Jack Walraven's
Best Of The Sidebars
in the O.J. Simpson Criminal Trial

© Copyright 2000-2001 Jack Walraven, All Rights Reserved.

Table of Contents


The Sidebar Players

A Chummy Kind of Group

Cordial Relationships


The Witnesses

The Gloves and the Tapes

The Jurors

It's Not Fair, Your Honor!

Judge, Disciplinarian and Cruise Director

A Chronology

List of Witnesses

Trial Statistics


October 3rd, 1995

"In the matter of People of the State of California versus Orenthal James Simpson, case number BA097211. We, the Jury, in the above-titled action, find the Defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, not guilty of the crime of murder in violation of Penal Code 187(A)....."

Sequestered for 266 days, the jury took only a couple of hours to bring the "Trial of the Century" to a screeching halt, leaving a nation deeply divided in its wake. Those wishing that this would be the end of it, were sadly disappointed. The nation, in fact the world, continues to heatedly debate the Simpson case.

The trial has generated hundreds of thousands of pages recording the courtroom drama, with more than 50,000 pages of official court transcripts alone. In the words of Assistant District Attorney Marcia Clark, "a mountain of evidence" was introduced -- 488 exhibits by the Prosecution, 369 by the Defense. 126 witnesses were sworn in and more than 1,000 media credentials were issued. The Los Angeles Times estimated that some 40 million Americans were following the trial and CNN's trial commentator, Jim Moret, announced on September 25th that the trial had cost the United States an estimated 40 billion dollars in lost productivity. The County of Los Angeles has reportedly spent in excess of $9 million in court and prosecution costs.

Thus it is not surprising that this trial will remain a hot topic for years to come. Legal beagles will continue to analyze the court transcripts, not to mention the frequent sidebar discussions that were never heard by the jurors or the public.

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition - Unabridged, defines this peculiar word as sidebar (sidbar), n. follow-up (def. 3b) [1945-50]. That really doesn't tell us very much as to its legal meaning.

Basically, sidebars are discussions - legal arguments about an objection, for example - between the judge, the defense attorney(s), and the prosecutor(s). These discussions are held at the bench out of earshot of the jurors and the media coverage. Some sidebars are off-the-record and are never reported. Fortunately, most are on-the-record and held in the presence of the court reporter, and eventually become part of the public record.

This book covers snippets from the sidebars that have been officially released by the court. The reader will find that the sidebars give an entirely different perspective on this much-publicized trial. Away from the media spotlight, they provide us with moments of heated legal arguments, mundane banter, humor, sarcasm, redundancy, confusion, verbal diahrrea, and sometimes, sheer exhaustion. In the final analysis, we get to know that these legal hot-shots are human beings like the rest of us.

The sidebars also confirm what we already suspected - the animosity between the urbane Johnnie Cochran and the more down-to-earth Chris Darden on one side, and the bickering between Marcia Clark and Robert Shapiro on the other. On more than occasion, Judge Lance Ito, ever so patient, refers to the unruly lawyers at sidebar as "children," and it indeed seems at times that we are observing a kindergarten class at recess.

It's not difficult to understand that sidebars are a court reporter's nightmare. Lawyers speak over each other and they tend to be less articulate than in the open-court proceedings. Johnnie Cochran can spin sentences that go on forever. Marcia Clark can be equally wordy and it is amazing how the court reporters can keep up. In fact, towards the end of the Defense's case, the court reporters threatened to go on strike if Johnnie Cochran were to question one more witness. He didn't.

This trial has been instrumental in giving us an education in legalese - with expressions such as hearsay, in-camera, hostile witness, motion to strike (one of F. Lee Bailey's favorites), offer of proof (Johnnie Cochran), sand-bagging (Marcia Clark), and sequestered (which most of us have been since this trial began). Of course, you aren't really a true Simpson trial junkie until you can recite Judge Ito's admonitions to the jury in your sleep.

As in the other media, the case has been discussed ad infinitum on the information superhighway. So let me end this chapter by quoting a few of the messages contributed by trial addicts on the Internet:

You know you're hooked on the trial when you start humming the CNN (O.J. trial) theme music during sex.

You know you're hooked when your two-year-old sees Judge Ito on TV and calls him Daddy.

You know you're hooked when, as a New Yorker, you adjust your entire schedule to Pacific Time.

You know you're hooked when you fit all of your day's activities within the court lunch break.

You know you're hooked when you go out for lunch and order a sidebar.

The Sidebar Players

Since the commencement of the trial, the major participants in this real-life soap opera have had more media exposure than the politicians in Washington. Some have taken on celebrity status signing autographs outside the courthouse each day. The following cast of characters consists of the more active participants in the sidebars contained within this book.

The Judge

Judge Lance Ito

Long known for his impartiality and evenhandedness, it took the defense and prosecution attorneys only minutes to agree having Judge Lance Ito preside over the O.J. Simpson trial, despite the fact that he's married to the highest-ranking woman in the LAPD. Whether he's still as well respected at the end of the trial remains to be seen. In the heat of battle, both the Defense and Prosecution have accused him of being unfair, to which he responded, "I'm glad both sides feel equally abused. That means it's pretty equal."

In 1991, Ito presided over the trial of Charles Keating in the Lincoln Savings & Loan case. When Keating was convicted, the mild-mannered Ito surprised courtroom watchers by handing down the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for securities fraud. In June 1992 the L.A. Bar Association named Ito Trial Judge of the Year. Before being appointed to the bench in 1987 by then-governor George Deukmejian, he worked in the L.A. County district attorney's office prosecuting cases of gang violence.

He's known to work such long days -- usually getting to work at 6 a.m. -- that he keeps a blanket and pillow in his chambers.

In post-trial interviews, most jurors were reluctant to express their opinion of Ito. Some felt he was aloof and indifferent to their needs.

The Defense Team

Because of the prominence of the lawyers, some members in the media have referred to them as the legal "Dream Team." Others, not so kind, coined less flattering phrases, such as "Scheme Team" or "Sleaze Team."

Johnnie Cochran

Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. played the dominant role in shaping the Defense strategy in this case and was chosen to present the Defense's opening and closing statements. The former prosecutor is known as a masterful cross-examiner and orator.

While admirers consider him "brilliant" and "silky smooth," comments from his detractors range from "smarmy" to "sleazy."

Cochran is a well-known California civil rights and celebrity lawyer, renowned for successfully suing municipalities in suits involving excessive force or sexual abuse by police officers. As a longtime friend of Simpson's, he helped clear another football legend, Jim Brown, of rape charges in 1985. Cochran was instrumental in working out Michael Jackson's $15 to $20 million settlement with the family of a 13-year-old boy who accused Jackson of molesting him. He also represented Los Angeles riot victim Reginald Denny and successfully defended actor Todd Bridges, the former star of Diff'rent Strokes, on charges of attempted murder and involuntary manslaughter. Cochran is a graduate of UCLA and the Loyola Marymount University School of Law, now Loyola Law School.

In post-trial interviews, some jurors claimed that they were not swayed by his closing arguments.

Robert Shapiro

Robert Shapiro was the original lead lawyer on the Simpson defense team, but early on relinguished this role to Johnnie Cochran. He had a falling out with his co-counsel and longtime friend, F. Lee Bailey, when he accused Bailey of leaking information to the media. He has also been a reluctant participant in condoning Cochran's strategy to bring the issue of racism into the case.

A Hollywood celebrity attorney, Shapiro has built a reputation as a skilled negotiator who often tries to avoid trial by skillful plea-bargaining. The lead counsel in about 10 murder cases, his past clients include John Z. DeLorean, Johnny Carson, Christian Brando and baseball star Darryl Strawberry. He graduated from the Loyola Law School in 1968 and is married to former model Linell Thomas.

F. Lee Bailey

F. Lee Bailey's major appearance in the Simpson trial came when he fiercely cross-examined Mark Fuhrman, the LAPD detective accused by the Defense of planting evidence and having a racist past. In another dramatic moment, Bailey engaged in a shouting match with Marcia Clark when she called him a liar in the courtroom.

Bailey rose to fame in the 1960s when he helped reverse the conviction of accused wife-killer Dr. Sam Sheppard, whose case was the inspiration for The Fugitive. Bailey also represented Albert DeSalvo, the notorious Boston Strangler, in the '60s and hostage-cum-bank robber Patty Hearst in 1976. In 1982, Bailey hired Shapiro to defend him against a drunk-driving charge. He was acquitted. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Boston University School of Law.

Carl Douglas

Carl Douglas, 40, took center stage in the trial when he cross-examined prosecution witness Ron Shipp. Shipp testified that O.J. Simpson told him about having dreams of killing his wife. Douglas tried to destroy Shipps' credibility by confronting him with his alcohol problems and womanizing.

Douglas specializes in police misconduct cases. He is the managing attorney at the Law Offices of Johnnie Cochran, Jr., in charge of the firm's 12 lawyers. Douglas graduated from Northwestern University and the University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law.

Barry Scheck

Barry Scheck is a New York City attorney who has made a name for himself as a leading expert in the use of DNA evidence in the courtroom. His grilling cross-examination of criminalist Dennis Fung was hailed as brilliant by defense attorneys and law professors, although at times he seemed to be getting under Judge Ito's skin.He was chosen to present part of the Defense's closing arguments.

In past trials, Scheck has both challenged and supported DNA to establish guilt or innocence. He is a law professor and director of clinical education at the Cardoza Law School in New York City, and a graduate of Yale University and the University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law.

In post-trial interviews, several jurors felt that Scheck was the most effective Defense attorney.

Peter Neufeld

Peter Neufeld is the other half of the defense's DNA team. He followed Barry Scheck's fierce attack on the credibility of Dennis Fung with a lengthy cross-examination of criminalist Andrea Mazzola. While all the lawyers have felt the wrath of Judge Ito at one time or another, Neufeld attracted the most, especially for his booming voice and redundancy in questioning witnesses.

Neufeld has taught and litigated extensively in forensic science. Along with Scheck, he directs "The Innocence Project," which currently represents more than 200 inmates seeking post-conviction release through DNA testing. Neufeld teaches trial advocacy at Fordham University School of Law. He is also co-chairman of the National Association oif Criminal Defense Lawyers DNA Task Force. Neufeld is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the New York University School of Law.

The Prosecution Team

The prosecution team also underwent a change in lead counsel early on when Marcia Clark replaced William Hodgman in this role.

Marcia Clark

As the lead prosecutor, Marcia Clark was in charge of presenting the People's case against O.J. Simpson and few people will argue that she hasn't done so skillfully. Some have criticized her for being too "shrill" and Johnnie Cochran even referred to her as "hysterical." No matter what anyone thinks of her style, few prosecutors have worked as hard to win a case. No wonder she told the judge toward the end, "Your Honor, I'm so tired. "

Divorced with two children, Clark has prosecuted 60 jury trials, including 20 murder cases. In 1991, she successfully prosecuted Robert John Bardo for stalking and murdering actress Rebecca Schaeffer. She is a graduate of the Southwestern University School of Law.

William Hodgman

Deputy DA William Hodgman was to be the lead prosecutor in the case, but had to withdraw when the stress began having a negative effect on his health. The low-key Hodgman continued to work behind the scenes and would made occasional appearances in the courtroom whenever there was an indication that the prosecution team was running into some trouble. He appears to have earned the respect of Judge Ito.

Hodgman is director of the Bureau of Central Operations, which includes the Special Trials Division. He joined the District Attorney's Office in 1978 and has prosecuted about 130 trials, including 40 murder cases. He helped win the 1992 conviction of Charles Keating for securities fraud. Hodgman is a graduate of UCLA and Hastings College of the Law.

Christopher Darden

Deputy DA Christopher Darden has been a master at needling the defense team, especially Johnnie Cochran during sidebars. His temper almost got him into trouble with Judge Ito, who cited him for contempt when his temper got the best of him during a sidebar. Darden's most embarrassing moment came when he had O.J. Simpson try on the gloves found at the murder scene and Simpson's residence in front of the jury, and one of the gloves didn't appear to fit.

Darden has prosecuted more than 19 homicide cases since becoming a Los Angeles County prosecutor in 1980. He became a deputy district attorney in 1981 and completed a six-and-a-half year assignment with the Special Investigations Division before joining the prosecution team. He is a graduate of San Jose State University and Hastings College of the Law.

In post-trial interviews, some jurors expressed the opinion that Darden had done a poor job and that he was likely brought in only because he's African-American.

Hank Goldberg

Hank Goldberg is by far the most youthful and mild-mannered deputy DA on the prosecution team. He was severely criticized in front of the jury by Judge Ito for not divulging certain information in a timely fashion to the Defense.

Goldberg first joined the District Attorney's Office in 1985. He has prosecuted about 30 felony trials including eight murder trials. He helped prosecute Catherine Thompson, convicted of killing her husband for his insurance money and sentenced to death in 1992. Goldberg also prosecuted Jose Guerra for the murder of a registered nurse. He is a graduate of UCLA and the Loyola Law School.

Cheri Lewis

Cheri Lewis, 42, assists in the research and preparation of prosecution motions and pleadings. At the start of the trial, she played a major role in arguing that incidents of spousal abuse should be admitted as part of the prosecution's case. She has successfully tried eight murder cases during her five years with the District Attorney's Office. Lewis received her law degree degree from the University of La Verne College of Law, San Fernando Valley Campus.

A Chummy Kind of Group

On the television show Entertainment Tonight law professor and Simpson trial commentator Stan Goldman was asked about what lawyers talk about during sidebars. "People do all sorts of things at sidebars," he responded. "People joke, people make appointments, people talk about betting dinner on the outcome of this trial. It's a chummy kind of group sometimes."

Most of the Simpson trial sidebars have been far from chummy, but there have been some lighthearted moments as when early on in the trial Johnnie Cochran accidentally steps on Chris Darden's foot at sidebar.

Mr. Darden: Your Honor, I object. He has stepped on my shined Ferragamo's. You know, I think he should have to buy me another pair of Ferragamo's.
Judge Ito: ...I'll direct counsel to pay for your next shoe shine as a sanction.
Mr. Darden: Shoe shine? He should buy me a new pair of shoes.
-- January 31, 1995

Here's another innocuous one:

Mr. Darden: I've got juice in the D.A.'s office now, didn't you know?
Mr. Cochran: We have juice; you don't have juice.
-- January 11, 1995

Sidebars are often held to discuss legal objections. The judge will then either sustain the objection or overrule it. The lawyers sometimes forget to stop arguing once a ruling has been made.

Mr. Darden: Okay.
Mr. Douglas: He hasn't seen --
Mr. Darden: He has ruled.
Ms. Clark: Your Honor, we could --
Mr. Cochran: He has ruled.
Judge Ito: I have ruled. Bye.
Mr. Cochran: He has ruled.
-- February 2, 1995
Judge Ito: I will sustain the objection.
Mr. Cochran: Wait a minute, judge.
Mr. Darden: The court has ruled.
Mr. Cochran: I hadn't been heard. Both of you guys talked and that is not fair. You are not --
Mr. Darden: We are accusing you of whining.
Judge Ito: Hold on. Hold on. Counsel, counsel, "hold on" means stop.
-- February 22, 1995

In the State of California there are twelve legal objections that may be made in a courtroom, such as hearsay, speculation, misstating the evidence, etc. This is not one of them.

Miss Clark: What the Defense have gotten away with is greedy beyond belief.
Mr. Cochran: That is an objection, "greedy beyond belief?"
-- March 9, 1995

Lawyers like to critique each other on the art of questioning witnesses.

Judge Ito: All right. Mr. Darden, any response to that?
Mr. Darden: Do I have to? Is there a need for a response to that?
Mr. Cochran: Yes.
Mr. Darden: I asked my questions, as inartful as they might be, and --
Mr. Cochran: That is what your own side said.
Mr. Darden: Yes. Miss Clark sold me out that day. It was a fine piece of lawyering, yet my own colleague sold me out...
-- February 6, 1995

Could it be his after-shave?

Judge Ito: We are over at sidebar.
Ms. Clark: I was just wondering why counsel feels the need to stand within 10 inches of me while I'm doing this questioning.
Judge Ito: Because he needs to be able to see the chart.
Mr. Cochran: I can't see the chart.
Ms. Clark: How about if I turn it, have it --
Mr. Cochran: I still can't see it over there.
Ms. Clark: It's a very simple chart, your Honor, and I know that counsel has seen quite a lot of it in great detail.
Judge Ito: No. But he needs to see what the witness is pointing to.
Ms. Clark: He's not pointing to anything.
Judge Ito: Well, we don't --
Mr. Cochran: How do I know that?
Judge Ito: See, Marcia, it's a bad angle. It's just a bad angle.
Ms. Clark: If I turned it --
Mr. Cochran: I haven't seen half of these things. I have no idea what you are talking about half the time. Of course, I'm not the one that has to be able to see what you are talking about.
Ms. Clark: I agree if I tilt it so that counsel can see it from counsel table, perhaps he can get --
Judge Ito: Then the jury is not going to be able to see it.
Ms. Clark: Actually --
Mr. Cochran: I'm not bothering her. I'm standing behind her.
Judge Ito: I know. He's not saying anything. He's not putting rabbit ears behind your head or anything.
Ms. Clark: I never know when he will, your Honor.
Mr. Cochran: I didn't do that. I'm standing there not talking.
Judge Ito: He's entitled to see what it is you are doing.
Ms. Clark: Okay.
-- February 9, 1995

Meanwhile, Mr. Bailey likes to roam the courtroom:

Ms. Clark: May I ask one favor, your Honor?
Judge Ito: Sure.
Ms. Clark: During my redirect Mr. Bailey was back there talking to Jonathan Fairtlough and distracting him when he needs to help me.
Judge Ito: Which is why I asked him to go take a seat.
Ms. Clark: Prior to that I had asked counsel to sit down and he refused.
Mr. Bailey: I was trying to locate an exhibit, avoid the delay we now suffer.
-- February 15, 1995

Even judges get curious about shoe prints found at the crime scene.

Judge Ito: Out of curiosity, what's the measure of the stride between these? Just out of curiosity.
Ms. Clark: We had a stride analysis done that's going to come later.
Judge Ito: Just curious.
Mr. Bailey: Big foot.
Ms. Clark: It is a big foot.
Mr. Cochran: Big stride too, judge.
-- February 15, 1995

Chris Darden the prankster.

Judge Ito: Wait, wait, wait. Wait means everybody stop. Yes, it's going into evidence, and then I'm going to sign an order ordering that photographs be put in there instead and they be allowed to be tested over the weekend and returned to the court. That's what the deal is.
Ms. Clark: Right.
Mr. Darden: Why are we up here?
Judge Ito: Wait, wait. Guys, when I say wait, please.
Mr. Darden: Your Honor, I have a knife.
Judge Ito: Give me my keys back.
Mr. Darden: Not yet.
Judge Ito: Give me my keys.
-- February 17, 1995

Judge Ito certainly knows his Middle Age history.

