Tag Archives: Marcia Clark

‘Documentary Promoted With Fantasy

If  the upcoming ESPN-produced miniseries “OJ: Made in America” isn’t any more accurate than a promo piece posted on the website Hollywood Outbreak then categorizing it as a documentary is a misrepresentation.

The promo includes the assertion that “While (former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Marcia) Clark has been involved with the media since the trial concluded in 1995, she has never really spoken about the trial and her feelings on the case until now.”

Surely, this is a jest. A mere 20 months after Clark’s prosecution of Simpson for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Brown’s acquaintence Ronold Goldman went down in flames with Simpson’s acquittal, Clark’s book co-produced with Teresa Carpenter in which she went into detail about her take on that trial.

She’s also done numerous print and broadcast/cable interviews and is represented as a public speaker by Hachette Speakers Bureau.

 

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Geez

The Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney, Marcia Clark, who was the lead prosecutor on the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder case, was interviewed not long ago and included as part of a promo barrage for a made-for-TV fantasy drama due to air next year.

In the interview with ET, she said, “I knew if there was a verdict, it was going to be a not guilty, and still there was that little part of me that said, ‘But they can’t! They can’t do it.'”

My reaction was, just believing a defendant is guilty isn’t enough, Marcia. You had to make the jury think so, too. Beyond a REASONABLE doubt.

Clark might have thought “The evidence was overwhelming” as she told ET, but I think there was plenty of evidence proving that she didn’t use the evidence she thinks was overwhelming to prove Simpson’s guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the jury. Two glaring examples of what might have planted seeds of doubt in jurors’ minds are(1)  having Simpson try on gloves that were guaranteed not to go on over his latex-clad, arthritis-swollen hands, and (2) the lead detective on the case committing perjury on the witness stand.

One bit of fantasy being promoted as fact in the upcoming TV drama is this contention: Kris was often present in the courtroom with Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, as Kris’ ex-husband Robert Kardashian was a part of Simpson’s legal “Dream Team.”

All I can say is, NOT! The Jenners showed up one day very late in the trial, Sept. 27, to be exact, and sat with their buddies former Dodgers pitcher Steve Garvey and his wife. I wrote about that strange spectacle on page 67 of Anatomy of a Trial.

 

Tapes Fallout Continues

A conflict concern.

Was it a ploy for mistrial?

Prosecution blinked.

8/17/95

Marcia Clark threatened to move to recuse Ito over the issue of his wife being a subject of the Fuhrman tapes, but waited over night. Suspicion was she was testing public opinion to see if the public would be against recusal and causing a mistrial.  When she said she decided not to file the motion, Ito and I both said she blinked. No one wanted to have to start that marathon all over again. My guess is that D.A. Gil Garcetti, who was elected to his office, said no to recusing Ito because public uproar would have almost guaranteed he wouldn’t have been re-elected.

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

Marcia runs them down,

Casting nasty aspersions.

Cough up two-fifty!

7/20/95

Ito fined Marcia Clark $250 for making disparaging remarks at Simpson’s lawyers. That was some pretty expensive lip.

 

A Perry Mason Moment?

Big news of the day.

Perry Mason would envy –

Marcia Clark’s new do.

4/24/95

You know what a twisted world it is when a change in the prosecutor’s coif gets more air time than the testimony in what was being hyped by the media themselves as the “Trial of the Century.”

FLee Floats an Idea

Bailey’s on a roll.

Did Fuhrman’s sock hide the glove?

Marcia cuts him down.

3/16/95

Wish I had notes on this, but can find nothing except, defense attorney “F. Lee Bailey asked to introduce plastic ziplock bag which could conceal the bloody glove and be hidden in Fuhrman’s sock. That would explain why the glove would still be damp when it was found.” My guess is prosecutor Marcia Clark found that idea a bit ridiculous and said so.

