Tag Archives: high-profile trials

High Profile Doesn’t Include Victims

What makes a trial high profile? Why do so many people become obsessed with some trials and not others? Among the obvious answers can include celebrity, money, glamour, sex, racial issues, unusual and/or heinous aspects of the crime, and others.

All of that and more has been the topics of many court-media conferences and workshops I’ve attended and participated in and court-media courses and workshops I’ve conducted.

It occurred to me as I watched episode 3 of the FX dramatization of the 1995 Simpson trial that almost never are the victims in a case the reason a trial becomes one of great media interest. With rare exception, those who lost their lives or suffered because of the crimes the defendants are charged with committing become invisible in media coverage of trials.

Why is that, I wondered. My thought is it’s because the victims are not why large numbers of people are captivated by or even particularly interested in trials — and the media know that.

So what the media deliver is what they do know will result in high TV ratings and print circulation and that is sensationalism, whether generated by celebrity, or whatever.

To their credit, the Goldman and Brown families have crusaded to keep Ronald and Nicole in the public eye and consciousness. The families a many crime victims, despite tireless efforts, have not been as successful.

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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.

Kris Jenner’s 9-27 OJS Trial Photo Finish

Photojournalist Haywood Galbreath, the only photographer  who shot pictures in Judge Lance Ito’s courtroom every day of the O.J. Simpson trial, saw a previous blog post in which I wrote that the only day I knew of that Kris Jenner attended the OJ Simpson trial in person was Sept. 27, 1995, less than a week before the trial ended in not guilty verdicts. Here’s the photo Galbreath took that day, Sept. 27, 1995, of Kris Jenner, her then-husband Bruce Jenner on her right, and to her left Steve Garvey’s wife and Steve Garvey.

Kris & Bruce Jenner at OJS trial 9.27.1995MPJI/HGSTAR1 NEWSPHOTO

Galbreath says he took took pictures of people (who thought they were somebody) who showed up in the courtroom.

Two Sisters 20 Years Later

The 20th anniversary of everything O.J. Simpson murder trial is over, but some memories — and some who were part of lots of other peoples’ memories — are still making the news.

Enter Kim Goldman, sister of one of the Simpson-trial murder victims, Ronald Goldman. Kim is on a book tour, promoting her “Media Circus: A Look at Private Tragedy in the Public Eye.” Media Circus: A Look at Private Tragedy in the Public EyeThe book is a collection interviews with survivors of violent crimes who were the focus of media attention.

She was interviewed herself by Mike Dow for The Maine Edge/Buzz   in an article titled, “Kim Goldman 20 years after the Simpson verdict.

This isn’t the first book Kim has published since that infamous trial in 1995. She has also written, Can’t Forgive: My 20-Year Battle with O.J. Simpson and with other members of the Goldman family His Name is Ron: Our Search for Justice and I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.

More interesting, at least to me, is how some people whose lives were upended in a most tragic and unbelievable way by the June 17, 1994, murders of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown for which Brown’s ex-husband, O.J. Simpson, stood trial, have managed since Simpson’s Oct. 3, 1995, acquittal.

Kim has been on a quest to out Simpson as the killer and the 1995 trial verdict wrong.

Nicole Brown’s sister, Denise, has been busy, too. Her energies have gone toAbout Nicole Box creating a foundation to honor Nicole and to advocate against domestic violence.

It’s hard to imagine the anguish the Brown and Goldman families have gone through.

 

She’s Baaack! With Her Book

Dregs of the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial keep bubbling up more than 20 years after the verdicts in that trial. This time, it’s a book that has been published by the woman who outed the LAPD lead detective on the Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman murders case as a liar.

Mark Fuhrman had said in sworn testimony during the trial that he had never used the obscene label commonly used by bigots and racists when referring and/or addressing people of African descent.

Laura Hart McKinny, at Simpson’s defense attorneys’ behest, presented audio tapes she had recorded when she interviewed Fuhrman for her book that belied his testimony.

Her book is now available. Here, again, is the link to the Winston-Salem NC news article about her book launch:  http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/laura-hart-mckinny-launches-book-police-diversity-discussion/article_df3e2cb0-15a8-5e28-8627-4f78a804760c.html

The Jury Sends a Signal

Deliberations start.

Three buzzes in short order.

It’s almost over.

10/2/95

Could those three buzzes really have meant that the jury had reached a verdict in less than four hours? We found out the next day.

Singing From the Hymnal

Evangelical,

Cochran preached about choirboys.

The jury’s still out.

9/28/95

Defense attorney Cochran’s closing argument included mention of choirboys, a reference, no doubt, to Joseph Wambaugh’s book, The Choirboys,” about bad LAPD cops. The jury was just euphemistically out, however. They hadn’t gotten the case for deliberations, but even through they were in the courtroom, how they would decide was unknown.