Judge Ito: Counsel, counsel, it goes to why men shake hands, it goes to why men go on the left side of the road instead of the right side of the road, so that you have your sword hand free. If you have your keys in your sword hand --
Mr. Cochran: Judge, I don't think --
Judge Ito: I know Mr. Bailey can appreciate this kind of stuff.
Mr. Cochran: In 1394, your Honor. I think that is the rankest form of speculation and surprise here. There are other theories.
Judge Ito: I think it is a logical conclusion.
Mr. Cochran: Gee, judge. Street savvy.
-- February 21, 1995

We all know that lawyers like to argue.

Judge Ito: All right. We are over at the sidebar. What are we arguing over?
Mr. Cochran: Sorry, your Honor.
Judge Ito: What are we fighting over?
Mr. Cochran: We are not fighting, your Honor. We are spiritual and we are not fighting.
-- February 22, 1995
Judge Ito: Why are we arguing?
Ms. Clark: I don't know.
Mr. Cochran: Because they like to argue when they can.
Judge Ito: Beats me.
-- February 22, 1995

Johnnie Cochran's neckties have received wild acclaim.

Mr. Darden: His shirt matches his tie.
Ms. Clark: Unbelievable.
-- March 3, 1995

Sometimes the judge makes suggestions as to what questions to ask.

Judge Ito: You can ask, "Did anybody read this to you," and/or, "Ask you about this?" You can ask that. "What was just read to you, did anybody discuss that with you?" You can ask that.
Mr. Darden: That's what I was going to ask.
Judge Ito: Well, why didn't you say so?
-- March 3, 1995
Judge Ito: Let me make it clear. I am not trying to help one side or the other here as I give hints to both sides. I just want to get this over with sometime this lifetime.
Mr. Cochran: I agree judge.
-- March 9, 1995
Being a judge is a little like being a kindergarten teacher.
Judge Ito: Children, children, thank you. That will be enough.
-- March 6, 1995

Chris Darden appeared on the Geraldo show and told the world that he and Judge Ito were personal friends. Mr. Cochran wasn't too happy about that.

Mr. Cochran: ...Judge, we have Mr. Darden on national television saying the judge is my bud.
Ms. Clark: What is the relevance of this? What is the relevance of this?
Mr. Cochran: I think --
Ms. Clark: What does this have to do with what we are up here for? Mr. Cochran is going off on wild tangents.
Judge Ito: Hold on.
Mr. Cochran: Mr. Darden is saying on national television the judge is my bud and the court suggests to him -- and that is all I'm saying. He did say that.
Ms. Clark: I don't know what counsel is referring to. Could we just discuss the issue at hand here?
Mr. Darden: By the way, I also said I loved Mr. Cochran.
Mr. Cochran: He has always said that.
-- March 7, 1995

Being a court reporter is a tough job. After all, lawyers like to talk, often all at once.

Reporter Olson: I'm sorry, judge. I can't make a record when counsel are both speaking at the same time.
Judge Ito: Just put attorneys ignore court's order to talk one at a time, there is no record to report.
-- March 8, 1995

Knowing when to quit.

Judge Ito: Well, I guess what we are right at the end of the day.
Mr. Cochran: I want to ask a couple more questions if I might.
Judge Ito: We are going to quit right now.
Mr. Cochran: A couple more questions.
Judge Ito: No, we are going to quit. We are going to quit.
-- March 8, 1995
Ms. Clark: Your Honor, can we have a indication from counsel how much longer he is going to be on recross?
Judge Ito: I thought he was winding up about twenty minutes ago.
Ms. Clark: I thought it was an hour ago, but can we get an indication?
Mr. Cochran: Tomorrow I will finish.
Ms. Clark: What time?
Mr. Cochran: I don't know. Tomorrow I will finish.
Ms. Clark: I need to know for witnesses.
Mr. Cochran: Have your witnesses here.
Judge Ito: Have them here. Have them here. We are about finished.
-- March 8, 1995

You want to whisper in my ear?

Mr. Cochran: Could we approach just one second?
Judge Ito: Yes.
Mr. Cochran: May we approach your desk?
Judge Ito: Sure. You want to whisper in my ear?
-- March 13, 1995

When given a choice of movies.

Mr. Cochran: Like if you go to a movie with your wife, Judge--my wife and I go to a movie on Saturday nights and she may want to see "The Madness of King George" and I may want to see "The Walking Dead." And we try to compromise. One week--
Judge Ito: There is no compromise between those two choices.
Mr. Cochran: So, you know, there's a--
Judge Ito: You wind up seeing "Dumb and Dumber."
-- March 14, 1995
Do these guys ever sleep?
Mr. Darden: How late and how long am I supposed to work on this? All night or --
Mr. Bailey: Be like the Defense, go to midnight.
Ms. Clark: Sure you do.
-- March 14, 1995

Could there be possible romance between Johnnie and Marcia?

Judge Ito: Want to show me the transcript? What line?
Mr. Cochran: Beginning line 15. She'll agree she just wanted to come over here to stand close to me.
Ms. Clark: True. You're so hard to resist.
-- March 28, 1995

Calling Marcia hysterical is not going to help further the romance.

Mr. Cochran: She's being hysterical.
Judge Ito: Careful with that. Mr. Cochran, be careful when you call people hysterical.
-- February 15, 1995

Ah, Marcia gets revenge.

Mr. Neufeld: I would ask the Court to impose sanctions on Miss Clark. She was warned three times, three times before he took the witness stand on direct, I think at the conclusion of direct, and then at sidebar, you reiterated that she was not allowed to refer to or mention any of the other cases without first approaching sidebar. And I think sanctions are in order.
Judge Ito: Miss Clark, do you have a copy for Mr. Neufeld, what you're about to use?
Ms. Clark: Yes. Mr. Gordon has it, although let me indicate to the Court, this is not--I don't see a great cause for hysteria here. We are not impeaching him. We are not impeaching him.
Judge Ito: Keep your voice down.
Ms. Clark: It's appropriate.
Mr. Cochran: She used the word "Hysteria." I just wanted to remind you of that.
Ms. Clark: I was waiting for my chance to use it, your Honor.
-- July 31, 1995

Helping design Los Angeles International Airport is not exactly a feather in your cap, Johnnie.

Judge Ito: Well, is there any doubt, counsel, that if we were to go to LAX right now and look at this particular podium at American Airlines that it is going to be exactly the same as it is?
Mr. Cochran: I have no doubt.
Judge Ito: All right.
Mr. Cochran: I was present -- I helped build the airport, so I know about that airport.
Judge Ito: Then I have many bones to pick with you.
Mr. Darden: You haven't done an honest day's work in your life.
-- March 29. 1995

If they only knew how much longer...

Mr. Cochran: We talked about April or May finishing this case, didn't we? And that doesn't seem like that's as feasible as we once thought.
-- March 30, 1995
Ms. Clark: Yes, your Honor. I'm mindful of the need to not improvidently excuse jurors in view of the fact that the case is apparently going to take longer than we thought.
-- March 30, 1995

An indicator of a small mind.

Judge Ito: What's the famous saying? Consistency is the sometimes indicator of a small mind, something to that effect.
Mr. Darden: You said it. I didn't.
Mr. Bailey: Also the God of the common law.
-- March 30, 1995

After seeing up to ten lawyers huddled at sidebar, Judge Ito felt it necessary to only allow two lawyers from each side at sidebar. When that didn't work he cut it down one.

Mr. Cochran: Your Honor, we would lodge an objection. We have a two-lawyer rule, judge.
Judge Ito: Two lawyers. Bye-bye.
Ms. Clark: No. Okay. I just wanted to give him this. Okay. Bye.
-- April 14, 1995
Judge Ito: I'm going to start a new rule. Starting tomorrow, you only get one lawyer up here. You guys just egg each other on and add to this.
-- April 17, 1995

Lawyers who like to play judge.

Mr. Darden: Okay. Can I advise the court of some information I just got?
Mr. Cochran: Sure.
Judge Ito: Thank you, Mr. Cochran. You said sure.
Mr. Cochran: I'll shut up. Excuse me, your Honor.
Judge Ito: I'll just go sit down and you guys --
Mr. Cochran: No. I want you to stay right here.
-- April 14, 1995

I hope you're joking, your Honor.

Judge Ito: In the context of those questions and answers, it was clear what the intent of the question was, and we will get to the actual presentation of test results maybe if I don't declare a mistrial first. Okay.
Mr. Goldberg: Is that intended to be a joke, your Honor?
Judge Ito: No. That was actually said in jest given the other things we need to do today.
-- April 17, 1995

Sidebars can be very confusing.

Judge Ito: All right. We are over at the sidebar.
Mr. Harmon: The problem that exists is when you are using systems to show that something is not there when it really is and you allow something that takes away data, you are really misleading the jury.
Judge Ito: Show me what is--what is not where.
Mr. Cochran: What is not where.
Mr. Harmon: Well, the whole point of this is to question whether or not there is anything there.
Judge Ito: Okay.
Mr. Harmon: Somehow Howard put the arrows because he is looking at this.
Mr. Blasier: No, because 24 is a marker lane.
Mr. Harmon: How does he know?
Mr. Blasier: I told him. This is just to help them locate what to look for on here.
Mr. Harmon: So you are saying that there is something faint here?
Mr. Harmon: Sure.
Judge Ito: Okay. Right there, (Indicating).
Mr. Harmon: Right.
Judge Ito: All right. Have you got that turned around right? Why don't you superimpose it.
Mr. Harmon: You are right.
Judge Ito: Turn it around.
Mr. Harmon: I'm getting dizzy here.
-- May 23, 1995

Marcia approaches Johnnie:

Ms. Clark: Let the record reflect I have reached toward counsel's neck.
-- June 5, 1995

Everybody needs a break.

Mr. Kelberg: Your Honor, when are you taking a break? I'm just trying to--
Judge Ito: Quarter `til. Do you want a break now? I was planning--I thought I told you 2:45.
Mr. Kelberg: Okay. I will try.
Judge Ito: Unless the court reporter is about to die.
Reporter Olson: No, sir, I'm fine.
-- June 6, 1995

Darden quotes:

Mr. Darden: This is a court of law, not Live at the Improv.
-- June 15, 1995
Mr. Darden: We are trying to convict the guy [Simpson]. We're not here to hold his hand.
-- July 19, 1995

Hey, you guys, this is a courtroom, not a saloon:

Judge Ito: You guys have guys going in and out of the courtroom all the time letting the swinging doors swing. That's not protocol. You know, grab the doors.
Mr. Cochran: You guys.
Mr. Darden: If you let us use the telephone.
Judge Ito: No. I mean both of you guys.
-- June 27, 1995

Oops! I forgot that these sidebars are recorded.

Ms. Clark: Can I ask one thing? I forgot that these sidebar transcripts are released and I made a reference to--
Judge Ito: I sealed that one from the last one because we talked about personal things.
Ms. Clark: Right, and can I just ask that whatever comment I made at this last sidebar today about my son be also--
Judge Ito: That was--that is why I sealed it.
Ms. Clark: Okay. Because I did it again.
Judge Ito: Yes. I sealed it.
Ms. Clark: I will remember. Thank you, your Honor.
-- June 28, 1995

The blah-blah report.

Mr. Darden: Can we have some specific discovery as to what the statement is supposed to be?
Judge Ito: Which statement?
Mr. Darden: The one that he claims was spontaneous.
Judge Ito: To the TV? He is saying, "How can they accuse me of that?" Blah, blah, blah.
Mr. Darden: Blah, blah, blah.
Mr. Cochran: He wants a report, your Honor.
Judge Ito: Blah, blah, blah.
Mr. Cochran: I will try to write him a report over the lunch hour.
-- July 10, 1995

Stay away from those buzz saws now, you hear.

Mr. Darden: Well, I'm going to ask him. I will lay the foundation, if necessary, but this is his opinion. This is opinion and he has already stated that opinion publicly. I just didn't want to run into a buzz saw.
Judge Ito: Yes, you should be wise to stay away from the buzz saw today and everyday.
-- July 12, 1995

The Defendant has kneemonia.

Judge Ito: If it is rheumatoid arthritis in his knee or if it is osteoarthritis in his knee, it is still arthritis, and we agree that looking at the railroad tracks on the side of his knee and looking at the number of hits the guy took, he probably has got knee problems. He has got kneemonia.
-- July 18, 1995

Celebrity lawyer, Howard Weitzman, was O.J. Simpson's original lawyer. He withdrew from the case early on.

Judge Ito: We are over at the sidebar. Who is the next witness?
Mr. Cochran: Howard Weitzman. He is here, too.
Mr. Darden: Weitzman, okay.
Mr. Cochran: Howard is here and he has got to get out by lunchtime.
Judge Ito: He's big man.
Mr. Cochran: Making a million dollars a year and he has got to get out of here. Don't put that on the record.
Mr. Darden: It is in the record.
Mr. Cochran: Don't put that on the record.
-- August 22, 1995

How about never?

Judge Ito: Marcia, when do you--were you going to argue that?
Ms. Clark: Uh-huh.
Judge Ito: When are you going to be ready to do that?
Ms. Clark: Whenever you want.
Judge Ito: How about never?
Ms. Clark: I agree, but--
Mr. Cochran: I don't agree.
-- August 22, 1995

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Mr. Goldberg: Okay. All right. Have you read Mr. MacDonnell's article on the "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"?
Dr. Lee: (No audible response.)
Mr. Goldberg: "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"?
Dr. Lee: I'm a Chinese. Take me a while to think about this double-talk. Absence--
-- August 28, 1995

The lawyers discuss another case.

Mr. Goldberg: The body was chopped up, was spread outdoors, it was there for some time, the police collected it, think--
Judge Ito: Bits and pieces.
Mr. Goldberg: Yes. It is a very famous case.
Judge Ito: Yes, I am familiar with it.
Mr. Scheck: I am the only one that isn't.
Judge Ito: This is the one where the guy kills his wife, chops her up and puts her in a wood chipper.
Mr. Scheck: This is the wood chipper case?
Judge Ito: There is little bits of bones and they do DNA and he says the wife took off. He gives some alibi that she--
Ms. Clark: She split.
Judge Ito: --she split or left him or something like that, but she is actually spread over the north forty. Okay. Let's proceed.
-- August 28, 1995

Cordial Relationships

Although the early banter between Christopher Darden and Johnnie Cochran was quite benign, it soon became clear that the two had developed an extreme dislike for each other.

Darden's animosity toward Cochran probably began when he was almost held in contempt by Judge Ito after hotly reacting to an insulting remark by Cochran.

Mr. Cochran: We will prove it, your Honor. They know. This is such --
Ms. Clark: Why doesn't he prove it then. Let him call a witness.
Judge Ito: No, no.
Mr. Cochran: I can choose the witness that I want. They obviously haven't tried any cases in a long time, and obviously don't know how, but this is cross-examination.
Mr. Darden: Who is he talking about doesn't know how to try the case?
Judge Ito: Wait, Mr. Darden.
Mr. Darden: Is he the only lawyer that knows how to try the case?
Judge Ito: I'm going to hold you in contempt.
Mr. Darden: I should be held in contempt. I have sat here and listened to --
Judge Ito: Mr. Darden, I'm warning you right now.
Mr. Darden: This cross-examination is out of order.
-- February 23, 1995
Mr. Darden: Are we just killing time or something here or what?
Mr. Cochran: We are killing time with all your objections.
-- February 27, 1995
Mr. Darden: Can we have Mr. Cochran not testify? He's shaking his fists, making facial expressions.
Mr. Cochran: Mr. Darden, please stop being unreasonable. I'm standing here not saying anything.
-- March 22, 1995
Mr. Darden: He can't object. This is not his witness. Back to his side of the table. This is not his witness. He cannot object.
Ms. Clark: Mr. Douglas' bailiwick.
Mr. Cochran: Tell him to get his hands off me, judge.
Judge Ito: Get your hands off him, Mr. Darden.
-- March 29, 1995
Mr. Darden: You haven't done an honest day's work in your life. (Referring to Cochran)
-- March 29. 1995
Mr. Scheck: I'm going to move on, but I think we should be allowed cross-examination.
Judge Ito: Counsel, I understand it's cross-examination. But I don't know if you're watching the jury, but they've stopped paying attention.
Mr. Cochran: We think they are going to pay attention --
Mr. Darden: I think they have had enough smooth defense tactics for the day.
Mr. Cochran: I resent that. I resent that remark, smooth defense tactics. What they've got --
Judge Ito: Don't spit at me, Mr. Cochran.
Mr. Cochran: We're being killed in these ridiculous.
Mr. Darden: He is testifying to the best he can, and that's all he can do.
Mr. Cochran: Be a lawyer. Stop acting like a child.
Mr. Darden: Such he is with minutiae.
Judge Ito: Mr. Darden.
Mr. Darden: You are a child, Mr. Cochran.
Judge Ito: Mr. Darden, when you talk when Mr. Cochran talks, the court reporter doesn't get down any of our record here.
Mr. Darden: It is difficult for any of us to get another word in when Mr. Cochran is talking.
Judge Ito: I'm just encouraging counsel to move it along. Thank you.
-- April 13, 1995
Mr. Darden: Okay. I'm sorry, were you moaning again?
Judge Ito: You know--wait a minute. I've about had enough of this between the two of you.
Mr. Darden: He started it, your Honor.
Judge Ito: You are both baiting each other. You both violated the Court's order. 250 bucks both of you today.
Mr. Darden: I am very short today, your Honor.
Judge Ito: All right. I've had enough of this.
Mr. Cochran: Thank you, your Honor.
-- June 21, 1995
Mr. Darden: Mr. Cochran is desperate. None of that happened.
Mr. Cochran: Desperate?
Mr. Darden: I should indicate this as well. I was actually very ill that morning, but I know you don't care much about that.
-- July 12, 1995

The judge has tried to handle the dispute between Darden and Cochran, but he's sure getting tired of it.

Mr. Cochran: You don't like us coming up here.
Judge Ito: I don't like either of you guys today.
Mr. Cochran: I think that is unfair.
Judge Ito: No, don't say anything about it.
Mr. Cochran: Right. I have to stand up for what I believe.
Judge Ito: I understand that.
Mr. Cochran: You have to understand that I am a man and I feel strongly about racial issues.
Judge Ito: Mr. Cochran--
Mr. Cochran: I'm going to always do that.
Judge Ito: I'm going to tell you one more time, I don't want to hear any more about it.
-- July 12, 1995

At times Ito does take sides.

