could address the jury during opening statements. After some arguing back and forth between the defense and prosecution, Ito said no.

Simpson ended up not testifying in his own defense during that phase of the trial, so if he wanted to tell the jury his version of that night, why would his attorneys want him to talk directly to the jury during opening statements, but not from the witness stand?

Legal experts might have another answer, but mine is it was because if he testified as a witness, he would be subjected to cross examination. If he were allowed to speak directly to the jury as part of the defense’s opening statements, he could say whatever he or his lawyers wanted him to without challenge or questioning from the prosecution.

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