The ‘Oddest Day’ in Trial of Odd Days

As the post, “Prelude to ‘Oddest Day’ in Trial of Odd Days,” of a few days ago alluded, here is my account of the day Simpson neighbor’s housekeeper appeared in court.

First, though, a correction. In my previous blog post, I identified Rosa Lopez as being from Colombia. She wasn’t. She was from El Salvador. I should have looked at my notes from back then. So, here are my notes from that day, none of which made it into my book:

{It was the oddest day of a trial full of odd days. It was Rosa Lopez day at the O.J. Simpson trial. It was a day that was to have been a half day of a conditional examination and it turned into a more than full day of examination and cross examination to see if she was going to be a videotaped witness. The answer at 5:10 p.m. was yes — and that night because she was going to leave for El Salvador the next day. But a flash of inspiration prompted (Judge Lance) Ito to call for the jury. It was 5:30 p.m.

“What do you suppose they are doing about now?” he asked. I was alone with him in chambers.

“Probably just going to dinner,” I said.

“Go ask (courtroom bailiff Sheriff’s Deputy) Guy Magnera to call and see how soon they can be gotten over here.”

They (jurors) filed in at 6 — very dressed down compared to their usual dapper selves — a look may of them had assumed after having been selected as jurors. But when Ito took the bench, Marcia Clark wailed about her child care problems and Ito ended up holding Rosa Lopez as a material witness to testify (out of town as a defense witness) on Monday.

“Do you think it was a ploy?” Law Clerk Michelle Carswell asked (of Marcia Clark’s plea) Ito in chambers after he’d recessed for the day.

“Sure,” he said. “They (prosecutors) needed more time to prepare for cross examination. But if they had used their heads, they would have realized I would have gone on for a couple of hours, then called it a night. I’ve bee working all day. I’m tired and want to go home. So I would have recessed after a couple of hours util Monday and made a finding that she’s (Rosa Lopez) a material witness and held her on a bod or put her in jail.”

He pointed out that hearing a couple of hours of the defense examination before recessing for the weekend would have give the prosecution an idea of what to prepare for.

What Rosa Lopez did say in court was that she had no place to stay, that she had lost her job because of the (Simpson) case and was planning to leave L.A. for El Salvador. Her and Cochran’s sob story prompted dozens of phone calls to our office (public information office) — and, I’m sure to other court phones as wells as the defense — and probably D.A. offices — offering jobs, places to stay, including  the offer of an unused mobile home and an offer of $1,000. We referred may of the calls to Lopez’s attorney, Carl Jones.

I related that to Ito just before court convened for the late afternoon session. In chambers was a pre-law intern. After court recessed, an L.A. Times reporter repeated to me almost verbatim what I’d told Jones. I asked her where she heard that. She said she wasn’t telling. I said, “If you aren’t telling, I’m not telling,” and I walked away.}

Although it might seem strange that I didn’t take notes about Lopez’s testimony, but that is so indicative of how I focused o my job — and that wasn’t worrying about the trial, except for how the media coverage of it and media behavior affected the court. So, here’s the link to an L.A. Times story about her testimony. http://articles.latimes.com/1995-02-28/news/mn-37009_1_rosa-lopez with this headline: Housekeeper Tells of Seeing Simpson’s Car : Trial: Rosa Lopez testifies on tape without jury present after prosecutors complain. Defense reveals statement it took from her in July.

 

Tiffs of Note

With several days between haiku — without scrolling through the transcript, I don’t know if court wasn’t in session for a couple of weeks or what — I’ll fill in with some notes I made during that time that didn’t make it into the book.