Judge Ito: And what is your contemplated cross-examination of Officer Thompson at this point?
Mr. Darden: To ask--
Judge Ito: That he was at Bundy, that he was aware of the crime scene issues?
Mr. Darden: Yes.
Judge Ito: I could do that in three questions.
Mr. Darden: Well, it would be more dramatic if you did it in 15, your Honor.
Judge Ito: But we're not here for drama, are we, Mr. Darden?
Mr. Darden: Well, I'm not. Not anymore. But, you know--also, you know, I think it's important--
(At this point, Cochran makes a snide remark about Darden's disastrous glove demonstration)
Judge Ito: That wasn't an appropriate comment, Mr. Cochran. That was a cheap shot.
Mr. Darden: I'm sorry. Did Mr. Cochran apologize?
Judge Ito: Not yet, but he will.
Mr. Cochran: I don't perceive it to be a cheap shot. What he said was, he says, "I'm out of drama." I said yes, after the gloves. Now, that wasn't a cheap shot.
Judge Ito: It was.
Mr. Cochran: I didn't think it was.
Judge Ito: I thought it was.
Mr. Cochran: Well, it's your court. So if you think it was, then I apologize. But I don't think it was a cheap shot. I was responding to what Mr. Darden said, two of my colleagues.
Judge Ito: Counsel, Mr. Darden and I were discussing a matter, and you piped in with that, which I took to be a cheap shot.
Mr. Cochran: Well, I didn't think it was a cheap shot.
Judge Ito: Mr. Cochran, you think about that.
Mr. Cochran: Very well, your Honor.
-- July 18, 1995

The judge does admit it when he thinks he's made a mistake and is not afraid to apologize.

Judge Ito: We are over at the sidebar. Mr. Cochran, I want to apologize to you for appearing a little short with you. I think perhaps my tone was not appropriate in the last session. I am impatient today because this photographer testified to a very limited--we are spending a lot of time talking about this and I'm exasperated. My apologies for taking it out on you.
Mr. Cochran: I accept the Court's apology.
-- July 20, 1995

Cochran and Darden are not the only ones who dislike each other. Marcia Clark and Robert Shapiro have been trading insults since they got involved in the case back in June of 1994.

Ms. Clark: I have been informed by our media relations director that Mr. Shapiro has been telling reporters that our future witnesses have been watching television. That is false and it is unfair and it is the kind of smear campaign tactics that we object to strenuously. We have refrained from that sort of thing. We would ask the court to order Mr. Shapiro not to make these false representations to the press for the purpose of engaging in further smear campaign tactics.
Judge Ito: Mr. Shapiro, do you want to respond to that?
Mr. Shapiro: Yeah. Total lie.
Ms. Clark: Mr. Shapiro is accusing [our media relations director] of lying when she saw him on television stating that our future witnesses have been watching television?
Mr. Shapiro: Total lie. I will say it twice. I will say it out in public right now.
Ms. Clark: I guess we are going to have to go and get the tape then.
Mr. Shapiro: I haven't said a word on camera in about probably two months, other than walking in today and they asked me about the pins and I said, you know, "I think much too much time is consumed over an issue that has no relevance to the outcome of this case."
Mr. Bailey: What he really said is he is going to take his wings off.
Ms. Clark: Mr. Shapiro has been on camera every day for the last two months.
Mr. Shapiro: Not talking.
Ms. Clark: I can produce tape to impeach that, every day.
Judge Ito: Counsel, on that pleasant note, we will take our recess for the afternoon.
-- February 8, 1995
Mr. Shapiro: The people are well aware -- Miss Clark is laughing. Maybe I should wait until she composes herself.
Ms. Clark: I'm very well composed. Mr. Shapiro, I think you ought to read the evidence code, learn how to impeach a witness.
Mr. Shapiro: But on the --
Judge Ito: Excuse me, counsel. I thought we agreed these gratuitous shots were going to be verboten from this point on.
-- March 21, 1995
Judge Ito: Well, we have already gone 15 minutes past when I said we were going to stop today. What's your time estimate on this other area or do you know at this point?
Mr. Shapiro: I can not give a good faith representation as to the time. I think the direct would be very brief. I think the cross would be quite lengthy.
Ms. Clark: I know Mr. Shapiro has never probably given a good faith representation.
Judge Ito: Counsel, we really don't need those kind of snide remarks, please.
Mr. Shapiro: You know, your Honor, I am personally --
Ms. Clark: I would like an offer of proof as to the area counsel intends to go into.
Mr. Shapiro: Your Honor, so the record is clear, I am personally offended by this conduct over the last four days. Your Honor put down certain rules, put them in writing, has given warning after warning, and we would ask your Honor to start enforcing those rules with appropriate sanctions.
Ms. Clark: Good. Perhaps --
Mr. Shapiro: I find it personally embarrassing and humiliating. Counsel knows that these sidebars are reported, and I don't want to dignify her responses at all, but I think the court should make appropriate comments.
Ms. Clark: You know, your Honor, I would welcome the court's imposition of sanctions on both sides as appropriate. Mr. Shapiro has been offensive in his conduct towards me, rude, making uncalled for, derogatory remarks since June the 13th, and this court is only aware of what's happened in this court since coming to superior court. But there's a lot of water under this bridge. I would just let the court know counsel has given a great deal, greater than he's received in this respect.
Judge Ito: Well, the fact that that may be history doesn't mean that it needs to continue.
Ms. Clark: That's true.
Judge Ito: All right.
-- March 27, 1995
Mr. Shapiro: This is an absolute disgrace. this cross-examination, it is so far beyond any of the scope --
Judge Ito: Mr. Shapiro, you don't need to adopt that tone.
-- July 17, 1995
Ms. Clark: I'm not disputing the Court's observations. I just think that Mr. Shapiro's outrageous statements--
Judge Ito: Miss Clark, you don't need to call his comments outrageous.
Ms. Clark: Yes, I do.
Judge Ito: Thank you.
Mr. Shapiro: We are practicing law while you are joking.
Ms. Clark: I don't think I want to hear any more of this, and I think that the Court ought to shut Mr. Shapiro down before those personal remarks are made. I thought that was not going to be allowed.
Judge Ito: Miss Clark, stop, please.
Ms. Clark: Is it only allowed on one side?
Judge Ito: Stop it. The Court already ruled on that. The objection is overruled.
-- July 18, 1995

Judge Ito often refers to the lawyers as gladiators (or children) at sidebar and we now know why. It was all very polite in the beginning. Or was it?

Judge Ito: We are at the sidebar.
Mr. Cochran: We kind of have like a little agreement so I didn't want to object, but when she goes into things about amniocentesis, she is testifying.
Ms. Clark: That is what the evidence will show.
Judge Ito: Well, you are speaking of it in terms of you are telling them this.
Mr. Cochran: You told them that.
Ms. Clark: You need to say witnesses will tell you, the evidence will show that.
Mr. Cochran: Yes.
Ms. Clark: Okay.
Judge Ito: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Ms. Clark: I forgot.
Mr. Cochran: You probably forgot.
Ms. Clark: I did.
Mr. Cochran: Just remember that.
Ms. Clark: I'm sure you are going to do far more objectionable things in your opening argument.
Mr. Cochran: That is not why we are up here.
Mr. Darden: I didn't agree to anything.
Mr. Cochran: I am up here to be a gentleman and bring it to your attention and she turns it around and says I'm going to do far more objectionable --
Judge Ito: I mean it absolutely honestly and sincerely that I expect this to be a very professional --
Mr. Cochran: It will be.
Judge Ito: -- enterprise here.
Mr. Cochran: We will.
Judge Ito: Thank you.
Mr. Darden: Was that objection sustained?
Judge Ito: No, it is a caution. Be careful.
Ms. Clark: Yes.
-- January 24, 1995

Why don't you guys grow up.

Mr. Cochran: What is the objection?
Ms. Clark: Certain areas are irrelevant to the point of inquiry and certain areas are not.
Judge Ito: Let me see the transcript.
Mr. Cochran: The entire thing is all admissible, your Honor.
Mr. Darden: Not what is on the back of the transcript however. What is the last page of this document?
Mr. Cochran: We just take whatever they give us. It's from L.A. county.
Mr. Shapiro: It's your stuff.
Mr. Darden: Your Honor, look at the last page. This is outrageous.
Mr. Cochran: You guys, why don't you guys grow up.
-- February 16, 1995

This is your first case in a long time, we can tell.

Mr. Cochran: Judge, may I be heard? She hasn't gone into -- I know there is other testimony, but judge, still the area of surprise is opinion and that is not relevant. That is not relevant to this jury. You have already ruled on that. So let me move on. She can lay the foundation all she wants.
Judge Ito: At this point there is no foundation for the question.
Mr. Cochran: Back up here again, your Honor. What happened is that you asked him "when did you join the LAPD, how long have you been a detective, how long have you been a homicide detective," but you never asked him "how many homicides have you investigated?"
Mr. Cochran: I would love to hear that now.
Ms. Clark: Standard routine stuff. I just didn't believe it.
Mr. Cochran: This is your first case in a long time. You have been an administrator, we can tell.
-- February 21, 1995

Marcia Clark on famous defense lawyer and law professor Alan Dershowitz.

Mr. Cochran: Somebody knows a lot more about this than probably all of us.
Mr. Darden: Who?
Mr. Cochran: Alan Dershowitz.
Ms. Clark: What has he ever won?
Judge Ito: Counsel, we are on the record.
Ms. Clark: Excuse me.
-- June 5, 1995

The biggest "bald face lie" of them all.

Mr. Blasier: Lisa Kahn told me last night that Miss Clark was very well aware of the issues, was really prepared on that.
Ms. Clark: That is the biggest bald face lie we have heard yet in this case. Miss Kahn cannot make that representation; it is not true.
Judge Ito: Miss Clark.
Ms. Clark: I am not prepared for Dr. Rieders, your Honor.
Judge Ito: I don't need the characterization as people lying and that sort of thing. I don't think that is appropriate. Let's see. Today is the 20th. If he has to leave on the--
-- July 20, 1995

Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld are New York lawyers. Their styles are more abrasive than their California counterparts. Some observers referred to them as the pitbulls of the courtroom. It was the impression of many legal pundits that they had not enamored Judge Ito. In fact, on at least one occasion Ito told Neufeld to slow down because the court reporter had difficulty understanding his New York accent. The judge drew some criticism over that remark.

Judge Ito: All right. What else do we have -- excuse me, Mr. Cochran, Miss Clark. What else do we have this afternoon? Are we going to handle that dispute over handwriting and records and blah, blah, blah?
Mr. Cochran: What dispute?
Judge Ito: Any time I see Scheck and Neufeld, I get nervous.
Mr. Bailey: I think Mr. Scheck and Mr. Neufeld are here in a seminar mode and not an attack mode.
-- March 14, 1995

Since the trial falls under California law and not federal law, this was an issue that especially Neufeld had some difficulty with. Neufeld had another problem -- a booming voice in a very small courtroom

Judge Ito: All right. We're over at the sidebar. Mr. Neufeld.
Mr. Neufeld: Your Honor, my concern is, I understand--
Judge Ito: Keep your voice down.
Mr. Neufeld: I don't believe that's an appropriate thing to be done on direct examination.
Judge Ito: Well--
Mr. Goldberg: In California it is.
Judge Ito: Do you have any case authority for that, counsel?
Mr. Neufeld: To be quite honest, that's the law in both the two jurisdictions in which I practice. I'm not familiar with what the law is in California on that particular point.
Judge Ito: California would follow the modern and federal law. Any party can impeach any witness including their own.
-- April 20, 1995
Judge Ito: All right. We are over at sidebar. Mr. Neufeld.
Mr. Neufeld: My understanding--I am not a California lawyer, your Honor--is that it's not necessary that I demonstrate she relied on this treatise at all. It is sufficient to show that she either referred to it, considered or relied upon it, upon such publication at arriving at her opinions. So I thought that my initial questions--
Judge Ito: Keep your voice down, counsel.
-- May 11, 1995
Judge Ito: Keep your voice down. One other thing. Do not directly address the jurors other than to say good morning. All right. On about four or five occasions you have directly addressed jurors. That is not appropriate in California.
-- May 15, 1995
Ms. Clark: Your Honor, may I be heard on this? This has gotten out of hand and ridiculous.
Judge Ito: No, you may not.
Mr. Clarke: Your Honor, this is outrageous in my view. Counsel is producing pieces of paper, attempting to show them in front of the jury as a basis for asking questions and is being demonstrative in front of the jury--let me finish, please--to be able to establish certain points to the jury. Now, I think that is absolutely outrageous conduct. It is done with a particular point to make in front of the jury. It is done--and I don't know about in New York it being proper, but it is clearly improper in a California courtroom, and I venture to say certainly in any courtroom, for counsel to be attempting to prove facts in front of the jury through an improper means, knowing that objections will be made to those acts and seeking to get across those points by the very acts themselves.
Ms. Clark: Second time in twenty minutes.
Judge Ito: All right.
Mr. Clarke: When the Court takes that into consideration, along with what happened this morning, which was blatantly showing an item that had never been shown to us, had never been brought up with the Court and was knowingly objectionable, this is twice within the first short period of time and I think counsel needs to be told by the Court this cannot happen again.
Mr. Neufeld: May I be heard, your Honor?
Mr. Clarke: And--
Judge Ito: Wait. What is your hypothetical question?
Mr. Neufeld: The hypothetical question--well, I can read it to you. I have it right there.
(Brief pause.)
Mr. Neufeld: My understanding under California law is for a hypothetical I don't have to--I'm not limited to the facts that are actually in evidence if I have a good faith basis for asking the question. The hypothetical will be as follows, your Honor--
Mr. Clarke: I'm sorry. Could counsel keep his voice down.
-- May 15, 1995

The lawyers don't hesitate to snitch on each other during trial -- anything to gain an advantage. Nobody does it better than Johnnie Cochran. The judge had issued an order that any ornaments in support of the accused or the victims was inappropriate. It all began when Denise Brown (Nicole's sister) had taken the witness stand wearing an angel pin and earrings in support of the victims.

Mr. Cochran: Also, your Honor, there's something I forgot to mention. Can I bring up another subject at this point?
Judge Ito: Not now.
Mr. Cochran: As soon as we finish, I have something I have to bring up that I intended to do it earlier. Can I do that?
Judge Ito: What could that possibly be?
Mr. Cochran: That would be, that pin she is wearing, all these witnesses, you said -- let me finish. You said not to wear badges and buttons and stuff. And I noticed this morning, but we were so busy, all the news you gave us today -- that's improper. The first witness --
Judge Ito: This is something we can take up later.
Mr. Cochran: Okay. Well, there's so many things, that I can't --
Judge Ito: It's been a busy day.
Mr. Cochran: Yes. But I do want to bring this up. She has that pin and it's improper. The next thing will be, Mr. Darden will be coming in tomorrow with an angel on his shoulder.
Ms. Clark: He has one.
Your Honor, this is ridiculous.
-- February 7, 1995

Yech! Marcia contaminates her desk with the bloody gloves.

Mr. Cochran: This is something Marcia should know also. You know, this is one counsel to another. Those gloves, I'm not sure -- she threw the gloves down on her side of the table. She will be still working over there for the rest of the case.
Ms. Clark: I turned them inside out.
Judge Ito: Well --
Mr. Cochran: Marcia, it's --
Judge Ito: Be cautious with that stuff.
-- February 17, 1995

Marcia Clark is getting quite miffed with Cochran's attempt to win brownie points with the judge.

Mr. Cochran: Also, we would like to respond. I agree with your Honor's --
Ms. Clark: No kidding. You agree with your Honor. What a shock that is.
-- February 21, 1995

Johnnie is messing up my exhibits again, your Honor.

Ms. Clark: Can I ask counsel why it's highlighted?
Mr. Cochran: Someone else highlighted it.
Ms. Clark: Top line on this document.
Judge Ito: Counsel, the jury is not going to see this.
Mr. Cochran: It was handed to me this way.
Ms. Clark: It was marked as an exhibit.
Judge Ito: Counsel, a clean copy goes in.
Mr. Cochran: I will clean this up. I'm aware of that. I'm up here in the middle of my examination. I can't do everything. I'd like to get my eraser out --
-- February 22, 1995

Marcia accuses Johnnie of showing the jury a document before showing it to the Prosecution.

Ms. Clark: It should be told to us. We should address it at sidebar before he brandishes it before the jury in this matter.
Mr. Cochran: Cross-examination I am not brandishing anything. Cross-examination. Just like Friday I brought it over here and asked to approach the bench. I am showing it to the court now.
Ms. Clark: He waved it in front of the jury.
Mr. Cochran: This is cross-examination.
Judge Ito: All right. Children, children, thank you. That will be enough. If we are going to use things like this, though, you need to show counsel.
Mr. Cochran: ...Why do you keep lying on the record?
Ms. Clark: Don't you dare say that to me again, counsel, use that word.
Judge Ito: Wait, wait, wait.
Ms. Clark: The envelope was marked --
Judge Ito: Wait, wait, wait.
-- March 6, 1995

Johnnie Cochran reports another angel pin to the teacher, I mean, judge.

Judge Ito: Mr. Cochran.
Mr. Cochran: Judge, there's a young lady whose taking it off now, wearing that pin, angel pin. I wanted to have her take that pin off.
Judge Ito: That's what it was?
Mr. Cochran: Yes.
Judge Ito: That's the only reason we're here?
Mr. Cochran: That's why we are here. It's a violation of your order, isn't it?
Judge Ito: Yes. Thank you.
-- March 9. 1995

Marcia is giggling and laughing, Your Honor.

Mr. Neufeld: Your Honor, one other item. Several times when I was asked--I walked up there while Mr. Goldberg was asking questions of the witness on redirect when Marcia Clark was standing next to him and she was giggling and laughing, and she was doing that visibly repeatedly.
Judge Ito: Keep your voice down.
Mr. Neufeld: She was doing it repeatedly while I was asking questions.
Judge Ito: If you will give me--I did not observe anything like that. In fact, I've observed that Miss Clark appears to me to be under the weather today and so I didn't observe that, but if you will bring my attention to it or wave at me, I will be happy to look over that way.
Ms. Clark: May I indicate to the Court that this did not happen. Mr. Neufeld is on some other planet. Mr. Goldberg turned to look at me quizzically and suppose it was into his ear that I was giggling and laughing. He didn't remember seeing this obviously.
Judge Ito: Miss Clark, I didn't see anything, and counsel, I would like to spend the rest of the twenty minutes we have left in the Court day asking questions.
-- April 26, 1995

It's his fault, your Honor.

Judge Ito: You caused this problem, you guys.
Mr. Cochran: No. [Prosecutor Rockne Harmon] did.
Mr. Harmon: Maybe I can have misconduct added to my tab here.
Mr. Scheck: I want to note for the record Patrick Ewing is a great player.
Judge Ito: Okay.
-- May 18, 1995

Your Honor, the courtroom artist is drawing naughty pictures.

Judge Ito: We are over at the sidebar. Mr. Cochran.
Mr. Cochran: I pointed out to Marcia I think that artist Steve Werblen is drawing something during this period of time. I pointed it out to her. I don't think it's appropriate. I don't know if the bailiff is back there. Can we do something?
Ms. Clark: Let me indicate for the record, I did watch him when Johnnie pointed it out to me, and it looked clear to me he's looking down and drawing and looking up.
Judge Ito: All right.
Mr. Kelberg: My back is to him. I can't see.
Judge Ito: All right. What we will do, we will have the sheriffs instruct him to stay when we recess, and I will check any drawing that he has.
Mr. Cochran: That will be good.
-- June 6, 1995

This isn't a game, it's a sport.

