THE O.J. SIMPSON TRIAL
On June 12,1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered. Their bodies were discovered outside Nicole Simpson’s condominium. Nicole Simpson was the estranged wife of the famous football player and T.V. star O.J. Simpson.
The people directly involved with this case are Judge Lance Ito, the prosecution lawyers, Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, the defense lawyers, Johnnie Cochran, Robert Shapiro and Robert Blasier , the jury and the defendant, O.J. Simpson. The families of the victims have also been present in the courtroom, as well as other spectators and news media. This case has heard one hundred and twenty witnesses over a nine month period.
The prosecution’s physical evidence includes a bloody glove, bloody socks, hair, and fibres and a trail of blood drops connecting the crime scene and O.J.’s estate. Defence lawyers say this physical evidence means nothing because it was either purposely tainted or contaminated. Kenneth Berris testified that two laundry bags are still missing from Simpson’s Chicago hotel room. The bloody clothes and murder weapon have never been found.
The prosecution says DNA tests place Simpson’s genetic markers on the drops of blood leading away from the bodies. There were also blood samples, similar to Simpson’s and the victims, found on O.J.’s Bronco truck. Simpson’s blood was also found on his driveway and his foyer. The prosecution says Simpson cut his hand during the murder. The defence says Simpson cut his hand when he reached for his phone in his Bronco and later cut his hand on a glass. The main focus of the defence is the contamination of physical evidence.
Roger Martz testified, for the prosecution, that the blood he tested contained no significant amounts of EDTA. He said the blood found at the crime scene didn’t come from a test tube with special preservatives used at a crime lab. Defence lawyer Robert Blazier filed papers stating that Roger Martz has a habit and custom of changing F.B.I. reports, removing helpful defense information and has falsely testified in a number of cases.
Microbiologist, John Gerdes, testified that he found sloppiness so serious at the LAPD lab that it could have allowed foreign DNA to be introduced into evidence samples. He showed pictures of the lab where test tubes were touching each other which could cause the contamination. Gerdes also testified that DNA results suggest that the blood found in the foyer of Simpson’s house contaminated the blood that was drawn from the victim’s bodies. He also testified that the tests done on the glove and Bronco were untrustworthy due to sloppy evidence handling. Henry Lee testified that blood swatches collected near the crime scene were left to dry overnight but the evidence showed a damp swatch ended up in Simpson’s packaging.
Detective Mark Fuhrman testified for the prosecution side that he was the first detective at the crime scene and he was the one to find the bloody glove. He testified at a preliminary hearing that he climbed the wall of O.J.’s estate and found a bloody glove on a path. Authorities stated the dark right – handed leather glove was the mate of the other glove found near the murder scene.
Richard Rubin,a glove designer and manufacturer, testified for the prosecution. He said that the gloves O.J. Simpson wore when he worked as a sports commentator were the same design as the gloves found at the crime scene and on O.J.’s estate. He identified them as Aris Lights, model number 70263. These are the same type of gloves Nicole bought Simpson in 1990. When Simpson was asked to put the gloves on in front of the jury the gloves appeared not to fit. The prosecution suggested the blood shrank the gloves. Blood expert, Herbert Mac-Donell had conducted an experiment to show that the blood wouldn’t have shrunk the gloves as much as the prosecution says it did.
The defence also has a theory that police planted evidence to frame O.J. Simpson. Defence claims that Fuhrman climbed the wall and searched the property without just cause and without a warrant. Defence lawyers say Mark Fuhrman was the chief conspirator and depict him as a racist with a motive to put a bloody glove on O.J.’s property. Fuhrman testified under oath that he did not use any racial slurs in the past ten years but tapes, clearly depicting Fuhrman’s racial slurs, prove otherwise. The defence’s theory that he planted the glove is unsupported by any evidence.
