‘People vs. OJS’ Flies into Fantasyland

I’m a few days behind in posting about the miniseries segment Tuesday because I was out of town and didn’t watch it until last night. There was so much that was sheer fantasy I’m going to take only one thing at a time.

The greatest flight of fancy was the courtroom scene in which Deputy District Attorney Bill Hodgman collapsed, supposedly because of a a heart attack, and being hauled out by paramedics.

Everyone who was in the courtroom during that trial knows such a thing never happened.

While it is true that Hodgman had a medical issue in the early stage of the trial that resulted in a brief hospitalization and that he was replaced as Marcia Clark’s co-counsel in prosecuting the state’s case, he presented no manifestation of that condition at any time while court was in session.

Even if such an event as Hodgman or anyone else collapsing in the courtroom and paramedics being called in had occurred, it is ludicrous to think that the judge wouldn’t have immediately cleared the courtroom until the person with the medical problem had been tended to and removed.

The tragedy is that viewers of this drama believe what they are seeing is fact. Taking dramatic license just doesn’t cut it and does terrible damage to people’s reputations and historical record.

Next, Dominick Dunne’s fantasy meeting in Ito’s chambers.

2 responses to “‘People vs. OJS’ Flies into Fantasyland

  1. I’m sure you are aware of this column–assuming Judge Ito also knew of it, I wonder what the thought about it?


  2. I can’t say what he thought about it. My assessment, though, is that it did a good job of capturing him, although it contained a few mistakes:

    — He didn’t kick out gum chewers. Sheriff’s deputies, however, did give such offenders pieces of toilet paper to spit their gum in — while court was in session.

    — He did kick out two reporters for talking — after repeated warnings and notes from two jurors who said they were distracting them and they were having difficulty hearing testimony.

    — He also had two reporters leave because they were snacking on Skittles” while the jurors were shown autopsy photos.

    — I never saw jurors pass around candy.

    — It doesn’t say much about journalists to think that they behaved only because they knew the judge could monitor them. They were supposed to be grownups, not children.

    — And they didn’t silence their pagers. Their beepers not only continued to go off, every time one did, a deputy would confiscate it and the owner couldn’t get it back until s/he wrote Ito a note of apology.

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