Ms. Clark: I just wanted the court to know what counsel is doing.
Judge Ito: I assumed that, too.
Ms. Clark: Why don't we resolve it now.
Judge Ito: I have played this game before, too. The point is all he has asked is to refresh his recollection. At this point that is all it is.
Mr. Cochran: This isn't a game, judge, but that is not a game. I'm serious.
Judge Ito: It is a sport.
Mr. Cochran: I was trying to call time out.
Judge Ito: All right. The objection at this point is premature.
-- February 16


One way for a judge to keep the lawyers in line is to sanction them when they violate the rules. Sanctions can be in the form of limiting evidence or testimony that may be introduced, fines, or even jail.

Early on, Johnnie Cochran and Carl Douglas were fined for not turning over information to the Prosecution, information they were entitled to receive. Under California law this is called a discovery violation. Ito fined both Johnnie Cochran and Christopher Darden $250 for repeatedly insulting each other. Darden nearly went to jail when he was held in contempt and refused to apologize. Nearly all of the lawyers in this case have been fined at one time or another for violating the rules.

'Speaking objection' is one such violation. The California code limits lawyers to twelve types of objections. For example, "Objection. Hearsay." Judge Ito has not allowed objections to be argued in the presence of the jury (ergo the term 'speaking objection'). He either sustains or overrules them, or if he feels it's warranted, discusses them at sidebar and then makes a ruling.

Ms. Clark: Your Honor, every time counsel has an objection, there's a speech that goes with it. He's been doing it all day long.
Mr. Cochran: I'm trying to avoid coming up here every time.
Ms. Clark: That is not the way to avoid it, by making argument in front of the jury. Every objection means closing argument.
Judge Ito: From now on, if I don't hear -- I am going to sanction the next lawyer who I hear make an objection that isn't one of the 12 recognized objections.
-- February 21, 1995

Sidebars are held outside earshot of the jurors. Judge Ito's courtroom is small and both Marcia Clark and Peter Neufeld have been warned to keep their voices down at sidebar. Clark heeded the warning but Neufeld didn't.

Ms. Clark: I'm going to ask the Court to admonish Mr. Neufeld from making loud repeated comments concerning the objections and the questions being asked by Mr. Goldberg. He does it audibly so that the jury can hear every word in response to every ruling and every remark made by his cocounsel, Mr. Scheck, and in response to any questioning that may be objected to by Mr. Scheck, and I think it's highly inappropriate and obviously done for the purpose of influencing the jury. And they can hear it obviously, your Honor, because I can hear every word and it's said very loudly while he's facing them.
Judge Ito: All right. I am going to sustain the objection. Mr. Cochran, would you warn Mr. Neufeld to keep his voice down. I can hear him and I've already admonished him once. If I have to admonish him again, it will be in front of the jury.
Mr. Scheck: It's just that he has a deep loud voice. He's talking to me, and I'll tell him to whisper.
Mr. Cochran: I'll tell him to write notes.
-- April 17, 1995
Judge Ito: We're at the sidebar. I think I made a mistake by putting this mat here because you guys will feel welcome to stand there and feel comfortable. Mr. Neufeld, the appropriate way to deal with a nonresponsive question--nonresponsive answer to your question is to ask the Court to strike the question and answer and admonish the jury, not to cut the witness off. You have a very bad habit of cutting witnesses off, especially this witness. I have admonished you a number of times. I don't want to have to do it in front of the jury, impose sanctions, but if I have to, I will.
Mr. Neufeld: What I'm concerned with, your Honor, is, this witness volunteered information that she had--
Judge Ito: Keep your voice down.
Mr. Neufeld: This witness volunteered information the Court had already ruled was inadmissible in this case; namely, that they did a pheno type test on that wire. That had been the ruling of the Court. The People knew about that ruling. I'm sure they must have informed the witness not to bring it up--
Judge Ito: Keep your voice down.
-- April 26, 1995
Judge Ito: Why don't you keep your voice down.
-- May 9, 1995
Ms. Clark: Could counsel keep his voice down?
Judge Ito: Mr. Neufeld, I've asked you to keep your voice down now about 18 times.
-- May 11, 1995

Johnnie Cochran tries to help Neufeld by pointing out that Marcia Clark is loud too.

Mr. Cochran: Unrelated matter. When we were over near the bench, and I'm sure it is not intentional, if Miss Clark whispers something to talk, they are so close to the jury, and I ask them to be mindful.
Judge Ito: I notice.
Mr. Cochran: It is real close. The jurors try to look ahead, but I bet if you ask them they can see you guys talking or whispering. Marcia is talking to you. And so as a matter of form, I think that maybe we should change that procedure. Maybe we should move back from the jurors or whisper in each other's ears.
Judge Ito: Move on the opposite side, but I also noticed the same thing with Mr. Neufeld, so whispering--
Ms. Clark: And Mr. Neufeld's whisper is a great deal louder than mine.
Judge Ito: Yes, he does. I can hear him right now.
Mr. Cochran: I am trying to point out something and I think we all want to be mindful of that. This is not a criticism.
Mr. Harmon: Thank you.
Judge Ito: All right. Let's proceed. Mr. Harmon, we will take a break at 2:30.
Mr. Harmon: What time?
Mr. Cochran: 2:30.
-- May 16, 1995
Judge Ito: We're at the sidebar. I want to caution counsel on both sides there's too much talking going on by counsel over at the jury box on your end and you guys are over in the corner there talking to each other. I can hear you talking. And if I can hear you talking, the jurors can hear what your conversation is. You guys are too close to the jury box. If you want to talk with each other, consult, do it over at counsel table.
Ms. Clark: All right.
Judge Ito: I don't want any conversations while you're over at the jury box. Counsel, if I have to warn you to keep your voice down one more time, it's going to cost you 250 bucks.
Judge Ito: All right. We're over at the sidebar. What's your authority for being able to force an expert witness to make calculations that he doesn't agree with?
Mr. Neufeld: It's not a question of making calculations. I am allowed to ask him a question, and the question--
Judge Ito: Keep your voice down.
Mr. Neufeld: The question I asked him is, can one calculate the frequencies of all possible contributors to this mixture. He said, "One can, but I disagree with it." That's his answer on that. He also made it clear--
Judge Ito: Keep your voice down. How much more are you going to do besides just this chart?
Mr. Neufeld: I'm not doing the other--
Judge Ito: Counsel, if I have to warn you to keep your voice down one more time, it's going to cost you 250 bucks.
-- June 23, 1995
Mr. Neufeld: Let me just explain.
Judge Ito: Keep your voice down.
Mr. Neufeld: I think he on direct examination did or did not specifically testify to mixtures, but as you may recall, he testified as to independence which allows him to utilize the product rule for all the single donor stains.
Judge Ito: Why don't you ask him a specific question about that.
Mr. Neufeld: I'm not going to debate the report. But I'm trying to bring out these things to show the biases he has. This--you know, it's a logical reaction to everything in this NRC report or to most of what's in the NRC report. I want to ask for bias purposes.
Judge Ito: Ask him about it. You're sanctioned $250 for keeping your voice up.
Mr. Neufeld: Your Honor, I would like to take that up later.
Judge Ito: That's fine.
-- June 23, 1995

Not all lawyers carry large amounts of cash around or even their checkbooks. Chris Darden has been seen taking money out of a paper back to cover fines imposed on other prosecution lawyers. This time Cochran has to help out Neufeld.

Judge Ito: All right. Three things. Where's Neufeld's money?
Mr. Cochran: He was just telling me he didn't have any checks. I'm going to pay it. May I pay it now?
Judge Ito: You may.
Mr. Cochran: He doesn't have any checks or money. I'm paying it right now.
Ms. Clark: He must think he's Mr. Darden whipping out all that cash.
-- June 27, 1995
Ms. Clark: Counsel's repeated speaking objections which have been very loud and very vociferous have gone unchecked by the Court thus far, although the Court has warned counsel.
Judge Ito: I warned him in front of the jury. This is a pretty severe sanction, I think.
Ms. Clark: And the People are asking that counsel be admonished to refrain from these speaking objections. I think it is very unfair. I think it is deliberately disruptive. It has required us to step back and regroup a number of times and that is why the "Asked and answered" objections are particularly unfair when we are being precluded from getting the answer because of counsel's repeated speaking objections which are lengthy and loud.
Judge Ito: All right. Your request is considered. I have already admonished Mr. Neufeld to--regarding his objections.
Mr. Neufeld: Your Honor, guidance on one thing because she is raising an issue in point. Am I not allowed to say, "Objection, hearsay" or "Objection, asked and answered"? Am I only allowed to say "Objection"?
Judge Ito: You are allowed to state the legal grounds.
Mr. Neufeld: Is "Asked and answered" a legal ground? That is all I'm asking. I won't do it again.
Judge Ito: It is in the common parlance here, although it is not technically asked.
Ms. Clark: It is "Asked and answered six times now" and "How many times do we have to go over this?"
Judge Ito: I know. I've already admonished him once in front of the jury, Miss Clark. That is a pretty severe sanction.
Mr. Neufeld: Okay.
Ms. Clark: It is one the People have suffered a number of times.
Judge Ito: Yes, it is.
-- August 1, 1995

Of course, Neufeld, Cochran and Darden are not the only ones to feel Ito's sting. Ms. Clark has come close on occasion. Here's she's admonished for using a no-no word.

Ms. Clark: I didn't mean to say it. I just realized when I looked at the screen.
Judge Ito: Miss Clark, you're flirting with contempt.
Ms. Clark: Not intentionally, your Honor. I did not mean to say it.
Judge Ito: You're warned. Consider yourself warned. If I hear that word again, it's going to be--somebody is going to be in jail over the weekend.
-- June 30, 1995
Judge Ito: All right. We're over at the sidebar. Miss Clark, I cautioned you to be careful earlier. Your commentary on the testimony, I realize you're enjoying yourself, but I'm warning you right now, warning you in no uncertain terms, if I see any more of that commentary, there's going to be severe sanctions, and I underline the word "Severe." Proceed.
-- July 24, 1995

Court reporters hate lawyers who jingle change in their pockets:

Judge Ito: Mr. Goldberg, the court reporters always hate lawyers who stand there and jingle change in your pocket, so if there is change in your pocket it will be confiscated by the court tomorrow.
-- August 22, 1995

The Witnesses

The Simpson trial has seen 122 witnesses, some of whom testified weeks on end. The sidebars are a good indication as to how the lawyers feel about them. Witness lists have to be turned over to the other side before any of them are allowed to take the stand.

In one of the first sidebars of the trial Johnnie Cochran complains about the Prosecution bringing in a Canadian spousal-abuse expert.

Mr. Cochran: ...They also purport to call or talk about calling an expert. They searched this entire country and couldn't find anybody in the United States...
Judge Ito: But after NAFTA we can go anywhere we want.
Mr. Cochran: I suppose you can, but I don't know if our jury will relate to a citizen from the North, I guess he could, but this man is from Canada.
Mr. Gordon: That should be better.
-- January 11, 1995

Another sport in this trial has been defaming the character of the witnesses. A pro-Prosecution witness, Ron Shipp, was attacked by the Defense for being a drunk. During a sidebar Chris Darden reminds everyone that Defense witness Cathy Randa also has a drinking problem.

Mr. Darden: Cathy Randa is also a drunk. Are we going to be able to go into that?
Judge Ito: Yeah, probably.
Mr. Darden: Thank you, your Honor.
Mr. Cochran: That's character assassination.
Judge Ito: Johnnie, come on.
-- February 2, 1995

Sidebars often illustrate how the lawyers really feel about certain witnesses.

Mr. Darden: You just never really know what you are going to get from Mrs. Colby.
Mr. Cochran: It might be helpful if you talked to her.
Mr. Darden: I have, but I believe she is going to testify that --
Mr. Cochran: She is an alien from another planet.
-- February 3, 1995
Mr. Darden: Are we adjourning at 3:00 o'clock?
Judge Ito: Boy, I sure hope so.
Mr. Darden: If you look over at the witness, I don't think she's going to make it.
Judge Ito: She's all right. She'll make it.
Mr. Cochran: If she just answers the question, if somebody advises her just to answer the question.
Judge Ito: Yeah.
Mr. Darden: I mean she's very, very emotional.
Judge Ito: I know.
Mr. Darden: I don't think she's going to make it.
-- February 3, 1995

Johnnie Cochran is about to make mincemeat of a rookie police officer on cross-examination.

Mr. Cochran: Let me tell you what I am trying to establish.
Ms. Clark: We all know what you are trying to establish, Johnnie. The thing is you are going to --
Judge Ito: Hold on.
Ms. Clark: -- but this is rotten.
Judge Ito: Marcia, do me a huge favor. When I say "hold on," that means stop.
Mr. Cochran: Okay. I'm trying to establish what did he mean by saying -- this is right, this is the front gate, that -- and you may be right, you usually are. Not always, but you usually are.
Judge Ito: There are several witnesses who can establish -- who are coming who can establish that. it doesn't make logical sense to me, but this is not the right guy.
Mr. Cochran: You know what --
Mr. Darden: Why do you want to beat up on a kid? On 85-year old women and a kid.
Mr. Cochran: I was so nice to that lady yesterday and she was tuning me out.
Ms. Clark: We all wanted to.
-- February 9, 1995

One of the more interesting witnesses was Rosa Lopez, a Salvadorian housekeeper who used to work next door to the Simpson estate. The Defense wanted her to testify to seeing Simpson's Bronco parked outside his home at the time of the murders several miles away. However, Ms. Lopez was getting cold feet and went into hiding. Leave it up to media to quickly track her down.

Mr. Bailey: We have an affidavit from Rosa Lopez that I would like to present to you today. The press went out and found her at her sister's home and she's threatening to leave again.
-- February 17, 1995

Rosa Lopez is finally convinced to take the stand with the assistance of a translator. The Defense team treats with kid gloves on direct examination, but when it's the Prosecution begins its cross-examination, the gloves come off.

Ms. Clark: The problem, though, that we were aware of, is the translator was interpreting instead of translating what she was saying and changing words and cleaning up her language, not even interpreting some of the things she was saying at all.
Mr. Darden: Especially some of the things she was saying about Marcia.
Ms. Clark: Right, right. Really. I know.
Mr. Cochran: You mean about evil eye? You mean the evil eye? She said you were giving her the evil eye.
Ms. Clark: How do you do that?
Mr. Cochran: I don't know, Marcia. You are giving it to me right now, I want the record to reflect.
-- February 27, 1995

There's a question of whether Rosa Lopez is faking her inability to speak English.

Mr. Darden: I don't know. I hear she [Lopez] speaks very good English.
Judge Ito: Well, we can ask.
Mr. Cochran: She speaks English, but it isn't her native tongue.
Mr. Darden: Don't let Carl [Douglas] ask her any questions. He doesn't speak English well himself.
Judge Ito: Mr. Darden, please.
Mr. Darden: I apologize, your Honor.
-- February 27, 1995

Chris Darden's investigators are working overtime digging up dirt on Ms. Lopez and he just can't wait to expose all the dishonesties in her past.

Judge Ito: How late do you want to go?
Mr. Darden: Judge, if you knew what I knew [about Lopez], you would just want to go all night on this. But, you know --
Judge Ito: I'm probably going to quit at 4:30.
Mr. Darden: I'm hoping my investigators will get in here because I may --
-- February 27, 1995

The Defense has offered to look after hotel accommodations for Ms. Lopez. Darden is concerned that this may influence her testimony.

Mr. Darden: What plans do you have for Miss Lopez tonight?
Judge Ito: Well, I am going to ask counsel to make the same arrangements as last night, and we will have her back here tomorrow fresh and ready to go at 9:00 o'clock.
Mr. Darden: I'm concerned that, you know, these plush accommodations that are being provided for her might influence her testimony. I don't see why counsel can't -- well, you're rich. You're used to this, Mr. Bailey. I'm not and she isn't either. So I don't know why she has to stay --
Mr. Bailey: May that be stricken?
Judge Ito: No, it won't be stricken, but I'm not concerned -- Mr. Darden, I'm not concerned about where she's staying. I'm just concerned that she comes back tomorrow.
Mr. Darden: ...But I think, you know, ........ is a little excessive, okay.
Judge Ito: Wait till you see where the jury is.
-- February 27, 1995

Chris Darden causes quite a stir when he accuses Johnnie Cochran of telegraphing answers to Ms. Lopez using body signals.

Mr. Darden: Have you seen the video of Mr. Cochran signaling to the witness?
Mr. Cochran: Signalling what witness?
Mr. Darden: It's on every news station in the country right now.
Mr. Cochran: What signal to what witness? What are you talking about? I would like to see that.
Ms. Clark: You will.
-- March 2, 1995

Language difficulties continue. Lopez answers most of the Prosecution's questions with "I don't remember." The controversy now is whether, in Spanish, "I don't remember" really means "No."

Mr. Darden: I don't remember means no.
Mr. Cochran: Just a moment.
Judge Ito: Well, out of curiosity, why would you contest that answer?
Mr. Darden: Well, because she's only said "I don't remember" 128 times, and each time she -- I don't know if it's good, I don't know if "no" is bad.
Judge Ito: But you asked me how I was going to take "I don't remember" under 1235. Then you got the answer that makes that problem go away.
Mr. Shapiro: Judge, I think it's unfair that you help the Prosecution learn the rules of evidence. He's trying to, but you're not picking up on it.
Ms. Clark: Mr. Shapiro is not giving us any clues that we weren't telling him about yesterday. That was clear.
Judge Ito: Hold on.
Okay. Come on, guys. It's late. It's been a long week.
-- March 3, 1995

Of course, Marcia Clark can do a Rosa Lopez, too.

Judge Ito: Are there Caucasian hairs on both these gloves?
Ms. Clark: I don't remember.
Mr. Cochran: Your Honor, she's not telling the truth.
Ms. Clark: I don't remember.
Judge Ito: Wait, wait.
Ms. Clark: You know something? I'm going to start asking the court for sanctions if Mr. Cochran doesn't stop these falsities.
Mr. Cochran: That's preposterous.
Judge Ito: Wait, wait.
Ms. Clark: They're so inappropriate.
Judge Ito: Wait, wait, wait.
-- March 8, 1995

One of the most difficult decisions for these lawyers is when to wrap up their questioning of witnesses. They always want the last word.

Ms. Clark: Your Honor, can we have a indication from counsel how much longer he is going to be on recross?
Judge Ito: I thought he was winding up about twenty minutes ago.
Ms. Clark: I thought it was an hour ago, but can we get an indication?
Mr. Cochran: Tomorrow I will finish.
Ms. Clark: What time?
Mr. Cochran: I don't know. Tomorrow I will finish.
Ms. Clark: I need to know for witnesses.
Mr. Cochran: Have your witnesses here.
Judge Ito: Have them here. Have them here. We are about finished.
-- March 8, 1995

Of course, one of the more colorful witnesses was Brian "Kato" Kaelin, Simpson's longtime house guest. Even the judge realizes that Kato has stirred up the public interest in the trial

Judge Ito: Let's go back out and finish Kato mania.
-- March 22, 1995

Sometimes the witnesses in this case aren't even human. I wonder when we'll see Kato the dog?

