Tag Archives: High-Profile trials

Professional and Gentleman Honored by L.A. City Council

This headline, “La Cañada resident Royal Oakes honored by L.A. City Council for 30 years of commentary” posted yesterday, warmed my heart.”I met Royal 26 years ago when I was the brand new soaking-wet-behind-the-ears Los Angeles Superior Court Director of Public Information and Royal was providing commentary for KNX-AM all-news radio station. The news du jour was the Rodney King beating-trial verdicts that prompted days-long rioting in Los Angeles. He and I interacted countless times in the course of numerous high-profile trials. He was consistently professional, respectful and, in his capacity as Radio Television News Association’s general counsel, enormously helpful.

He is so deserving of this honor by the Los Angeles City Council. I have the highest regard for him and wish him well. I’m glad his radio program, “The Royal Oakes Show” is available via podcast.

 

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WAOW Doesn’t Deliver, Milwaukee Independent Does

Neither the Wausau TV station news director nor the interviewing reporter sent me the link, as they said they would, to the Simpson-parole piece they aired yesterday, so I went to their website and found:

http://www.waow.com/category/135525/video-landing-page?clipId=13511186&autostart=true

http://www.waow.com/story/35935004/milwaukee-author-reacts-to-oj-simpson-parole

Anyone who missed it didn’t miss much. What got me most, though, was that instead of using the photo I sent them, which they requested, they used a picture of me that I didn’t recognize.  It took a bit of poking around online, but I finally found it. It was taken by Milwaukee journalist Lee Matz and posted on his news and information site www.milwaukeeindependent.com. The same picture was included in a profile Matz published today. Here are links to the video and the text versions of the profile.

http://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/video/video-from-iranian-revolution-to-24-hour-news-cycle/

http://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/featured/jerrianne-hayslett-the-news-industrys-role-in-justice/

A huge thank you to Lee Matz and Milwaukee Independent.

All in the Family–and Defense Team

Does this strike you as bizarre or is it just me?

I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising for a Kardashian to hire a lawyer who’s well-known to his family. Rob’s dad, Robert, was co-counsel with Bob Shapiro on Simpson’s defense team. Nor should it be surprising for Kardashian to go with a lawyer who was on a winning side, which Shapiro was as part of that defense team, which prevailed in Simpson’s 1995 murder trial.

Still… What do you think?

http://forward.com/fast-forward/376637/rob-kardashian-hires-oj-simpsons-former-lawyer-to-defend-him-in-wake-of-rev/

Summer sale on Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson @ Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson — $7.99 (includes shipping with Prime). Or get a signed copy directly from the author — $7.99 plus shipping @ http://anatomyofatrial.com/contact/.

 

OJS pops up in unexpected places

John Kerry Compares Trump To OJ Simpson For Ditching Paris Climate Accord

Kerry: ”…Trump saying he’d renegotiate the Paris accord is ‘like OJ Simpson saying he’s gonna go out’ and ‘find the real killer.'”

http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/04/john-kerry-compares-trump-to-oj-simpson-for-ditching-paris-climate-accord/

Comparing Tiger Woods to OJ Simpson is offensive

“The only thing in my view that links Woods and Simpson, apart from being high-profile athletes, is the colour of their skin. I don’t think we would, for example, compare Lance Armstrong to a killer.”

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2017/05/31/comparing-tiger-woods-to-oj-simpson-is-offensive.html

No Cameras, No Phones: You Can’t Watch Bill Cosby’s High-Profile Trial

My friend Linda Deutsch, on today’s NPR Weekend Edition, talked about  media coverage of Bill Cosby’s trial in Philly — no cameras, cell phones, recording devices, internet access — and the Simpson trial 22 years ago.

http://www.npr.org/2017/06/04/531444438/no-cameras-no-phones-you-cant-watch-bill-cosbys-high-profile-trial

Everyone should read “Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson” for a clear picture of the impact media coverage had on the judiciary and the public. It makes the best case for courtroom camera coverage.

A great summer sale of $7.99 just went into effect on Amazon —   www.amazon.com/dp/0826218229?m=A1UT13HVUXZL25&ref_=v_sp_widget_detail_page — Or order directly from me for a signed copy.

Wrong! Wrong! And What Are They Waiting For?

