Tag Archives: defense

Three Motions, But Nobody’s Out

Twenty years ago yesterday — sorry folks, I must have been having too much fun to post this yesterday — I wrote the following haiku:

995 motion.

1538.5, too.

Sequestration bid.

O. J. Simpson’s defense team filed two motions; one to dismiss the charges and trial and one to have Simpson’s belongings returned to him or two suppress certain  evidence the prosecution might try to introduce at trial. The prosecution also submitted a motion. It was to sequester the jury.

We know that at least one of the defense motions was denied as evinced by the trial that ended more than a year after this motion was filed.

Although Simpson trial judge didn’t make a decision until months later, he did, in fact, sequester the jury, resulting in jurors living for more than nine-months in a hotel, pretty much cut off from everything that comprises normal daily life.

And the Answer is…

It occurred to me that after posting Mr. Peter Gordon’s book-winning question  —  Vincent “Vince” Bugliosi once stated that “race was falsely injected into this trial”, by Johnny Cochran, one member of OJ Simpson’s defence team. Would you agree with this statement? — others besides Mr. Gordon might be interested in my answer. So here it is:

No, I do not agree with Vincent Bugliosi’s statement. Race is almost always a subtext in the United States in issues involving African Americans, even when African Americans are obviously absent, such as with all-white clubs and organizations. Because of the country’s history, race-consciousness, if not actual racism, is in the nation’s DNA. So race would have been an undertone of the Simpson trial even without overt injection. Because of his football-star and pitchman/B-movie-actor status, O. J. Simpson was an African American whom white America accepted as a “good guy.” That perception changed as details of the murders of his ex-wife and her friend and evidence in the trial emerged. As his attorney, Johnnie Cochran was obligated to present the best defense possible for his client. In doing so, he included race as a major component of that defense, along with police incompetence and forensic laboratory bungling. Making race a centerpiece of his defense received a great boost from audio tapes of an aspiring North Carolina filmmaker interviewing police detective Mark Fuhrman in which hMr. Fuhrman used a racial epithet after he had said in sworn testimony that he had never used such a word.

For the Defense

Just about every day, I hear from someone or about someone who’s read “Anatomy of a Trial”.

A reporter friend of mine told me not long ago that she had recommended it to a pretty high-profile defense attorney.

“He loved it,” my friend said. “He said he has read every Simpson book but learned things from your book he did not know.”

Well, how cool is that? Can’t get much better, seems to me.