Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Geez

The Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney, Marcia Clark, who was the lead prosecutor on the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder case, was interviewed not long ago and included as part of a promo barrage for a made-for-TV fantasy drama due to air next year.

In the interview with ET, she said, “I knew if there was a verdict, it was going to be a not guilty, and still there was that little part of me that said, ‘But they can’t! They can’t do it.'”

My reaction was, just believing a defendant is guilty isn’t enough, Marcia. You had to make the jury think so, too. Beyond a REASONABLE doubt.

Clark might have thought “The evidence was overwhelming” as she told ET, but I think there was plenty of evidence proving that she didn’t use the evidence she thinks was overwhelming to prove Simpson’s guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the jury. Two glaring examples of what might have planted seeds of doubt in jurors’ minds are(1)  having Simpson try on gloves that were guaranteed not to go on over his latex-clad, arthritis-swollen hands, and (2) the lead detective on the case committing perjury on the witness stand.

One bit of fantasy being promoted as fact in the upcoming TV drama is this contention: Kris was often present in the courtroom with Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, as Kris’ ex-husband Robert Kardashian was a part of Simpson’s legal “Dream Team.”

All I can say is, NOT! The Jenners showed up one day very late in the trial, Sept. 27, to be exact, and sat with their buddies former Dodgers pitcher Steve Garvey and his wife. I wrote about that strange spectacle on page 67 of Anatomy of a Trial.

 

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12 responses to “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Geez

  1. There was a debate in 1996 (which is on youtube) on the Larry King Show between Vincent Buglisoi and Alan Dershowitz. A little over halfway, King asked Bugliosi, “You agree that Clark and Darden were the wrong people to try the case?” Vince rolled his eyes and answered, “Oh, my god yes.”

  2. Vincent was right about a lot of things. Did you read his book, “Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O. J. Simpson Got Away with Murder”?

  3. Yes. The book was why Vince was on Larry King’s show along with Dershowitz. If you don’t mind I might raise a few points from “Outrage” over the next few days.

  4. Sure. I’m interested in what you think.

  5. Chapter One of “Outrage” is titled “In the Air.” From the start everywhere it was being said O.J. Simpson couldn’t be convicted. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Not only were there annoying media types in the courtroom, which you chronicle, but there were the “talking heads” on TV every night. I watched them a lot during both the criminal and civil trials.

    Night after night, they praised the defense and claimed the “prosecution case is falling apart.” Most of them seemed to buy the notion that if Mark Furhman used the N-word Simpson was entitled to a not guilty verdict.

    They seemed to understand that Simpson’s blood to the left of footprints going away from the scene and both victims’ blood (how did Goldman’s blood get there?) in Simpson’s Ford Bronco meant he was guilty. But they never talked about the totality of the evidence.

    Jeffrey Toobin, in his talking head role, did the same as the rest of them when on TV, “picking away at the prosecution.” Amazingly, on the night before the verdict, Toobin was on CNN and predicted a conviction.

    In his book, Toobin wrote he and the others were afraid of being called racists and this influenced their commentary.

    I think some of the others predicted a guilty verdict the night before after saying for nine months the prosecution was losing.

  6. The attorney for the Goldman family in the wrongful death lawsuit, Daniel Petrocelli, wrote in his 1998 book:

    “But my favorite was Buglisoi’s book. Apart from his acute analysis of the issues and evidence, and putting aside his unrelenting condemnation of the prosecution team, his was a book about indignation, about passion, about standing up for what you believe, and it refreshed me with new vigor and energy.”

    You might say Petrocelli but Vincent Bugliosi’s brief on proving Simpson’s guilt to good use in winning the civil trial.

    • My last paragraph was supposed to be:

      You might say Petrocelli put Vincent Bugliosi’s brief on proving Simpson’s guilt to good use in winning the civil trial.

  7. Watching and listening to Petrocelli in court and talking to him when court wasn’t in session, there was no question in my mind that he was passionate and truly believed in what he was doing. But he’s a lawyer. Isn’t a lawyer’s job to convince people that they are doing the right thing?

  8. Walt Lewis, a former Deputy DA in the Los Angeles DA’s office, wrote a book titled “The Criminal Justice Club.” A main point in the book was the role of a prosecutor and a defense attorney are very different.

    The prosecutor is ethically obligated to pursue a case only when convinced guilt can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If he doesn’t believe this, he doesn’t prosecute.

    To a defense attorney, his client’s guilt is irrelevant. This is something that confuses lay people. For example, Johnnie Cochran (who Walt Lewis knew for a long time) didn’t have to really believe Simpson was innocent to defend him.

    In other words, it is not unethical for a defense attorney to win an acquittal for a guilty man and know it. Many people thought his lawyers had to believe Simpson was innocent to defend him. No, they didn’t.

    You can find “The Criminal Justice Club” on Amazon or at waltlewis.com.

    Daniel Petrocelli was a business lawyer and taking the wrongful death suit for the Goldmans was different from what he had been doing. It was something to be passionate about, which comes through in his book.

  9. And the Kardashians (mother and daughters) have been in the news yet again this week.

  10. Being in the news is their raison d’etre.

  11. I’ve just started re-reading “Outrage.” One topic is the over the top coverage by the print and electronic media. It was claimed the Simpson case had “everything that fascinates the American people.”

    Actually it had everything that fascinated media types. Without O.J. Simpson, there wouldn’t have been the enormous coverage, but Simpson actually wasn’t that big a celebrity anymore by 1994.

    The coverage was imposed rather than demanded, in my opinion.

    You will remember that all three major networks televised the preliminary hearing live. This was in addition to Court TV and CNN. You wouldn’t have head more coverage if it had involved the President of the United States, wrote Vincent Bugliosi.

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