Detective Philip Vannatter testified that he didn’t consider O.J. a suspect when police entered his estate without a warrant. Defence called upon Craig and Larry Fiato’s testimony to try and prove that Vannatter was one of many investigators who assumed Simpson was the killer and later lied to cover up their motives for a warrantless search of O.J.’s property. The defence suggested that Vannatter carried a vial of O.J.’s blood and used it to stain pieces of evidence. The defence suggested that the police pulled a pair of socks out of O.J.’s hamper, sprinkled them with blood and then placed them at the foot of his bed.
The prosecution has set out a very specific timeline. They say Simpson could have committed the murders, rushed back to his place, slipped inside and got ready to meet a limousine taht was waiting to take him to the airport all within this timeline. The defence says this makes no sense. The defence has a series of witnesses who were near the condominium at the hour in question and saw nothing.
A county coroner testified that the murders happened very quickly. He stated that Nicole was probably struck on the head and unconscious when her attacker pulled her head back and slit her throat. Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist, testified that in his opinion Simpson and Goldman fought wildly for their lives and it took much longer for them to die than the coroner stated. Baden stated that Nicole had bruises on her hands, indicating a struggle, and she was probably eighteen inches off the ground when her throat was slit. Goldman’s knuckles were also bruised indicating he punched his killer. Dr. Baden said Goldman’s wounds indicated a struggle and that it could have taken ten to twenty minutes for Goldman to die. Defence photos show O.J. had an unmarked body which they say proves he didn’t commit the murders because he would have been wounded in the struggle. Prosecution’s theory is that Goldman did not bruise himself fighting off his killer but rather his knuckles hit a tree when he was killed.
Shoeprint expert, William Bodziak, said the unique shoeprints at the crime scene were made by a size 12 Bruno Magli designer shoe. The same type and size O.J. Simpson wears. Henry Lee, a forensic scientist, testified that the red sole – like pattern he saw did not match the Bruno Magli shoes the killer wore and they did not match Goldman’s boots. He never really come right out and said the pattern was a shoeprint. He also testified he saw extra imprints on Goldman’s jeans, a blood – stained envelope and a piece of paper found near the bodies. He suggested that a second person was at the crime scene. Prosecution argued that signs that someone else was at the crime scene doesn’t mean Simpson didn’t help during or after the murders.
The prosecution says Simpson had a motive.He was a known abuser. His obsessive and compulsive need to control Nicole led them to divorce and he continued this behaviour even after they split. They played recorded tapes of Nicole’s desperate calls to 911.
In the closing arguments of this trial, Marcia Clark made a brutal attack on Mark Furhman but told jurors it would be a tragedy if racism led them to ignore the overwhelming evidence of O.J. guilt. She also stated that ” Simpson made a cold and calculated decision to kill.” Prosecutor Chris Darden said, ” We’ve shown you he would have, could have and did kill these two people.”
Johnnie Cochrane, O.J.’s leading lawyer, started off his final arguments by describing what he called a police conspiracy to frame the famous O.J. Simpson. He also reminded jurors about Mark Fuhrman. He described Furhman as a “lying, perjuring,genocidal racist.” He reminded the jurors about the bloody gloves and how O.J. struggled to put them on. He stated,”If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
O.J. Simpson has always claimed ” I did not, could not and would not have committed this crime.”
My opinion about this case is that O.J. Simpson is guilty. The defence tries to say there was all this conspiracy to frame O.J. but I don’t think they proved any of this happened. The defence said Furhman was a racist but this does not prove that Simpson didn’t commit the crime. They say the blood samples were contaminated but I don’t think every single one was. The prosecution proved he was an abuser and I think something finally snapped inside him and he killed Nicole and Goldman. The gloves the killer wore were the same type O.J. wears. When they say O.J. tried on the gloves and they didn’t fit I think he tightened his hand up so the gloves would be hard to put on. The shoeprints at the crime scene were the same style and size he wears. Bloody clothes or a murder weapon have never been found but neither has the missing laundry bags from O.J.’s hotel room. I have to wonder why O.J. lead the police on a big chase if he is so darn innocent. My opinion is that O.J. Simpson would have been found guilty a long time ago if it wasn’t for all the publicity surrounding the case and the fact that he’s famous.
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