Ms. Clark: This witness will state that he saw Mr. Simpson reach down, then reach back up and go into his bag and zip it up.
Mr. Cochran: What?
Ms. Clark: On the trash can. It is coming. I just talked to the guy today.
Mr. Cochran: What is coming? The trash can is coming or the report?
Ms. Clark: The trash can is coming, too. We are marking it. That is the witness.
Judge Ito: These are just innocuous -- I'm not even going to suggest anything.
-- March 29, 1995

There are times when the lawyers can't come up with another question, so they keep repeating the same one over and over.

Mr. Neufeld: Well, Miss Mazzola, you said a moment ago that you had been taught to keep accurate and complete field notes during the training--
Judge Ito: Let me see counsel at the sidebar, please.
(The following proceedings were held at the bench:)
Judge Ito: I think I've heard enough about the need to have accuracy and completeness. You have asked this question now for about the eighteenth time in the last twenty minutes. All right. You have established the point. Move on.
-- April 25, 1995

The relevance of what a witness has to say is often in dispute.

Judge Ito: Hold on. We're over at sidebar. Where are we going with this, Mr. Cochran?
Mr. Cochran: This is the last time she cut his [Simpson's] hair. Judge, I'm going to just bring out the last time she cut the Defendant's hair at Rockingham, what condition his hair was in.
Ms. Clark: That's all? Who was there, I want to hear about that. Why is that relevant?
Mr. Cochran: Why is it relevant who was there?
Ms. Clark: Yes.
Mr. Cochran: It's very relevant.
Ms. Clark: Then let's hear what it is.
Mr. Cochran: You're the Judge. I'm not--
Ms. Clark: All right. Your Honor, you know, we've seen--
Judge Ito: Wait, wait, wait. Who's there? Who's there?
Mr. Cochran: Gigi cooked the dinner. The facts are, they had--Gigi Guarin is the housekeeper. She cooked dinner. I think the director, one of his directors of a movie or something. They had dinner. After that, OJ was watching Frogman or something like that. She cut his hair. That was it. I think Paula was there. That was it.
Judge Ito: Okay.
Mr. Cochran: No big thing.
Ms. Clark: What is the relevance of Paula being there?
Mr. Cochran: Because she was there.
Judge Ito: The last time he had his hair cut?
Ms. Clark: May I point out to the Court, if that is the offer, an unreliable offer of proof was made informally to Mr. Darden. Mr. Darden received the following offer of proof off the record just before we began: That she would testify to the fact that his hair was never treated. And we have now heard extensive testimony about dandruff and now about the last day she cut his hair. I am going to ask the Court to require an offer of proof and an offer that is complete and honest in the future when we have witnesses who have no statements. This is a trial by ambush now.
Judge Ito: Let's proceed.
Mr. Cochran: May I--
Judge Ito: No. No. Let's proceed.
Mr. Cochran: That was wrong.
Judge Ito: Let's proceed.
-- July 18, 1995

These lawyers go through extraordinary lengths to impeach a witness.

Ms. Clark: Life magazine article, your Honor. I have a copy of it coming to counsel now.
Mr. Neufeld: Why don't you cut to the chase and tell us what you are going to use it on?
Ms. Clark: Sure, sure. Right here, (indicating). "I'm in the business of giving hope to the hopeless. No one can contradict me. I have to be very, very careful."
Judge Ito: I'm trying to read it, counsel.
Mr. Neufeld: I'm sorry.
Ms. Clark: And then, your Honor, it goes on to the bottom paragraph as well, (indicating).
Mr. Neufeld: Miss Clark, which quotes did you want to use?
Ms. Clark: "I'm in the business of giving hope to the hopeless and since nobody in the world can contradict me, I have to be very, very careful," and then down here, (indicating), "I don't want to say I'm anti-jury, I'm just anti that jury. I have no faith in the jury system left. I only want a judgment. I do my naughty things and I'm thinking of doing twelve of them right now," and that is in response to the jury verdict in the Jean Harris case where the Defendant was, that she accidentally shot, Dr. Scarpetta--not Scarpetta.
Judge Ito: Shoenhower?
Mr. Neufeld: Hitanower, T-A-N-O-W-E-R.
Judge Ito: T-A-R-N-O-W-E-R.
Ms. Clark: Tarnower, that is it, and the jury rejected his opinion and voted guilty of murder and his response to their rejection of his theory on his testimony to support their theory that it was an accident, because the crime scene reconstruction was important to that theory, was, you know, the heck with juries.
-- August 1, 1995

The Gloves and the Tapes

By the far the most controversial evidence were the bloody gloves found at the crime scene at Bundy and at Simpson's Rockingham estate. The Defense have insinuated that the Rockingham glove was planted by Detective Mark Fuhrman. One of the most dramatic moments in the trial came when Chris Darden asked Mr. Simpson to try on the gloves in front of the jury.

The following are some excerpts from sidebars surrounding this demonstration. First, Chris Darden tries to convince the judge to have Mr. Simpson try on a brand new pair of gloves instead.

Mr. Darden: Your Honor, these are Aris Isotoner gloves, similar make, exact same size as the ones now in front of the witness.
Judge Ito: Yes.
Mr. Darden: I would like to lay the foundation to show they are the exact same size, similar make and model so that perhaps we can have Mr. Simpson try them on at some point to determine whether or not the gloves found at the scene and at his home will fit him.
Mr. Cochran: We object to this, your Honor. First of all, we've had no time to deal with this. At some point, if Mr. Simpson testifies and we want to have him try the gloves on in evidence, that is one thing. There's no foundation with regard to this. So that's why I asked to approach the bench. I don't think it's appropriate at this time with this witness under these circumstances. This is redirect and it's improper.
Judge Ito: I did notice they were delivered to the courtroom during the course of the cross-examination. Are you asking to reopen with this?
Mr. Darden: Yes, your Honor.
Judge Ito: You understand there's no foundation for this yet.
Mr. Darden: I understand that completely.
Judge Ito: All right.
Mr. Cochran: Your Honor, we have not had an opportunity to deal with this. I haven't seen this before. This is the first time we've seen this. I would suggest this is not the appropriate witness for this.
Judge Ito: Why don't we quit moving the bag around here.
Mr. Darden: This is the only witness that can lay the foundation. Excuse me. I'm talking on the record. This is the only witness that can lay the foundation I believe in terms of size and--
Judge Ito: I understand.
Mr. Darden: And he is going back to New York tomorrow.
Mr. Cochran: Are these the same gloves? What's the offer of proof, your Honor?
Judge Ito: All right. The Court has examined these particular gloves. They have a label on them that purports to say, "Aris leather lights, cashmere lined" and has the size "Extra large." The Court has examined the right-hand glove. It has a similar label indicating, "Aris, 100% cashmere consider lined, size extra large, made in Philippines." I think there's a sufficient offer of proof that these appear to be similar gloves. I'll overrule the objection.
Mr. Cochran: The other question is, if he does that, is the Court going to allow them to have the Defendant try these gloves on?
Judge Ito: I'm sorry?
Mr. Cochran: Are you going to allow them to have the Defendant try these gloves on?
Judge Ito: I think it would be more appropriate for him to try the other gloves on.
Mr. Cochran: That was exactly my point. So--
Judge Ito: I mean the real gloves that were found.
Ms. Clark: The only problem is, he has to wear latex gloves underneath because they're a bile hazard and they're going to alter the fit.
Judge Ito: We'll take that up when we get there.
-- June 15, 1995

The judge has disallowed the demonstration with a new pair of gloves. The original crime scene gloves will be used.

Mr. Darden: Okay. Your Honor, at this time, the People would ask that Mr. Simpson step forward and try on the glove recovered at Bundy as well as the glove recovered at Rockingham.
Judge Ito: All right. Do you want to do that?
Mr. Cochran: No objection, your Honor.
Judge Ito: All right. He can do that seated there. All right. And I think so the jury can see, I'll ask Mr. Simpson to stand. All right. Mr. Darden, which glove do you have?
Mr. Darden: This is the Bundy glove, your Honor.
Judge Ito: All right.
Mr. Darden: And after Mr. Simpson tries on the gloves, I would ask that he be required to step back over to the jury and again show him his bare hands.
Judge Ito: Well, we'll get to that in a second. All right. The record should reflect that, as is our practice with these gloves, Mr. Simpson will have a pair of latex gloves on while doing this.
Mr. Darden: I'm handing Mr. Simpson the left glove, Rockingham.
Judge Ito: That's People's 77?
(The Defendant complies.)
Mr. Darden: Your Honor, apparently Mr. Simpson seems to be having a problem putting the glove on his hand.
Mr. Cochran: Your Honor, I object to counsel's statements.
Judge Ito: Sustained.
Mr. Cochran: Thank you. Move to strike.
Mr. Darden: I'd also like to hand Mr. Simpson the other glove. What exhibit number?
Judge Ito: This is People's 164-A? Is that the right-hand glove?
Mr. Darden: Yes, your Honor.
(The Defendant complies.)
Judge Ito: All right. Deputy Jex, would you just take a step back, please. Thank you. All right. The record should reflect that Mr. Simpson has both gloves--
Mr. Darden: May he show his hands in front of the jury so that they can see--
Judge Ito: Yes.
Mr. Darden: Mr. Simpson is indicating that his fingers aren't all the way into the gloves, your Honor.
Judge Ito: All right. Thank you, counsel.
Mr. Darden: Mr. Simpson told the jury that the gloves are too small.
Judge Ito: All right.
Mr. Darden: Your Honor, before Mr. Simpson goes back, can we ask him to replace the left glove onto his hand?
Judge Ito: All right.
Mr. Darden: Can we ask him to straighten his fingers and extend them into the glove as one normally might put a glove on?
Judge Ito: Yes.
Mr. Cochran: Your Honor, object to this statement by counsel.
(The Defendant complies.)
Judge Ito: All right. He appears to have pulled the gloves on, counsel. All right. Would you show that to the jury, Mr. Simpson, in that manner?
(The Defendant complies.)
Judge Ito: Thank you. Other hand, please.
(The Defendant complies.)
Mr. Darden: Could we ask him to make a fist with his left hand with the gloves on, your Honor? Could we ask him to make a fist with his right hand while the gloves are on, your Honor?
(The Defendant complies.)
Judge Ito: He is doing both.
Mr. Darden: Could we ask him to grasp an object in his hand, a marker perhaps, your Honor?
Judge Ito: All right. Mr. Simpson.
(The Defendant complies.)
Mr. Darden: Would we ask him to grasp the marker in his hand like this, your Honor (indicating)?
Mr. Cochran: Object to this, your Honor.
Judge Ito: Yes. I agree.
Mr. Cochran: Object to counsel--
Mr. Darden: Could we ask him to completely grasp the marker in his hand?
Judge Ito: Yes.
Mr. Darden: Whether raised or not?
Judge Ito: Yes.
(The Defendant complies.)
Judge Ito: All right. Thank you, counsel.
-- June 15, 1995

Darn! Those gloves should've fit. The glove expert said they would fit. Darden tries to figure out what went wrong. He eventually convinces the judge to have Simpson try on a pair of new gloves.

Judge Ito: We are over at the sidebar. Mr. Darden.
Mr. Darden: Our concern is that Mr. Simpson is just going to act out in front of the jury and attempt to testify under circumstances where he can't be cross-examined.
Judge Ito: If you want the demonstration, it will be done at my direction without any comment from any counsel.
Mr. Darden: Obviously we are concerned that we are just--
Mr. Cochran: Fine. We are ready to proceed, your Honor.
Mr. Darden: --inviting another circus-like situation involving the Defendant.
Mr. Cochran: We accept that.
Mr. Darden: Wait. I'm not finished yet. We do have our own pair of leather gloves which have been kept in my custody, so Mr. Simpson--it is another pair of gloves that have not been altered in any way--what the Defense can put on Mr. Simpson's hands.
Mr. Cochran: No.
Mr. Darden: And they do have their own pair of gloves.
Mr. Cochran: I object for the reasons we talked about, your Honor. These gloves are pristine, and as I said, your Honor, this demonstration is spending much more time than it is worth. The Court has ruled and I don't want to use their gloves. They have been tried on by other people and it is not recommended to have somebody else do it. It is either Simpson or someone else and you have set the ground rules and I take umbrage about Simpson acting up. The evidence now is that that left glove was more like a large, so no one was acting up. Those gloves are smaller and that is what we are talking about, so I would just submit it.
Mr. Darden: Additional concern I have of course is--
Mr. Shapiro: One second.
Mr. Darden: People used to say "Please" where I come from.
Mr. Shapiro: I'm sorry.
Mr. Darden: Another concern of course is that Mr. Simpson has arthritis and we looked at the medication that he takes and some of it is anti-inflammatory and we are told that he has not taken the stuff for a day and it caused swelling in the joints and inflammation in his hands and I'm concerned about that.
Mr. Cochran: Your Honor, the man has--my dear friends are being paranoid, your Honor. The man has medicine. He doesn't want to be sick. And they are doing this, your Honor. We haven't asked to do this.
Judge Ito: All right. The objection is sustained.
Mr. Cochran: Thank you, your Honor.
Mr. Darden: May I have one moment?
Judge Ito: Sure.
-- June 21, 1995

The Defense discovered that Detective Mark Fuhrman was interviewed for a screen play and that these interviews were taped. The tapes reveal that Fuhrman made numerous racial slurs and that he may have engaged in police misconduct. This bolsters the Defense's claim that Fuhrman is a racist and that he may have planted evidence. Whether these would be played before the jury became a hotly contested issue.

Judge Ito: All right. We are in chambers with counsel for both sides. What is up? Miss Clark?
Ms. Clark: Yeah. It would appear, based on my review of stuff that I have seen so far, and Johnnie has corroborated that he agrees he has been shown that, back in `85, on the `85 tapes I think it is, and also `87, Mark Fuhrman discusses Lieutenant York.
Judge Ito: Uh-huh.
Ms. Clark: And their run-ins at West L.A. and he makes derogatory comments. Of course I have to tell you, Judge, this is a book about men against women, that is the whole thing, so he tees off on women through the whole thing. I mean--
Mr. Cochran: Just a minute. That is basically true, but he doesn't like blacks or Mexicans or Jews.
Ms. Clark: Or whites either, or Jews.
Mr. Cochran: He hates women. He hates everybody basically except white Anglo-Saxon men who are police officers.
Ms. Clark: Yeah, and even them not necessarily.
Mr. Cochran: Unless they are cowards.
Mr. Scheck: Or pukes.
Mr. Cochran: Or pukes.
Ms. Clark: So I mean--
Judge Ito: We call them squints in the D.A.'s office, but that is okay.
Mr. Cochran: Judge, this will be--
Ms. Clark: Is this going to be sealed, Judge?
Judge Ito: No. I have to tell you no.
Mr. Cochran: Careful.
Ms. Clark: Motion to strike all of the above.
-- August 14, 1995
Mr. Cochran: Can I say something, your Honor? Just one second, Barry. These tapes--let me give you an example. This is not about any schemes or anything. He says tips on how you stop niggers basically. He says you see a Nigger in a Porsche and he doesn't have a $100.00 suit on, then you stop him because he has probably stolen the car. You don't look at the license plates. Let me tell you something, there is a crime on this tape as we've already talked to you about where he talks about some police officers being shot over in Hollenbeck Division and they go in and they beat the people until their faces turn to mush. There is so much blood on their uniform they have to come out and they have to spray themselves down with hoses. And then they--he has 66 or 68 allegations, and this is real, 66, and then he because internal affairs is so inept, and it is like a joke with them how they covered it up, and he is proud because he is the last guy they talked to. The suspect is the last guy they talk to. This guy is going to get prosecuted for this, Judge. He is going to be prosecuted, not any joke or anything, so these are worse than anything.
Judge Ito: Marcia--
Mr. Scheck: The key point here, when you talk about probable cause, there is a passage in there where he describes his whole world view. That is, they teach you certain things in the academy, but that is not how you are a real police officer. You have to get out on the street and learn how to lie, cheat and set people up. And he describes in every aspect of the job how that is what you are really supposed to do, from the simple fact of you see a guy on the street and there is a gun nearby, you know he is a bad guy. The job of the police officer is to lie about seeing him throw the gun and create probable cause.
Ms. Clark: That is a lie. That is not what he says.
Mr. Scheck: That is on the tape. He talks about how he learns how to create probable cause at hearings and talks about lying.
Ms. Clark: That is not what it says.
Mr. Scheck: And there is a repeated theme throughout this tape about what you learn in the academy versus what you learn in the street and how real police officers are supposed to act that go directly towards manufacturing evidence. I'm talking about things as simple as how--if you are arresting a junky or a hype, if you squeeze their arms for old track marks to make them come out to help set up arrests, tearing up driver's licenses, to how to do chokehold in a certain way, to how to beat confessions out of people, how to shoot not to stop but to kill.
Mr. Cochran: Shoot them in the mouth.
Mr. Scheck: There is repeat--and I have only read five transcripts--of modus operandi. It is more chilling than the testimony for the Mollen Commission in New York. It is an extraordinary thing. He names real names. There is no question this man is talking about his view of the street, his view of the job of the police officer and how that all ties into racial attitude as well.
Mr. Cochran: Can I say one other thing?
Ms. Clark: Why are we doing this now? We are going to impeach this. A lot of what Mr. Scheck has said was misrepresented to the Court. I have read this, too.
Judge Ito: Well, well, here is--obviously--
Ms. Clark: There is a lot of relevance issues here obviously, because we are not talking about use of force case here.
Judge Ito: All right.
Mr. Cochran: And I was particularly amused because I was back east this weekend and when I saw Mr. Garcetti's remarks about how he wasn't an important witness, he said one of the most chilling things. What he says is, "I am the most important witness in the trial of the century. If I go down, their case goes bye-bye." This man is--the reason why that becomes really important, if you remember those reports of talking to his doctors and things, so there is a lot of issues this is going to bring up because some things become very relevant before. This is a megalomanic. So Mr. Garcetti perhaps hasn't seen that portion of it.
Judge Ito: All right.
Ms. Clark: His role in the case? Why is that chilling?
Judge Ito: Hold on, hold on, hold on.
-- August 14, 1995

The Jurors

The Simpson jurors had to complete a questionaire with nearly 200 questions. They were then interviewed by the lawyers (voir dire) and finally 12 were selected. Judge Ito knew it was going to be a long trial and decided to select 12 alternates. These 24 jurors were then sequestered and basically cut off from the world. In a way, the jurors became prisoners. As the trial took its toll, jurors were dismissed and replaced by alternates. There was real concern that there wouldn't be enough alternates to finish the trial.

