Tierney Brickner, writing for E! (I can’t duplicate the actual logo on my computer), did me the great favor of posting side-by-side footage of last night’s scene in the American Crime Story miniseries about the OJ Simpson trial of Cuba Gooding Jr.courtroom scene in which he re-enacted Simpson trying on the gloves that were found at the scene of Nicole Brown’s and Ronald Goldman’s murders and behind Simpson’s house and that of the actual trial.
When I watched the drama last night, the trying-on effort seemed pretty much as I remembered it. The side-by-side footage confirmed it. Here’s the link so you can check it out: http://www.eonline.com/news/749108/just-how-accurate-was-the-infamous-glove-scene-from-the-people-v-o-j-simpson-watch-chilling-side-by-side-comparison
Some things going on in the background during the gloves demonstration and elsewhere in the series, however, that weren’t accurate, such as:
- People in the spectator seats standing up to get a better view of Simpson trying to pull on the gloves.
- People in the courtroom being ordered by the bailiff to stand when trial judge entered the courtroom.
- People in the spectator seats not rising when the jurors entered the courtroom.
- People standing and milling around when the jury was in the courtroom.
- The trial judge, Lance Ito, banging his gavel when he declared court to be in recess.
From my vantage point in the back of the courtroom where I had a full view of the courtroom, I saw no one stand to get a better view of the glove demo. I also know that if anyone had done so, one of the sheriff’s deputies stationed there would have immediately instructed them to sit down or to leave.
The judge’s instruction to his bailiff was to directive people in the courtroom to remain seated when he took the bench, so at no time did the bailiff order spectators to rise when Ito entered.
The judge’s instruction to his bailiff was for everyone in the courtroom to rise when the jurors entered the courtroom and to remain standing until they were seated in the jury box.
No one ever stood or moved about the courtroom when court was in session.
Ito didn’t bang or even rap a gavel at any time during the trial, whether declaring court in recess or for any other reason. How do I know?Although Ito had a couple of ceremonial and souvenir gavels in his chambers, he didn’t keep or use a gavel on the bench.
All of that might seem inconsequential or like who-cares minutia, but it’s important to me because much of it plays into the media-created misperception that he ran a loosey-goosey courtroom.
Despite what people think they know about Ito’s courtroom management, he ran a tighter courtroom, with rules of what was allowed and what wasn’t allowed posted on the courtroom door and on the rows of spectator seats, than many other judges. Plus, he issued court orders several times during the trial addressing disruptive conduct, primarily by members of the media, and had a number of them removed from the courtroom for failing to observe those orders.
One thing that was apparently very wrong with the miniseries drama was that Deputy District Attorney Christopher Darden went rogue in having Simpson try on the gloves. Marcia Clark has in interviews and writing said that Darden didn’t go it alone in the Simpson glove demo, that she was on board with it. That, however, I don’t know first hand.