An online news outlet reported in a story, A New California Law Brings Hope of An Appeal For Lyle And Erik Menendez, that the Menendez brothers 1993 trial was “first trial that was televised and America couldn’t get enough.”

That is the first “wrong” in this piece. Broadcast and still photography covered Estes v. Texas in 1965. The first state in the country to enact official court rules allowing camera coverage in its state courts, which led to camera coverage of Chandler v. Florida.

Perhaps the article writer meant that Menendez brothers trial was the first trial in California to be televised, but that would have been wrong, too. The 1992 Rodney King beating trial was not only televised (I sat in that courtroom every day, just as I did both of the later Menendez brothers trials), TV viewers couldn’t get enough of that either. Neither could they get enough if the riots in L.A. that erupted after the four police officers were acquitted, nor of the trial of men who beat trucker Reginald Denny who just happened to be driving through a riot area.

The writer also got several details of the Menendez murders wrong.

What begs the question for me, though, was that even though California passed a law several years ago that might open the door for a Menendez brothers appeal, they have yet to do so. Why not? Especially since the clock is ticking toward a deadline.

On Your Mark, Get Ready, Wrong!

When I read the news in The Hollywood Reporter that ‘Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Murders’ Ordered to Series at NBCI could only hope the series will be more accurate than this promo.

Here is the misinfo that is probably the most blatant:

“The siblings, who were 21 and 18 years old, respectively, at the time of the murders, were tried separately but eventually found guilty in a third trial after no verdicts were rendered in the first two because of hung juries.”

There were only two Menendez brothers’ trials. The first began on July 20, 1993, and ended on January 28, 1994. Although it was a single trial, two juries were seated, one to determine the guilt or innocence of older brother Lyle, the other to judge the guilt or innocence of younger brother Erik. Both juries hung and the trial judge, Stanley Weisberg, declared a mistrial in each case. The second trial began on August 23, 1995, and ended on March 20, 1996. That trial had a single jury which found both brothers guilty and Weisberg sentenced them both to life in prison without possibility of parole.

I attended, handled media issues and interfaced with the judge on both trials.

Less offending but confusing is the sentence in The Hollywood Reporter theis “Like the Simpson trial, the Menendez brothers trial became an early hit for then-burgeoning cable channel CourtTV.” The reason it’s confusing is because it doesn’t specify which Menendez trial “became an early hit for … CourtTV.” What does that matter? CourtTV televised only the first Menendez trial. Weisberg didn’t allow a TV camera in the courtroom during the second one. Because of that ban broadcasters debated how extensively to cover it. The second Menendez trial definitely wasn’t key to CourtTV making its bones.

 

Beyond Larry King’s Freudian Slip

The anecdote in the opening paragraph of The Atlantic’s June 16, 2016, O.J.: Made in America Is Vital Storytelling review…

Buried in the fourth part of O.J.: Made in America, ESPN Films’s masterful eight-hour documentary about the O.J. Simpson murder case, is a telling little Freudian slip from the then-CNN host Larry King, whose network had turned news coverage of the trial into an unprecedented 24/7 marathon. He had just met with Lance Ito, the presiding judge in the trial, and King was asked by a news crew if he wanted Ito to appear on Larry King Live. “Sure, we’d love to have him after the show is over. After the trial is over,” he said, catching himself. “It is like a show.”

…might have happened.  I don’t know. But I do know it doesn’t tell the whole story. Whoever the news crew was apparently didn’t know that King had asked for Ito to be on his show before King met him during the trial. The saga of how that meeting came about is documented on pages 65-67 of my book Anatomy of a Trial, for which I’m pretty much to blame.

Learning that King planned to be in L.A. and wanted to attend the trial, I suggested to Ito that he might meet with him to thank him. King’s was the only news broadcast or talk show that granted Ito’s request to delay by one day interviewing Faye Resnick about her rush-to-print tell-all “diary”. King also read the entire statement from Ito on a show he had asked the judge to appear on with members of the media who were unhappy about his courtroom rules and restrictions.

The rest of The Atlantic review about the ESPN documentary seemed OK to me, but then I’ve only gotten through Part 3, so far. So this blog post is based on second-hand information, since I haven’t watched Part 4, which contains the scene described in The Atlantic review’s opening ‘graph.