The jurors have been assigned numbers to protect their identity. Two were dismissed early on. The next inkling of a juror problem occurs during a sidebar in mid-February. The juror mentioned in the following sidebar was later accused of writing a book and was consequently dismissed.

Mr. Shapiro: I would like to draw to the attention of the court the demeanor of juror 602. I have been watching him for the last 25 minutes. And with the exception of a moment ago when he turned his head and once when he looked at the witness stand, he has continually stared out into space. Even when all of the lawyers approached the witness stand, he did not move his head away from his fixed position, which appears to be going towards the direction of myself, deputy Magnera and Mr. Simpson. I pointed this out to deputy Magnera. He has noticed it on several occasions and the press has reported this. And it appears that this man is not concentrating at all on these proceedings and I would like the record to note that and then for the court to pay some particular attention to this juror.
Judge Ito: I'll make my own observations. Thank you.
Ms. Clark: Any other observations?
Judge Ito: He just asked me to watch. I'll watch.
-- February 17, 1995

Judge Ito has an interesting way of sending the jurors back to the jury room.

Mr. Bailey: Are we going to go, at any rate, through to 12:00?
Judge Ito: Let me toss the jurors in the back.
Mr. Cochran: Whatever your pleasure, but it will only take a minute. I know what he is talking about.
Judge Ito: Before you guys start flipping stuff around, you know, the jurors can see, let me toss them [in the] back and we will do that.
-- February 15, 1995

Everyone is taking great pains that the jurors are not being prejudiced in any way. Perhaps in this instance, Mr. Simpson was just flirting.

Mr. Darden: Can I end it with does your security camera cover Mr. Simpson?
Judge Ito: It does.
Mr. Darden: Okay. At 3:01, approximately, it appeared to me that he was -- that he was making some kind of contact with the juror seated at the end of the box. He is rolling his eyes and looking over at him.
Mr. Cochran: That is baloney.
Mr. Darden: You didn't even see it.
Judge Ito: Well, I don't have the tape on right now.
Mr. Darden: Okay.
Judge Ito: So --
Mr. Darden: But that is what he is doing and I would ask Mr. Cochran to ask him, hey, cut it out.
Judge Ito: All right. Well, we are going to call it a day and looks like we are not going to finish Lange today.
Mr. Cochran: Can I ask one more question, your Honor, before I go?
Judge Ito: No.
-- March 8, 1995

The discussion continues on juror 602. Complaints have been received that he has alienated the other jury members. Chris Darden perceives the juror as friendly to the Prosecution and doesn't want to lose him.

Mr. Darden: I think the evidence at this point, you know, may establish that [juror 602] is some form of a jerk. And what kind of a jerk he is, I don't know, but he's done nothing that constitutes misconduct.
-- March 14, 1995

Juror 602 is brought in for an interview in the judge's chamber.

Judge Ito: All right. It's been reported to me that--I have talked to three of the bailiffs, and you have indicated to them that you were writing a book on this case; is that correct?
Juror No. 602: No. I said I was thinking about it.
Judge Ito: All right. You indicated to them that--you've asked them to keep journals in this case or keep a log of events?
Juror No. 602: I don't--I said that--that I was thinking about doing that, but--
Judge Ito: All right. Did you make mention to them that the newspaper, the Daily Journal, was going to assist you in writing a book on this case?
Juror No. 602: The Daily Journal?
Judge Ito: Daily Journal.
Juror No. 602: No, sir. I haven't really made up my mind yet and I certainly haven't talked to anyone about it except just in passing, I think it would be interesting to write a book about it.
Judge Ito: Uh-huh. I've received complaints from a number of jurors that you have taken an unusual interest in the conjugal visit list, that you have made--gone out of your way to examine that list and to get from that list the names of the visitors.
Juror No. 602: No, sir. That's not true.
Judge Ito: It's been reported to me that on one occasion regarding one visitation period, that you examined the visitation list on four occasions.
Juror No. 602: No, sir.
Judge Ito: Do you know of any reason why you would need to look at that list more than once?
Juror No. 602: No. Well, yes, sir. I think I did look at it twice on one occasion to make sure that my wife was on there.
Judge Ito: All right. Do you recall when we started this case, the day after you were sequestered, you asked the Court for permission to use a personal notebook computer?
Juror No. 602: Yes, sir.
Judge Ito: Is there any information on that computer that relates to this case?
Juror No. 602: No, sir. I signed an affidavit to that effect.
Judge Ito: Would you have any objection to my having another Judge take your computer and check the database and make sure there's nothing there?
Juror No. 602: Not at all.
Judge Ito: All right. Thank you sir.
Juror No. 602: Thank you.
(Juror no. 602 exits chambers.)
Judge Ito: All right. Have a seat. Thank you. I'm going to have Deputy Magnera snag the computer that's over at the hotel.
Mr. Darden: Are you going to search for the list?
Judge Ito: No. I can't believe that he would keep that on a hard copy, and I'm sure it's either in the computer or long gone.
-- March 16, 1995
Judge Ito: Back on the record in chambers. We're here meeting with counsel in chambers regarding the problem that we have had regarding Juror 602. Yesterday, in our inquiry with 602, I asked for and received from him permission to inspect his lap-top computer. The sheriff's department delivered to me the lap-top computer in its case, and it was the Court's intention to check the hard drive and any floppy disk for any confidential information regarding the identity of our anonymous and sequestered jury. In the box that contained the floppy disks, the Court found a piece of paper that is approximately four by six inches which is ruled and appears to be a type of notebook paper that includes names and numbers of our jurors and does include some last names as well. And this is directly contrary to what Juror 602 told us on the record yesterday, that he did not have such a list in his possession and that a list had been shown to him, but was not in his possession. And the Court finds this statement to have been not true and that this list, which I have shown to counsel off the record, is a list of our jurors in this case. I am going to--is there any counsel who wish to be heard as to whether or not this juror should be excused?
Mr. Cochran: I think it's pretty clear he should be excused, your Honor.
Judge Ito: People?
Ms. Clark: Yes.
Judge Ito: All right. Deputy Magnera--counsel, I'm going to serve him with a copy of the order that I have displayed to you and I am also going to admonish him that I think he was not candid with us on the record and may have committed a felony crime. Thank you, guys. Let's have 602, please.
(Juror no. 602 enters chambers.)
Judge Ito: 602, have a seat, please. 602, when I looked in your computer, in the floppy
disk box, there's a list which appears to have names of jurors.
Juror No. 602: You're right. I thought I threw it away.
Judge Ito: All right. No. 602, I'm going to discharge you as a member of this jury. I'm going to order you not to reveal to anybody the identity of any member of the jury or any of the alternates. I am going to order you not to reveal to anyone the name or location of the facility where the jurors are sequestered. I'm going to admonish you pursuant to Penal Code section 116.5 that it is a violation of the law to accept or agree to accept any payment or benefit in consideration for supplying any information in relation to this case prior to or within 90 days of the discharge of the jury. I'm also going to warn you that it appears that the statement you made to me yesterday on your oath as a juror was not correct and I may be referring this matter to another agency to investigate. All right. You are discharged, sir.
Judge Ito: Let me give you a copy of the order so you understand it clearly.
Juror No. 602: I apologize to everyone.
(Juror no. 602 exits chambers.)
Judge Ito: Have a nice day. In the computer case, there is a notebook, which I will have my staff examine closely to see if there's any identifying information in that. And if there is none, then I will have it returned to the juror. Okay.
(In camera proceedings were concluded.)
-- March 17, 1995

The Defense is also unhappy about dismissing jurors whom they perceive as friendly to their case.

Mr. Bailey: I think in cases like this, it's necessary for the court to come up with something innovative. And my suggestion would be--as you may come to a point where you are going to throw away millions of dollars--to relax a little bit on jurors. If this woman exaggerated in the complaint in court, she was essentially telling the truth to you, I don't think she should be disqualified.
Judge Ito: Okay. I'll take under submission Mr. Bailey's gray area argument.
Mr. Cochran: Part of what Mr. Bailey is saying to you, we're all going to--like you talked about all going to dinner after this case is over. We won't be able to go anywhere in public, some of us won't based upon--if we fool around on this case and you spend 3.5 million dollars of the county's money, and at the end, they won't stipulate to 11, whatever, you know, is going to happen. So we ought to keep that in mind.
-- March 28, 1995

(Note: In September the County of Los Angeles states that it has spent in excess of 8 million dollars on the trial)

The judge has decided to dismiss another juror. The media has caught wind of it and is already sitting on the juror's doorstep.

Judge Ito: I can do two things. I can delay doing this for a couple of days, and the press will get tired of sitting at her home, or I can--the sheriffs already have a game plan for this because they know they're already at her home waiting for her. They have a game plan that they are going to offer to her the opportunity to make as many phone calls as possible to maybe stay with a relative for the next couple of days or something to that effect. I don't know if that will help.
Ms. Clark: The press will be there until kingdom come.
-- March 30, 1995

This is a long trial and that DNA stuff is mighty boring. No wonder the jurors are nodding off.

Judge Ito: The Court will abide by its prior ruling and sustain the objection. Also, keep an eye on the jury from time to time. I've caught two of them nodding today. So--
Ms. Clark: How about if we take a stretch? Can we let the jury stand up and take a stretch for a minute?
Judge Ito: Next time we have a sidebar, I'll suggest that. In fact, why don't we stay up here a few more minutes, and I'll suggest they stand and stretch a little bit.
Judge Ito: Ladies and gentlemen, if you'd like, go ahead and take a stretch. I notice a couple of sleepy eyes there. So maybe it will help you.
Mr. Goldberg: Your Honor, I'm almost finished. I don't have that much more.
Judge Ito: Okay. Let's just hope somebody maybe stretches there.
-- April 17, 1995

Next we meet, Judge Lance A. Ito, Cruise Director.

Judge Ito: Has there been any problem regarding shopping hours?
Juror No. 230: Shopping hours? Not being able to shop as long as I want to shop, but other than that and where I want on shop, no, there hasn't been.
Judge Ito: Okay. Has there been any problems with some groups of jurors being able to shop longer than others? Any problems that you are aware of?
Juror No. 230: No, we all shop for the same length of time.
Judge Ito: Are you aware of any problems regarding the use of the gym facilities, the workout facilities?
Juror No. 230: No, because I'm in there at 5:00 to 6:00 in the morning, so there is only about three of us there.
Judge Ito: Which equipment are you using there?
Juror No. 230: We use the Lifestyle equipment, the bikes, the treadmill. Whatever, you know, is available in there, we have access to it.
Judge Ito: Okay. That is the gym that is on your floor right?
Juror No. 230: Yeah, the gym that is on the floor.
Judge Ito: Okay. How do you like the equipment?
Juror No. 230: Love it. It is real nice equipment, very nice.
Judge Ito: My law clerks went to a lot of trouble to get that for you.
Juror No. 230: Very nice. Thank you.
Judge Ito: That is all donated equipment.
Juror No. 230: Great.
Judge Ito: We didn't have to pay a dime for it.
Juror No. 230: It is really good equipment.
Judge Ito: We are going to be donating that to a charitable organization as soon as we are done with it, but you make good use of it.
Judge Ito: All right. Has there been any problem regarding the scheduling and availability of videotapes?
Juror No. 230: No, no problem for me. I have seen more videos since I have been here than I have in a lifetime, so no.
Judge Ito: Okay. Anything I can do as far as that is concerned to make that a better situation?
Juror No. 230: The videos?
Judge Ito: Yeah.
Juror No. 230: No, I don't think so.
Judge Ito: Variety is good enough?
Juror No. 230: Yes, they have been pretty good.
Judge Ito: All right. Juror no. 1, can you tell me how is everything going over there?
Juror No. 230: Everything is going fairly well. It is a lot better than I originally expected, I can say that, all except for the cleaning.
Judge Ito: Tell me about that.
Juror No. 230: The cleaners is the pits.
Judge Ito: The cleaning as far as your clothes are concerned?
Juror No. 230: Yes, our clothes are concerned.
Judge Ito: The dry cleaning?
Juror No. 230: Yes.
Judge Ito: The laundry and dry cleaning?
Juror No. 230: This guy I don't know where he comes from. He come from India, I do know where he comes from, but everybody's clothes are all messed up. The first week or so--
Judge Ito: I heard there was an incredible problem the first week.
Juror No. 230: My small vest was extra extra large and my white blouses were green and blue and it was a mess, and everybody complains every week about the cleaning. That is our major problem.
Judge Ito: Okay. I will look into that.
Juror No. 230: But other than that, I don't have any complaints.
Judge Ito: Is there anything else? We've tried to get you a lot of entertainment.
Juror No. 230: The entertainment, the food is changing, we are getting out, because the food had become a problem.
Judge Ito: Too much of the same thing?
Juror No. 230: Same thing, repetitious, too many particles walking, crawling, talking in the food, but other than that, you know, we have been getting out a lot more and doing a lot of different things, so like I say, it is a lot better.
Judge Ito: All right. I want you to know that we try very hard to provide you with different things to do and it is kind of hard doing that, it is like being a cruise director on a ship and at the same time trying to run the trial at the same time.
Juror No. 230: Right.
Mr. Cochran: Can we have just a second, your Honor?
Judge Ito: Sure.
Mr. Cochran: Can we approach the desk?
Judge Ito: We even have sidebars here.
(Discussion held off the record between the Court, Ms. Clark and Mr. Cochran.)
Judge Ito: Juror no. 1?--
Juror No. 230: Uh-huh.
Judge Ito: --my impression is this case is going a little slower than we thought it was going to go. I'm trying to speed them up, but how are you doing endurance wise?
Juror No. 230: How am I doing what?
Judge Ito: Endurance wise?
Juror No. 230: I'm doing fine. Some days I get a little lethargic, but usually I'm on the Life Savers. Where is Tas? I am on the Life Savers just to give me that quick sugar kick, but other than that, I'm doing fine once we get into it.
Judge Ito: All right. Because we may be looking at July or August to finish the case.
Juror No. 230: Well, like I said, when I first got here, I thought I may have a problem, you know, but I sort of refocused my thinking and started, umm, focusing on, you know, other things and other people and what I really tried to do was work with the younger people, because I thought that they would be worse off I was, but it turned out that, you know, they are making it pretty well, and the married--the people that were married--and after we got the conjugal visits, that sort of helped them and they are doing a lot better.
Judge Ito: What is the mood of the jurors as far as the length of the trial is going? What is your impression?
Juror No. 230: I think they realize that it is going to be long and drawn out and they hate it, but they are into it now, you know, and I think--
Judge Ito: We sucked them in, hum?
Juror No. 230: Yeah, you got them, you got us, but other than that, and like I say, with things lightening up on us and we are getting out a lot more and doing a lot more things, I think it is a lot better. The only thing I guess people--I started to say they mess--I think the saddest point we have is even on visiting day is once you leave your family and you can't go out with them, you know, you sort of get a little depression, but after that--and I think that is why Mondays are generally our worse days when we are here, but after that we are okay.
Judge Ito: All right. I've got to tell you that I'm criticized by many people for giving you so much visitation and so many phone calls, but I'm trusting you all not to do anything that is inappropriate during those visits or phone calls.
Juror No. 230: I honestly believe that everybody is truly, truly trying, your Honor. I think that they are giving it 200 percent. I think that they realize the seriousness of everything. At least I do. I shouldn't say "they." I'm sorry, I do, and we are giving it our all and all, and you know, when you hear somebody said June or July or one of the deputies asked us who is going to buy the Christmas decorations, you sort of, you know, get a little upset for a minute, but they know it is all in joking, but they realize that it is going to be probably long and drawn out.
Judge Ito: Yes. We will not budget Christmas decorations.
-- April 18, 1995

One thing is for sure. The jurors will not be holding their reunion dinner at this hotel.

Judge Ito: All right. How's everything else going?
Juror No. 1492: Fine except for the food.
Judge Ito: Oh, oh. Where is the food bad?
Juror No. 1492: It's horrible at the hotel.
Judge Ito: At the hotel?
Juror No. 1492: Uh-huh.
Judge Ito: Okay. Well, you know, I'm trying to arrange, you know, special outings on the weekend for different foods, and I plan on going over to the hotel pretty soon and check things out again.
Juror No. 1492: I've asked for my refrigerator to be opened in my room so I could bring my own stuff in. If I could buy my food every day--I just don't want to eat there. I mean, I don't eat there now.
Judge Ito: What kind of food would you bring in?
Juror No. 1492: Just something I could microwave.
Judge Ito: That bad?
Juror No. 1492: To me it is. Not only is it bad, it's nasty. They have hair--I found more than five occasions--five occasions, I've had hair in my food. So I haven't eaten there in about a month and a half or two.
Judge Ito: How's the food here at the courthouse?
Juror No. 1492: It's okay.
-- April 19, 1995
Judge Ito: How is the food?
Juror No. 2457: At the hotel, hmm. I don't eat.
-- April 19, 1995
Judge Ito: Okay. How's everything else?
Juror No. 795: Well, everything is fine except for the food. I mean, well--now we have junk for dinner and I'm not a junk eater.
-- May 24, 1995

Juror 2179 is preoccupied.

Mr. Cochran: I agree with that, your Honor. Just I am noticing 2179. She seems like more preoccupied.
Judge Ito: I have been watching her.
Mr. Cochran: She told us earlier--she doesn't seem like she is the same, and I just wanted to point out to you, she seems like looking--just looking ahead and hasn't taken any notes all day and preoccupied.
Judge Ito: I have been watching.
-- April 26, 1995

This juror got her wish and was dismissed:

Judge Ito: Let the record reflect we are in chambers. Sergeant Smith, when I came back from lunch, advised me that juror no. 1427, seat no. 2, was in the lounge bathroom area crying hysterically about 1 o'clock today. And he stopped to ask her what was wrong, and she said that 1489 has been harassing her and that she can't take it anymore and she wanted off the jury.
-- May 24, 1995

The judge has been getting a lot of mail. The following letter was taken seriously and lead to the dismissal of Juror 353:

Judge Ito: All right. While we're here--while we're here, let me read to you very quickly a letter that I received yesterday that I need to share with you.
"Dear Judge Ito:" this is dated May 12th and the postmark is May 22nd. It says: "Dear Judge Ito: I have been debating over and over what to do with this information. But after seeing you last night on the news telling the pain your family went through during the war and what my family in Germany endured, it touched my heart and I felt so grateful to live in a country with very strong civil rights and a strong constitution. I guess that's why I feel so ashamed for the information I have. I work for a literary agent. I'm only a receptionist. It is true I am very young, but I am aware of what is happening with this office and one of your jurors on the Simpson trial. It has been kept very secret, but I know for a fact that my boss has entered an agreement with a juror and her husband.
"The working title for the book proposal is, quote, `standing alone, a verdict for Nicole,' unquote. It is obvious to me that the woman and her husband came to the conclusion of Mr. Simpson's guilt and sold the book with that agreement. "I have not come to you sooner because I too feel Mr. Simpson is guilty. But after seeing you last evening on television and seeing how what happened to your family and mine made you open your heart to the public, it affected me greatly, even though I may agree with this lady juror's ultimate verdict. "(I made my decision after the spousal abuse was made public.) I now feel it is imperative to bring this to your attention when you spoke about things happening to you and to me. I thought that those things can only happen when morality and laws and civil rights no longer matter to society.
"I know it may not be stating what I feel in a way you can understand, but all I can say is that it is fundamentally wrong for this juror and her husband to try to sell this book and enter an agreement secretively. "I am in a moral dilemma that a 20-year old receptionist should not be in. I can only identify the juror as female, once an alternate, her husband--once an alternate, husband became ill, about 40-years old, a white woman. She did not want to be on the jury, but her husband is the one driving this. She is very apprehensive and is worried this will become public. The husband wants her to stay on, but she wants off. "My boss has met with the husband at the blank hotel, which I assume is where the jury is staying. I know you are a very fair and decent man and Judge. So I know and have faith that you will use this information in a way that you know best.
"I am very worried about my job. I have a great opportunity with this job. I pray I don't lose it. But I promise you when I do become an agent, I will be ethical, and maybe some day, I'll even be able to meet you. "Thank you, Judge Ito. Respectfully yours, anonymous." The mailing zip code is 90064.
-- May 24, 1995

Addressing the jury directly is not allowed, except to say good morning, of course.