On the day of the prosecution’s opening statements, in addition to noting that an alternate juror leaned into range of the TV camera in the courtroom, here are a few other gems:

  • The New York Post upset that when the Brown family members (Nicole Brown Simpson’s family) greeted Ms. Simpson (O.J. Simpson’s mother) and kissed her on the cheek, the cameras were off. Only reporters in the courtroom could see — those not in the courtroom were locked out from that scene.
  • (Criminal Courts Supervising Judge James) Bascue upset — media had blacked CCB (Criminal Courts Building) main entrance. (Court administrator) John Iverson asked who had directed LAPD officers to have Simpson (trial) participants go in one entrance — all others in other entrance.
  • Ito asked me to call Daily Journal editor re: her letter protesting getting 1/4 seat (meaning that newspaper had to share  one courtroom seat with three other news organizations).
  • Power struggle between CTV (Court TV) and RTNA (Radio Television News Association of Southern California) re: delay signal. (Agreement — 7 seconds)

And here are my notes about the hearing concerning the alternate juror leaning into the TV camera shot:

  • Ito says he’s cutting video feed of coverage
  • Defense: it’s unfair for TV viewers to see the prosecutor’s opening statements, but not the defense, therefore please air the defense’s opening statements
  •  Prosecutor (MC) (meaning Marcia Clark): we’re not playing to the world, (we’re) playing to the jury
  • Ito: unusual situation. I’m not aware of any other court that’s been placed in this position. I’m disappointed and concerned about the electronic media. On one hand, my credibility as a judge is at stake for (the media) to not comply with my orders. On the other hand, (there’s) the position of your client

It was an interesting time …

OJS Series Cast Good, Book Anecdote Not

Casting for the TV series  American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson looks pretty good, so far.Cuba Gooding Jr. as       (Photo: Getty Images)                                                                            O.J. Simpson

Paulson just brought one head to the 'Freak Show' premiere.Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark                          (Photo: Gregg DeGuire, WireImage)

John Travolta

John Travolta as Bob Shapiro                         (Photo: Philip Cheung/Getty Images)

David Schwimmer as       (Photo: D Dipasupil/Getty Images)                                            Robert Kardashian

So far as appearances are concerned, these actors are believable as the characters they’ve been cast to play. The series is reportedly based on a book , The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, by New Yorker magazine writer Jeffrey Toobin. My greatest hope for this series is that it won’t follow Toobin’s account of a visit to Ito’s chambers by Larry King. Because it’s wrong. I don’t know where Toobin got his information about the description of the meeting and conversation, but setting the meeting up was my idea. Ito agreed to it only because I suggested it would be an opportunity to thank King personally for granting two requests Ito had made  concerning media coverage, which he thought would complicate jury selection. While King’s visit turned into a fiasco, which I describe on page 65 of Anatomy of a Trial,the exchange Toobin relates didn’t happen. “…he provides a great example of why courts don’t permit hearsay testimony,” I wrote. It had to be hearsay because Toobin wasn’t present during King’s visit. I know, because I was. I was escorted King and his entourage to and from the visit. At no time was Toobin there.

http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/john-travolta-joins-american-crime-story-people-v-oj-simpson-20150107#ixzz3PQLKiFFl

Who Gets the Seats Takes the Day

Court’s back in session 20 years ago, so here’s my haiku about the issue of that day:

Seating takes the stage.

Victims’ kin don’t have enough.

Marcia Clark lobbies.

1/9/95

Here’s what I wrote in Anatomy of a Trial about the court proceeding that day:

“The lawyers also took up court time wrangling over the number of courtroom seats each side could get. Initially, the defense wanted twenty-eight and the prosecution slightly fewer in a courtroom with sixty-two seats. Ito initially allocated six for the defense and ten for the prosecution. That represented five for each victim’s family. But Clark lobbied for more.

“‘I think that there is no one of greater importance who has a greater right to have a presence in this courtroom than the family of the victims,’ she argued. ‘The media then is occupying more that two times what the prosecution and the defense are occupying, and that seems way out of balance.’

“Ito finally settled on seven seats for each family, but added the same conditions he set for the media; everyone must be in his or her seat before court convened, no one could enter while court was in session, any assigned seat not occupied when court convened would be reassigned for the day, and any seat not occupied by the party it was assigned to for two days in a row would be permanently lost.”