Don’t Make Excuses for Him, Marcia

Media reports abound these days with accounts of what the 1995 Simpson trial participants think of the FX drama “The People vs. O.J. Simpson. Here’s and excerpt from one quoting Deputy District Attorney and lead prosecutor in the case Marcia Clark:

Marcia Clark on What Episode One of The People v. O.J. Simpson Got Right and Wrong

(Q) It was also depicted in Jeffrey Toobin’s book as if you had no choice but to work with Bill.

“That was what I was going to tell you. It’s not the writers’ fault, you know. They didn’t know. They based the script on a book that has glaring inaccuracies. Toobin got a lot wrong because he’s not behind the scenes. He’s not there. And so he has third-party sources he talks to that don’t care about getting it right, or deliberately lie.”

I made this observation in my book Anatomy of a Trial (available directly from me at the deeply discounted price of $13, which includes shipping cost — give me your email address so we can make arrangements) on pages 65-67. Hearsay wasn’t Toobin’s only problem with inaccuracy. He could get it wrong even when he was behind the scenes. That is covered in my book, too, on page 64.

7 responses to “Don’t Make Excuses for Him, Marcia

  1. It is very satisfying to read Marcia’s comments; anyone who followed the case and read Toobin’s book recognizes that Jeff Toobin blends non-fiction & fiction and calls it fact.

    If you haven’t yet read Jerrianne’s book “Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People Vs. O.J. Simpson” I’d highly recommend reading it because it is incredibly well sourced and debunks many of the hearsay that over the years most people consider fact.

  2. Jerrianne:

    Quick question — I recently came across a Metropolitan News article by Roger Grace which shares a slightly different account than you document in your book regarding why the trial was held downtown and not Santa Monica.

    Graves quotes Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Robert M. Mallano who states:
    “The determination wasn’t Garcetti’s that the matter not be heard in Santa Monica.”
    The court made the determination, he tells me, “for security reasons and because of earthquake damage” in Santa Monica.
    The Court of Appeal presiding justice, who heads this district’s Div. One, says the recommendation was made to him by Mills; he consulted with the West District supervising judge, David Rothman, who concurred; and he gave his approval.
    “Garcetti got blamed for it,” Mallano notes.
    It was the court’s decision, he reiterates, adding:
    “I keep telling everybody that.”

    Is there any credence to this claim?


  3. Thank you for your comment, Chitown. I can’t comment on the accuracy of Roger Grace’s column, but Northridge-earthquake damage was not a major factor for moving the Simpson trial downtown cited in any conversation I participated in, and I was in frequent contact — by telephone and in person — with Robert Mallano, who was Los Angeles Superior Court presiding judge at the time, then-Criminal Courts Supervising Judge Cecil Mills, then-West District Supervising Judge David Rothman and all of their immediate successors. This Nov. 27, 1995, Los Angeles Times article might shed some light. Although Gil Garcetti is quoted as describing the Santa Monica damage as major, I was at that and the other courthouses in the county, except San Fernando which really did sustain major damage, and I don’t recall damage at the West District courthouse being significant enough to affect court operations. It’s true, that courthouse was (and still is) small, and security was inadequate. The same was true in Simi Valley where the Rodney King-beating trial was moved to 1992. While the size didn’t change, security was significantly increased and dealt with the crowds and other high-profile trial issues well, in my opinion.

  4. Jerrianne, Thank you for your thoughtful reply and the sharing that knowledge; I really appreciate it!!

  5. You’re welcome, and thank you for letting me know.

    BTW, it’s difficult to know how accurate the script is of the FX dramatization, particularly regarding private conversations, but in the third episode tonight, Marcia Clark’s exchange with Gil Garcetti pretty much echoed my recollection and the Nov. 27, 1995, LA Times article’s recap of the rationale for moving the trial downtown.

  6. Speaking of Marcia Clark, lately she’s been interviewed about as much as Kris Jenner. Above, she (again) laments the police interview which she declined to use. And which Vincent Bugliosi observed, convicts Simpson by his own words.

    In the interview, Simpson admitted to bleeding (before the trip to Chicago) in his house, property, and automobile, completely negating the defense’s “planting” theory.

    By the way, I saw a rerun of a CNN Special Report yesterday concerning the Bronco chase and the first few days. The news videos show black law enforcement personnel all over the place. For example, a black woman was the coroner’s assistant who examined the bodies at the scene and transported them to North Mission Road.

    In one scene she is talking to Detective Tom Lange. Where these people also in on the Racist Conspiracy?

  7. Conspiracies aren’t my strong suit. My area of experience is the news media. I can say this, blacks have been employed by every place I’ve worked, some in very high positions. That includes judges, prosecutors, public defenders and private counsel in the justice system. Yet the professions and industries in which they are employed or serve as elected officials don’t have policies or reflect issues to promote fairness, equality or the needs of their race.

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