Judge Ito: Keep your voice down. One other thing. Do not directly address the jurors other than to say good morning. All right. On about four or five occasions you have directly addressed jurors. That is not appropriate in California.
Mr. Neufeld: You mean the jurors at all?
Judge Ito: You can say good morning to them. You can't speak directly to them.
Mr. Neufeld: Okay. I'm sorry about that. I really was unaware.
-- May 15, 1995
Judge Ito: We're over at the sidebar. What was going on between you and the jurors?
Mr. Bailey: Nothing. I never spoke to the juror.
Judge Ito: All right. I saw the juror react to something. I'm going to caution all counsel to make certain there are no comments going on in the proximity of the jury box. Be careful with that, Mr. Bailey.
Mr. Bailey: Very well.
-- June 30, 1995

Having the jurors see all those gory photos doesn't help matters either.

Judge Ito: We just had another juror have to get up and leave and she appeared to be having a hard time, from the expression on her face.
Mr. Cochran: From what I saw was that she was pointing toward the bailiff, and she is the one who is always jovial and smiling, and she seemed as though she was close to tears and she started pointing to the bailiff and she went like this, for the record, (Indicating), the time out sign like a "T." So may I suggest, your Honor, this may be--let's see--may be a time to end it today.
Mr. Kelberg: You know, your Honor, with an evening's rest, it might be easier for the jurors.
Judge Ito: It has been a long day.
Mr. Kelberg: It has been a long day.
Mr. Cochran: Tough day for these folks.
Mr. Kelberg: Judge, I would go until midnight if it was a matter of just doing it, but I think that it's tough stuff for any group of people to have to listen to for any period of time.
Judge Ito: Robert, you are--
Mr. Darden: Does the board have to be that close to the box?
Mr. Cochran: Look at alternate no. 2.
Mr. Shapiro: I don't think this jury can concentrate.
Mr. Cochran: Look at 1386, your Honor, and she had her eyes closed.
Judge Ito: 165 is--
Mr. Kelberg: We can't move the board back.
Judge Ito: All right. Let's call it a day.
-- June 8, 1995

The jury box can be a hazardous area.

Judge Ito: We are over at the sidebar out of the presence. Counsel, no. 1290 needs to see her doctor regarding her hip and the only day that we could get her appointment is Thursday, and so Thursday, instead of going to 6:00, we are going to have to quit at 4:45.
Mr. Cochran: Sorry.
Ms. Clark: Heartbroken.
Mr. Cochran: Is she the one who fell out there?
Judge Ito: Yes, yes, so we are going to break at 4:45 Thursday so she can make her appointment, okay, but she says she doesn't need to go now but she would like to go this week.
Mr. Cochran: That is fine with us.
Judge Ito: See you later.
Mr. Cochran: Thanks, Judge.
Judge Ito: He is going to some other courtroom.
-- June 13, 1995

The jurors are not allowed to watch television or listen to the radio. They have access to a limited number of newspapers and magazines with all references to the trial cut out. Even their choice in fiction novels is monitored. One book of concern was John Grisham's book, The Rainmaker.

Judge Ito: The second thing, I thought about the book, you know, this Grisham book. It's a work of fiction.
Mr. Cochran: Judge, it may be a work of fiction, but would you allow us overnight to look at it, allow us--I have not read it, but I've personally talked to your Honor's assistant. It's a work of fiction, but if you can let him read it, then let me read it tonight.
Judge Ito: I'll let you read it tonight.
Mr. Darden: Can I add this on the book? You may recall earlier in the trial, when one of the jurors was reading Makes Me Want to Holler, which was a book about young African Americans who had gone to prison or suffered in a manner we wouldn't want to discuss obviously--but it is fiction.
Mr. Cochran: Makes You Want to Holler isn't fiction.
Judge Ito: I'll give--
Mr. Darden: That book was deemed okay for the jurors.
Judge Ito: I'll give you an opportunity to take a look at it over the evening hours.
Mr. Cochran: I would like to read it, then talk about it.
-- June 27, 1995

Johnnie Cochran gives his book report.

Judge Ito: We're over at the sidebar. Any other comment about the Grisham book?
Mr. Cochran: Yes. I knew you would say that. I guess I did. Contrary to who wrote this little summary, Michelle Cardswell, there's significant other portions of it. I would like to have it typed up. There's only reference to pages 145, 147. Shawn Chapman read it in detail and gave me a detailed thing, and from pages 145 to--147, 152, 153, 154, there's significant information about physical violence, battery, bruises, "He'll kill me. He'll kill me. I can't file for divorce." And I would like to have an opportunity to type this up. I know the jury may be unhappy about this. It may be fiction, but I think there's enough in here, more than what you have. I would like to type it up, give it to you. I can give you this. I don't think it's fair to give you this without having it typed up. It's notes from Shawn Chapman of the actual book. There's considerable here, more than I think you were told. So if I can have this typed up for you tomorrow morning.
Judge Ito: Okay.
Mr. Cochran: And then you can make a final decision, if that's all right.
Judge Ito: I don't want to spend the time reading it.
Mr. Cochran: She read it. I will give it to the Prosecution tomorrow morning. Shawn didn't have to read it, but she did it.
Judge Ito: All right.
-- June 28, 1995

And then a full review.

Judge Ito: At the sidebar. Any final argument regarding the books?
Mr. Cochran: Yes. Did you see the letter we gave you?
Judge Ito: No, I didn't get a letter.
Mr. Cochran: Excuse me. I'm sorry.
Judge Ito: Mrs. Robertson says it is on my chair.
Mr. Cochran: I apologize. I was giving Carl a bad time. Can you just glance through that. And I think we gave you a copy, Marcia. Not that you wanted to read it, but I think we gave you a copy.
Ms. Clark: Why don't I get Mr. Darden because he may have read it. I didn't.
Judge Ito: Any other comment regarding the Grisham book? And I will mark this letter as a Court's exhibit for this discussion.
Mr. Darden: Well, I would think that as long as the Court reminds the jury that the book is fiction, I would think that that would be okay for them to review the book. As I mentioned yesterday, when we objected to jurors reading books having to do with prison life, the Defense convinced the Court, as I recall, that that is appropriate reading and now that we have a book that discusses domestic violence, now they want that book excluded. The point being the jurors are intelligent enough to distinguish between what is fact and what is fantasy and what is the evidence is in this case. And my position is that they should be allowed to keep their books.
Mr. Cochran: If I might just respond briefly your Honor. First of all, correct me, your Honor. I don't recall us having a discussion about if "He Makes Me Want to Holler." I don't think anybody ever made an objection on that. This is the first time that I can recall that we had an objection based upon even a subplot of domestic violence. And the Court has gone out of its way to be very careful about that. We brought this up only out of an abundance of caution and what we did is we had Miss Chapman read this to point out certain things. It involves a 19-year old player, a washed up jock, and life goes downhill ever since. And sure enough, it is absolutely fiction, but at the same time--and you can't even compare it with "He Makes Me Want to Holler." That is basically a true story of a guy who is not a journalist with the Washington Post. This case has incident, your Honor, of the gentleman involved, batterer, wielding a baseball bat, which is his weapon of choice. He comes home drunk all the time, pins his wife's wrist, tries to have sex. The police officers come, they never do anything, charges are dropped. She said that over and over again people tell her if you don't get rid of this jerk you might be dead in a month. I can't file for divorce, he will kill me. He tells me so all the time. She has bruises on her shoulders and that sort of thing. Charges are dropped against the husband because the wife won't testify and they go on and on and they have an incident with a Judge. And so there is an incident at page 390 where she has another beating, cuts and bruises, 391 black and blue, swollen bruises on thighs and fists, all those things, your Honor.
So you know, I think that we have been very careful in trying to do this. I'll submit it to you. I just think that even though it is fiction, there is some concern we have, and I think in a case like this where they try to make a big thing out of the whole issue of domestic violence, and we didn't raise that as an issue, that abusive relationships and things and alleged abusive relationships, one has to be careful, and that is the whole thing. And we have put restrictions and jurors and we are not saying they can't read this book. All we said is that they shouldn't read it while they are sitting on jury duty. There is lots of books they can read and we have been very careful about this. This particular book was spotted, so that is why I would ask your Honor to be mindful of this.
Judge Ito: All right. I think the Court's obligation is to make sure with a sequestered jury that they get information regarding the case itself. This is clearly a novel, it is clearly fiction, and I think the jurors understand their obligation to decide this case based upon the facts and the evidence presented here in Court and not on anything else. So I'm going to return the book to the jurors.
-- June 29, 1995

It's Not Fair, Your Honor!

The lawyers on both sides are not afraid to speak out when they think they've been treated unfairly.

Mr. Shapiro: Your Honor, I would like to put some observations on the record regarding the preference that the court is paying towards the Prosecution when they violate the court rulings and the harsh tones that the court uses, particularly toward Mr. Scheck and Mr. Neufeld when they do some things. And I don't believe that the court is aware of it.
Mr. Darden: Your Honor, I think perhaps Mr. Shapiro should go out in the real world and hear the public's perception of how the Prosecution is being treated as opposed to the Defense. I think most people feel the court defers more to the Defense than to us.
Judge Ito: Well, I'm glad to see both sides feel that they're being treated badly by the court. So that means it's pretty even.
-- April 14, 1995

The system has bent over backwards for this Defendant.

Mr. Darden: You know what the main problem with this case is and with the investigation and with how it has been tried and everything else, is that the system has bent over backwards for this one Defendant. All the rules have been broken and changed. The jail has been--parts of the jail have been reconstructed just for this Defendant and we have bent over backwards.
Mr. Cochran: That has nothing to do with what we are talking about.
Ms. Clark: We are getting to the outermost reaches. They give an inch, they take a mile. The more you give, the more they are going to command. It is not that we have an interest in depriving the Defendant of any rights. Quite the contrary. But to create new rights and new entitlements for one celebrity Defendant seems unfair. [It is] unfair to the people of the state of California [when] we create a new situation just for him.
Judge Ito: Okay.
-- April 21, 1995

There's no doubt that Barry Scheck was upset when he felt that prosecutor Hank Goldberg had tricked and humiliated him in front of the jury.

Mr. Scheck: I'm not from here and I'm not friendly with all you people with the history, and I've restrained myself. I don't make loose charges. I don't call people names. But this is too much because I've been seriously and wrongfully misled. I've been harmed in the eyes of the jury. I've played this by the book. And what happened here was wrong and it's damaging to my credibility as an advocate and it's wrong and should be corrected now while this is fresh in the jury's mind because they're going to think that I misled them.
-- April 14, 1995

Hank Goldberg did get severely admonished by the judge in front of the jury and Marcia Clark raises the issue again six weeks later.

Ms. Clark: I wanted to be heard, and I can't do it now obviously because I've got to go. We wanted to be heard also regarding the Court's proposed admonition to the jury, especially in light of the rough treatment Mr. Goldberg was given over a very innocuous thing. I think the jury has heard the Court admonish and basically slash and burn the Prosecution on many occasions.
Judge Ito: Whose problem is that though?
Ms. Clark: No. Over very innocuous things where Defense has been given--the jury's been told about the Defense misconduct once even though misconduct has been repeatedly occurring. We already have imbalances in the way the Prosecution's been treated in the eyes of the jury. Outside the presence doesn't matter because they don't know about it. But in their presence, we've been admonished, sanctioned, yelled at and basically reprimanded at every bend and turn for innocuous things.
Judge Ito: Miss Clark, your argument is about to lose a lot of credibility.
-- June 2, 1995

Johnnie Cochran takes the cake when it comes to extremely unfair. All of this took place in one sidebar.

Mr. Cochran: ...I think this is extremely unfair...This is grossly unfair to us...This is extremely unfair...So I think that's extremely unfair...I think is grossly unfair...This is extremely prejudicial...And it's still extremely unfair...and I don't think that's fair.
-- July 12, 1995

Johnnie stands up for Peter.

Judge Ito: We are at the sidebar. Mr. Cochran.
Mr. Cochran: The reason I wanted to approach the bench, your Honor, just as an observer, one other time the Court had told me to sit down when I made an objection, and the Court later somehow apologized. In an exchange that I observed, Mr. Neufeld was doing what the Court has asked us to do, stand up, and the Court says "Sit down" as though you were unhappy with Mr. Neufeld. He wasn't doing anything. He stood there and then he sat down as you said that. Whenever I see that I think I should bring that to the Court's attention. The Court might want to clear that up. I don't think you were angry with Mr. Neufeld--
Judge Ito: I think I'm impatient with both sides. This is a very simple issue and we have managed to spend a day and a half on a very simple issue.
Mr. Harmon: You told me to sit down and I have forgiven you for it.
Judge Ito: Well, thank you.
Mr. Cochran: I wanted to bring it up. At that time I didn't think he did it. You may have been impatient.
Judge Ito: I have told both of these counsel to sit down and I'm telling them now to sit down.
-- August 8, 1995

The Court's clear bias.

Ms. Clark: Yes, your Honor. I regrettably have asked to approach because I feel that the People's right to a fair trial is being abrogated by the Court's clear bias.
-- August 14, 1995

I resent that tone, your Honor.

Mr. Cochran: Your Honor, I resent that tone. I'm a man just like you are, your Honor. I resent that tone, your Honor. I resent that tone, your Honor.
Judge Ito: Ladies and gentlemen, would you please step back into the jury room, please. All right. I will see counsel in chambers with the court reporter, please.
(The following proceedings were held in the judge's chambers:)
Judge Ito: The record should reflect that we are in chambers with Mr. Shapiro, Mr. Cochran, Miss Clark and Mr. Darden. I have asked counsel to step into chambers. Mr. Cochran, let me just express to you some concern that I have regarding our personal relationship at this point in time.
Mr. Cochran: Yes, your Honor.
Judge Ito: I have chosen up to this point to ignore your press conference last Thursday and what I consider to be in direct contempt of this court. I have chosen to ignore that. And today when we were at the sidebar [and] the record will reflect that I asked you a direct question and you started talking about something else. And I redirected your attention back to the question that I asked and apparently you have taken umbrage at that. Well, Mr. Cochran, let me tell you something. I take umbrage at your response and your reaction. And I want you to know that I have chosen to ignore it thus far and that is because of our long relationship and what I will hope will be our continuing friendship. And what I'm going to suggest that we do is that you and I both take a deep breath, take a recess and come back and talk about this again. You know, you are involved in the heat of battle. I understand that.
Mr. Cochran: Your Honor, I was trying to and the question--but what I said was I--
Judge Ito: I was trying to cut to the chase. What I should have asked and the vernacular is where are we going with that?
Mr. Cochran: You are right about that. Perhaps my reaction was that I felt that I was a man, you are a man, we have been friends and I thought the tone--
Judge Ito: Counsel, when you say something, "I am a man, you are a man," that is--that is a challenge of sorts, wouldn't you say?
Mr. Cochran: Well, no. I was just saying I didn't want to be talked to like a school kid. I said that I felt that we do have a long relationship and the court--I felt we were the ones who were being put upon on this whole issue and I was trying to explain it and I didn't get a chance to explain it. And your Honor wanted to get right to the issue. I'm not saying you jumped me, but you said, "That is not what I asked you." I'm saying, Judge, I'm trying to get to it. So I will take a deep breath. And I am prepared now to try to tell you what I am trying to do.
Judge Ito: No. I need to take a deep breath, too, Mr. Cochran.
Mr. Cochran: Okay.
Judge Ito: I think we have sort of gotten far afield on some of our discussions here. All right. Let's take a recess.
-- September 6, 1995

The Prosecution feels the pressure when the Defense wants to have the jury hear tapes in which Detective Mark Fuhrman uses numerous racial slurs.

Mr. Darden: If Mr. Simpson is acquitted just because Mark Fuhrman uttered an epithet, well, then there is no justice, Judge.
-- September 6, 1995
Ms. Clark: This courtroom has been filled with sludge for the last two days. <cuts> I frankly am of the firm opinion that the People have no longer any right to a fair trial.
-- September 6, 1995
Ms. Clark: We have taken it on the chin. But now we are getting kicked in the guts. This is below the belt and this is not fair.
-- September 6, 1995
Mr. Darden: --shut this down and get this witness out of here. I mean, have you watched the jury? Have you watched their faces as all these epithets roll off of Mr. Bailey's tongue and Mr. Cochran's and everybody else's? At some point, you know, we get to the point where we are not getting a fair trial.
-- September 6, 1995
Mr. Darden: Judge, you know, I feel no need to lay down or roll over and die just because the jury has been polluted with these epithets. I mean, you know, he did the murders. I'm going to convict him.
-- September 6, 1995

Judge, Disciplinarian and Cruise Director

Judge Lance A. Ito has played many roles in this case and with all that he's been through -- the length of the trial, contentious lawyers with huge egos, a near juror revolt and more juror dismissals than ever seen -- it's no wonder that he's been near exhaustion. Not only did he have to keep control in the courtroom in an evenhanded manner, he's been forced into the role of 'cruise director' to make sure that the sequestered jurors are well-fed and entertained. He's been accused of being pro-Prosecution and he's been accused of being pro-Defense. Some say he was too lenient and lost control, others have accused him of being a tyrant. Through it all, he's retained a remarkable sense of humor.

Ito has had to deal with more advanced technology than ever seen in a courtroom. At first this caused a bit of confusion.

