I was a recent high school graduate in June of 1994, trying to watch the NBA finals with my dad. He was a Knicks fan and was beside himself with anger that we were being forced to watch a white Bronco drive around Los Angeles. I wasn’t a Knicks fan and didn’t really care, so a car chase was fascinating. I knew who OJ Simpson was, mostly from commercials and the Naked Gun movies, but really had no idea how big of a football star he was. Or what he meant to the African-American community. I knew what he was accused of and had no idea whether or not he was guilty, but that would soon change.
I followed the trial half-heartedly. I was in college, very preoccupied with my freshman year, rarely watched the news, but I knew the trial was a gigantic mess. That was pretty clear just from the brief snippets of information I was receiving. The trial was taking much longer than expected, the prosecution wasn’t handling the witnesses well, and then there were the gloves. Anyone could see those gloves weren’t fitting, no matter how much Simpson “tried” to put them on. The case was close to being sunk. The final straw was the Fuhrman tapes. Clearly this man is a racist. The prosecution put him on the stand early in the trial. They didn’t have much of a choice considering he was one of the first detectives on the scene. However, when, at the end of the trial, tapes of him saying the most derogatory things were discovered, that was it. There was no way OJ was going to be convicted.
This book by Jeffrey Toobin does an excellent job presenting how ridiculous the prosecution was, how they completely bungled the trial, how brilliant Johnnie Cochran was as an attorney, how pathetic Robert Shapiro was, how desperate Judge Ito was for fame, and how OJ got away with murder. If you read the evidence against him- DNA blood evidence at the scene, in his car, on his socks at his house, his hair and fibers on the bodies, shoes prints at the scene matching ones he owned (very rare size 12…only 300 pairs sold in the US) cuts on his left hand, one glove at the scene one at his house….and don’t even mention that glove was planted, given the fact the police didn’t even know if OJ was in the country, let alone planting ALL the blood and fiber evidence- the evidence is BEYOND anything needed to convict a person. Toobin makes it very clear what side of the evidence he is on. He also makes it very clear to the reader. OJ is a murderer.