Tag Archives: trial

Haiku Hiatus, But Simpson’s Still Here

No haiku for a few days. Apparently court was in recess, possibly for spring break.

Simpson Google News Alert emails continue to pop up my inbox, though. Most of them these days have to do with Simpson’s health, ongoing speculation about his paternity of one of the Kardashians (sorry not to be up on that clan), and the pending TV series based on a book CNN commentator and New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin wrote about the trial. Hearsay, hearsay, hearsay! (I still say they really missed out on what really went on behind the scenes by not basing the series on MY book.)

Picking an Anonymous 12

Names by the numbers.

Anonymity the game.

Will 12 be seated?


Members of the news media were not happy to learn that the jurors names were going to be secret and that they would be identified by numbers. But ever with that, the trial judge was still concerned about finding 12 people who could and were willing to serve on the trial.

No Haiku 20 Years Ago Today

Apparently no Simpson matters were heard in court on Aug. 4, 1994,  or on the next few subsequent days, since I wrote no haiku on those days. Considering that the case was still in the pretrial phase and, in fact, jury selection was still two months off, it’s surprising now, looking back, that there were so many matters that required nearly daily hearings during the weeks leading up to trial.

Something that did happen, albeit not in court and a couple of days before Aug. 4, was the 44th birthday of the trial judge, Lance Ito. That means he turned 64 a couple of days ago. Happy belated birthday, Judge Ito.

Haiku Hiatus

Since I was a month off on posting the daily haiku I wrote during the ’95 Simpson murder trial, I’m going to hold off posting any more until the calendar catches up.

Meanwhile, happy June 29th!

Myanmar Has Media Laws?

Censorship and other laws restricting the media in some of the countries I’ve worked in were bad enough, but Burma (or Myanmar, depending on your politics) seems to have hit on a new extreme:

Up to six months in jail if they don’t have valid accreditation. http://www.newrebound88.com/Articles/Details/792

That is what AFP reported in its story headlined Proposed Burma media law draws criticism http://www.newrebound88.com/Articles/Details/792

The story says, in part, “The proposed legislation, which also laid out strict penalties of up to six months in jail for those operating without valid accreditation, came as a shock for the country’s interim press council, which is drafting a separate media law.”

All I could think when I read that is how crowded the Los Angeles jail would have been had people trying to nab media seats in high profile trials during the years I served as the court’s media liaison and information officer. One who tried that in the 1997 O.J. Simpson civil trial, presented a Writers Union membership card for the year 1990.

Building …

Given a choice of journalism students to speak to, University of Nevada, Reno, has got to be right up there. Las Vegas courts information officer Michael Sommermeyer and I held forth about “Simpson Then and Now” at the university’s Journalism Week. Michael summed it up pretty well when said, the 1995 trial in Los Angeles was the trial of the century, the 2008 trial in Las Vegas was the hangover. Thanks to the UNR IT folks and Reynolds National Center for Courts and Media Director Gary Hengstler, the session was a pretty high-tech affair. It was streamed live onto the Web, it was professionally videotaped for uploading onto the University’s website, Michael Twittered about it and posted an email on the Conference of Court Public Information Officers listserv. And the journalists in training asked great questions. After high-fiving each other, Michael and I decided to take our act on the road. Now to find a sugar daddy to underwrite the show.

And therein lies the misconception of what happens when a book is published. It’s pretty frigging expensive — for the author. And I’m not talking about the self-published author. Permissions fees in the hundreds of dollars, for photographs and other copyrighted material, website development and maintenance, gift copies for people who agreed to be interviewed, book tour expenses, ads and other promotional costs? All funded by the author. In fact, given the costs, there’s little likelihood of ever even breaking even, much less ending up on the black side of the ledger. So why do it? Perhaps my fellow Missouri Press author Roy Harris whose seminal work on the Pulitzer Prize for puhlic service, Pulitizer’s Gold, was published last year, has the right attitude. The goal is to get the word out about the book.