Mr. Darden: What about this thing, by the way, (indicating)?
Judge Ito: No. Whoever questions the witness has to wear that because when you move around we don't have the ability to --
Mr. Darden: I guess my question is are they [the jury] listening to the sidebar?
Judge Ito: No. Sidebar should be turned off.
Mr. Cochran: Well, do you want to check, judge?
Judge Ito: Let me just check with the sound person.
-- March 2, 1995

The world's most advanced hi-tech courtroom goes back to the Stone Age:

Mr. Darden: Before we go back, apparently the [projector] with all of this stuff has blown a fuse.
Judge Ito: I was wondering when that was going to happen.
Mr. Fairtlough: Deputy Magnera has called the electrician. We have no power to run anything right now.
Judge Ito: We overloaded the circuit, huh?
Mr. Fairtlough: Everything went out at once.
Judge Ito: All right. Hold on. Miss Fitzpatrick, are we having a problem?
Mr. Fairtlough: Everything is down.
Judge Ito: This had to happen sooner or later. Let's proceed. We will just have to do it the old fashion way.
-- March 2, 1995

Judge Ito is also an expert on interpreting phone bills. As in, "E" stands for England. Or, is that Economy?

Mr. Darden: There's multiple phone calls to someplace in England.
Mr. Cochran: One minute.
Judge Ito: That means economy.
-- March 2, 1995

But sometimes he just stays out of the discussion.

Ms. Clark: It is incomplete.
Mr. Darden: You know, it cuts off in the middle of sentences and dot, dot, dot, and picks up later. You know, where is rest of it?
Mr. Cochran: I presume you got what we got. I had nothing to do with discovery. I assume you got what we got. Incomplete dot, dot, dot? What are you talking about?
Ms. Clark: Sentences trail off, they don't end and it dot, dot, dot, dot, and then picks up again.
It is a style I assume of the investigator who wrote it.
Mr. Darden: He is editing.
Mr. Cochran: Who do you want to blame for that?
Mr. Darden: We just want discovery.
Ms. Clark: Call him, I guess.
Mr. Cochran: And said what do you mean by dot, dot, dot?
Ms. Clark: Yeah. Where is the rest of the sentence?
Mr. Cochran: Give me an example. Show me a copy of that.
Judge Ito: All right. Let's conclude this. All right.
-- February 27, 1995

A judge is really just a referee.

Ms. Clark: This morning?
Judge Ito: This morning.
Ms. Clark: The problem is, your Honor, that --
Judge Ito: Do me a huge favor too. When I say wait, it means like we're in a wrestling match when the referee says break.
Mr. Darden: I learned my lesson.
-- March 6, 1996

In the following sidebar, the judge refers to a "Hall problem," which means whether certain testimony is admissable or not. If you don't know what a Hall problem is, don't worry. Neither did Mr. Cochran.

Judge Ito: Do we have a Hall problem here?
Mr. Cochran: Hum?
Judge Ito: Don't we have a Hall problem here?
Mr. Cochran: I think anybody who harasses someone or makes phone calls and says things -- is the court saying to me you are limited only to somebody who calls and says, "I'm going to kill you"?
Judge Ito: No, no, no, that is not what I'm saying. That is not what I'm saying.
Mr. Cochran: Okay.
Judge Ito: I'm just asking do we have a Hall problem here?
Mr. Cochran: I'm sorry I thought you said a call problem.
Judge Ito: Hall.
Ms. Clark: Hall.
Judge Ito: Hall.
Mr. Cochran: I don't think so, but --
Ms. Clark: Your Honor, I don't know if counsel even knows what that means.
Mr. Cochran: But I'm not clear.
Judge Ito: Well, counsel, we don't need to trade the personal shots back and forth.
Mr. Cochran: I am not talking to her; I'm talking to you.
Judge Ito: All right.
Judge Ito: At this point I'm going to sustain the Hall objection. Why don't you take a look at it. Unfortunately --
Mr. Cochran: I understand about Hall.
Judge Ito: Let me just tell you something. You know, our schedule has us ending at 3:00 and one of the jurors has a medical appointment at 4:00, so we have to quit at 3:00, I understand. So you've got some time to look at it, but I think you've got a Hall problem.
Mr. Cochran: Well, I think that I have more of an offer of proof. I have the actual report here, but -- and I think that there will be not be a Hall problem, as I indicated, but I will deal with that.
Judge Ito: Why don't you look at it overnight and we will talk about it tomorrow.
-- March 6, 1995

And make sure that everyone is up to speed.

Judge Ito: All right. Do you have the transcript?
Mr. Goldberg: Yeah. The Griffen hearing transcript.
Judge Ito: I'm sorry?
Mr. Goldberg: The official Griffen hearing transcript.
Judge Ito: What Mr. Scheck is referring to is, the court reporters also provide a condensed four pages to a page official transcript.
Ms. Clark: We've never seen it.
Judge Ito: That's available to you. If you recall, when we started the case, I gave you your option of a hard copy, ASCII disk, four by four. This is what we call this, the thing that Scheck has, or any number of different versions. So this is what he's referred to I believe, is that four by four.
Ms. Clark: Are you sure? I've never seen that before and didn't know about the four by fours. I've never seen them before.
Judge Ito: That's what I have. That's what I use. It's a lot easier to carry. Hold on. Miss Clark, who's in charge here? Is Mr. Goldberg running this examination or you? You need to let him handle the matter.
Ms. Clark: Sorry, your Honor.
Judge Ito: It's not appropriate. This is three times now that you've interrupted the other counsel's matter, and I would like not to have to have it happen again.
Ms. Clark: It won't, your Honor.
Judge Ito: Anything else?
Mr. Goldberg: Maybe I can look at counsel's transcript.
Judge Ito: Why don't you look at it.
Ms. Clark: They have different page numbers. I went to the page that time -- he went to the page Barry cited --
Judge Ito: No. I ordered those because it's a lot easier to carry around, four pages at a time.
Ms. Clark: Could we go off the record?
-- April 12, 1995

And give fair warning when the lawyer is about to be tricked.

Mr. Cochran: They opened the door.
Judge Ito: But strategically, maybe they want you to go into it.
Mr. Cochran: Maybe I won't then, your Honor.
-- March 8, 1995

The judge also decides whether the questions are proper or not.

Judge Ito: We are over at the sidebar. Mr. Goldberg, not an appropriate question. Mr. Blasier, not an appropriate objection. And you guys created that problem by doing that in the first place anyway. So knock it off.
-- May 4, 1995
Judge Ito: I don't like the form of the question.
Mr. Scheck: I could give him some suggestions, but it's not my place.
Mr. Cochran: Don't.
Judge Ito: The topic is germaine, but I don't like the way that question is formulated.
Mr. Cochran: On that subject, can we remember again--in the spirit of cooperation, I refrained from objecting and my colleague on the other side forgot again. I didn't say anything about it.
Mr. Scheck: I've been very cooperative.
Judge Ito: He's referring to Miss Clark.
Mr. Cochran: You objected to--
Mr. Darden: His objection was a speaking objection. We are talking about courtroom rules and procedures which your colleague is not following.
Mr. Cochran: No, no. But that's not--that's for Hank Goldberg to do. That's what I'm saying. He's in violation of doing that. I'm just clearing it up.
Judge Ito: All right. Why don't you rephrase the question.
-- April 17, 1995

On occasion the judge helps the Defendant get a better look.

Mr. Blasier: Mr. Simpson wants to see these. As they are going through them he wants some way of seeing them. Can you put them on his monitor? I know you are watching it on Court T.V. I think. I think he has a right to--
Judge Ito: Well, I will tell you what. Let's do this. Let's put them where we normally put them against the wall there for the jury to see.
Mr. Cochran: We can stay in our seats, too. Unless he can walk over with me and stay awake.
Mr. Goldberg: Well, Mr. Cochran has complained about the highly exciting and stimulating nature of this portion of the direct examination, but if counsel wishes to stipulate, I will be more than happy to do that.
Judge Ito: No. Let's put the easel over--
-- May 1, 1995

He tells people to be quiet.

Mr. Scheck: He has got a lot of nerve. These are people that won't even stipulate to lunch on the record.
Judge Ito: Mr. Scheck, be quiet.
Mr. Scheck: This photograph was taken--
Judge Ito: Mr. Scheck, be quiet.
Mr. Scheck: All right.
-- May 4, 1995

Scheduling is always a real headache for a judge.

Ms. Clark: While we are up there and waiting for the jury to do their thing, Mr. Cochran and I wanted to address the Court on the matter of this weekend, the timing, what day, if any, was going to be taken off. Tuesday?
Mr. Cochran: Can we see you right at the beginning of lunch?
Judge Ito: No, no, I don't have time. Well, given the jury's desire to work on a full day Saturday, we are just going to--
Mr. Cochran: Half day Saturday.
Judge Ito: We are going to break at noon on the 26th and reconvene at nine o'clock on the 30th.
Ms. Clark: Which is Tuesday?
Mr. Cochran: Tuesday.
Ms. Clark: Which means no day off?
Judge Ito: Can't do it. Can't do it.
-- May 22, 1995

Especially with a master in the art of gentle persuasion.

Judge Ito: Yeah. How about if on Friday we started at 8 o'clock?
Ms. Clark: Huh?
Judge Ito: We start at 8 o'clock.
Ms. Clark: When?
Judge Ito: Friday.
Ms. Clark: I can't.
Judge Ito: You have to, Marcia. You have to make arrangements. We've made a lot of accommodations for you. The reason we have to quit at 11 o'clock is for my reasons. I would like for you to accommodate me in this situation.
Ms. Clark: I--Judge, I would love to, but--can we seal this?
Judge Ito: Yeah. Off the record.
(A conference was held at the bench, not reported.)
Judge Ito: Okay. Friday morning, 8 o'clock.
Ms. Clark: Can we make it 8:30?
Judge Ito: Marcia, 8 o'clock, I want to finish this guy.
Ms. Clark: We will. 8:30. From 8:30 to 11:00. We will finish him. We'll be done.
Judge Ito: Promise?
Ms. Clark: Promise.
Mr. Blasier: 8:30?
Judge Ito: 8:30 on the dot.
-- July 24, 1995

Lunch is cancelled.

Mr. Cochran: Judge, at the lunch break, can we--
Judge Ito: We're not breaking for lunch today.
Mr. Cochran: Okay.
Ms. Clark: We're not?
Mr. Cochran: Whenever you decide to break, I just want to be able to show these various things to the client.
Judge Ito: Yes.
Mr. Cochran: I looked at them for the first time. Okay.
Judge Ito: Yes.
Ms. Clark: Because he hasn't seen the bottom of his shoes in a while.
Mr. Cochran: I'm not commenting on any personal comments, Judge.
Judge Ito: Would you advise your co-counsel?
Mr. Cochran: I will.
-- June 19, 1995

Mr. Neufeld, you're being repeatedly redundant.

Mr. Neufeld: I would respectfully disagree and I would ask the Court to consider the fact that very often in the scientific community--
Judge Ito: Well, Mr. Neufeld, this is getting incredibly redundant.
Mr. Neufeld: If I may--
Judge Ito: <cuts> These jurors have not taken a note for half an hour. Have you noticed that? They've gotten the point.
-- August 7, 1995

And you ask way too many questions.

Judge Ito: We are over at the sidebar. You guys both ask entirely too many questions. All right.
Mr. Cochran: Sorry, Judge.
Mr. Neufeld: I have only asked one question about travel so far.
Judge Ito: Do you think the jury is really interested in that?
-- August 1, 1995

It comes to light that Detective Mark Fuhrman has made some uncomplimentary remarks about LAPD Captain Margaret York, who happens to be Judge Ito's wife. When Marcia Clark indicates that she may call York as a witness, Ito ponders whether he may to disqualify himself from the case and perhaps even declare a mistrial.

Judge Ito: There is a potential that one side or the other may wish to call my wife as a witness with regard to Mr. Fuhrman. If that happens, then under the code of civil procedure section 171.1, Sub (a) sub (1), I'm required to disqualify myself as the trial Judge in this case. Although I do not have any personal knowledge of my wife's dealings with Mr. Fuhrman while she was a lieutenant at West L.A. And the watch commander back in 1985, the code says that a Judge shall be deemed to have personal knowledge within the meaning of this paragraph if the Judge or the spouse of the Judge is to the Judge's knowledge likely to be a material witness. So I am deemed to have her knowledge for the purposes of disqualification. So if my wife is a material witness, then under this code section, I'm required to disqualify myself and perhaps declare a mistrial at this point.
-- August 15, 1995
Judge Ito: Because, Marcia, you're the one who indicated that you may want to call her as a witness.
Ms. Clark: Right.
Judge Ito: For either the two reasons that are discussed.
Ms. Clark: Right. I mean, she's--I've had the pleasure of meeting her, and I think she would make an excellent witness. She really would.
Judge Ito: No. No. You can't say stuff like that.
-- August 15, 1995
Mr. Cochran: If you had to recuse yourself, does that mean there's a mistrial or another Judge comes in?
Judge Ito: I don't know.
Mr. Cochran: We don't have a brief on that yet, do we? I don't know that this has ever happened.
Mr. Shapiro: Yes. I think another Judge can come in. There's a lot of precedence for this.
Judge Ito: If you can find those precedences in the case law--because I have my eager beavers and legal eagles working on it now.
Mr. Shapiro: There's a federal case in Nevada where that happened, where a sitting federal Judge was actually indicted while he was sitting in the middle of a trial.
Mr. Neufeld: Right on point.
Mr. Cochran: Very good, Peter.
Ms. Clark: Anyway, I agree. I think it's probably true that you would have another Judge sit in at least for these issues.
Mr. Cochran: I meant not only for these issues.
Judge Ito: For the whole enchilada.
Mr. Cochran: You're talking about the whole enchilada.
Ms. Clark: What about just for the witnesses?
Mr. Shapiro: What if a Judge dies during the trial?
Judge Ito: That's legal cause for a mistrial. That's one of the defined causes.
-- August 15, 1995

Finally, the judge pretty well sums it up.

Judge Ito: It's astonishing what we have sunk to here.
-- September 20, 1995
Judge Ito: This has been a rather mind-numbing experience.
-- September 20, 1995

A Chronology



12: Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are stabbed to death outside her Bundy Drive condominium.

13: Simpson arrives in Chicago. LAPD detectives go to Simpson's estate and conduct warrantless search. Simpson is told of the murders and flies back to Los Angeles. Undergoes questioning at police headquarters.

16: Simpson accompanies his children Sydney and Justin to his ex-wife's funeral; friends and family attend Goldman's funeral.

17: Simpson is charged with murder. Failing to surrender as promised, Simpson is declared a fugitive. He's later spotted in a white Ford Bronco with friend Al Cowlings driving. Police follow for 60 miles across Southern California freeways, ending at Simpson's home, where he is arrested.


8: After a six-day preliminary hearing, Municipal Judge Kathleen Kennedy-Powell finds "ample evidence" for trial.

22: Simpson pleads "absolutely, 100 percent not guilty"; the case is assigned to Superior Court Judge Lance Ito.

30: Grand jury transcripts depict Simpson as a jealous man who stalked his ex-wife.


18: Defense files motion, later denied, seeking Detective Mark Fuhrman's personnel and military records. Defense sources earlier said they might portray Fuhrman as racist cop who moved the bloody glove from the murder scene to Simpson's estate.

22: Court papers disclose that some DNA tests show Simpson's blood has the same genetic makeup as samples from the blood trail leading from the murder scene.


2: Prosecutors file motion for jury sequestration.

9: Prosecutors announce they will seek a sentence of life without parole rather than the death penalty.

19: Ito rejects defense claims of sloppy detective work, says police acted properly when they searched Simpson's house without warrant.

26: Jury selection begins.


3: A jury of eight women, four men is selected. The panel is composed of eight blacks, one white, one Hispanic and two people of mixed race.


8: Alternate jury is selected; nine women and three men; seven blacks, four whites, one Hispanic.



4: Defense abandons challenge of the DNA evidence.

11: Jurors are sequestered; court releases explosive prosecution documents accusing Simpson of beating, degrading and stalking Ms. Simpson throughout their 17-year relationship. Documents are released as hearing begins on defense bid to bar evidence of domestic violence. Defense accuses Prosecution of character assassination.

12: Prosecutors withdraw 18 of the 62 abuse allegations.

13: At a hearing to determine whether the Defense will be permitted to question Fuhrman about alleged racial slurs, prosecutor Christopher Darden and defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr., both black, engage in an emotional exchange over the role of race in the trial.

17: Prosecution documents allege Simpson hit his first wife, Marquerite Thomas Simpson. The officer who responded to the domestic call some 20 years earlier says Simpson's then-wife said Simpson hit her and she was taken to a hotel for the night. In a June police interview, Ms. Thomas denied that Simpson ever abused her.

18: Ito rules jurors can hear evidence of domestic violence in Simpson's relationship with Nicole Brown Simpson; he also dismisses two jurors. After highly publicized bickering between Simpson attorneys Robert Shapiro and F. Lee Bailey, Cochran takes lead on the defense team.

20: Ito allows possibility of Fuhrman racism introduced if the Defense can prove it's relevant.

24: Ito rejects Simpson's request to speak directly to the jurors before Defense opening statements but allows him to show scars on his knees. Christopher Darden and Marcia Clark begin opening statements for the Prosecution.

25: Johnnie Cochran begins opening statement for the Defense.

27: Simpson's book, "I Want to Tell You," is released, responds to more than 300,000 pieces of mail sent to him in jail.

31: First prosecution witness testifies. Sharon Gilbert, a 911 operator and dispatcher, testifies she answered call from Simpson's home on New Year's Day 1989.


1: Ron Shipp, friend of O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson, testifies that Mr. Simpson told him that he had a dream about killing his wife.

3: Denise Brown sobs on the witness stand as she testifies how Simpson humiliated her sister Nicole in public and once hurled her against a wall.

7: Juror Katherine Murdoch is dismissed.

8: Sukru Boztepe testifies about finding the bodies.

12: Jurors make daytime tour of Simpson's estate and murder scene.

17: Lead Detective Tom Lange begins his 9-day testimony.


1: Juror Michael Knox is dismissed.

15: Fuhrman denies under cross-examination that he used racial slur in the last 10 years.

16: Lead Detective Philip Vannatter denies that he considered Simpson a suspect from the start.

17: Juror Tracy Kennedy is dismissed.

21: Brian "Kato" Kaelin, O.J. Simpson's houseguest, testifies that he heard three loud thumps on his bedroom wall the night of the murders.

28: Limousine driver Allan Park testifies that there was no answer when he came to pick up Simpson.


5: Juror Jeanette Harris is dismissed.

11: Criminalist Dennis Fung testifies and concedes he didn't detect blood on socks at Simpson's home or on the back gate of murder scene until weeks later.

21: Jurors wear black to court and refuse to hear testimony for the day, after three deputies who guarded them are reassigned amid charges of giving preferential treatment to white jurors.


1: Juror Tracy Hampton is dismissed.

4: Goldman's father and sister file wrongful death lawsuit against Simpson.

10: Testimony about DNA blood analysis begins; scientist Robin Cotton is the first witness to link Simpson to the murders through genetic tests.

26: Juror Francine Florio-Bunten is dismissed.


5: Jurors Farron Chavarria and Willie Cravin are dismissed. Juror makeup now nine blacks, one Hispanic and two whites; 10 women, two men.

12: The estate of Ms. Simpson files lawsuit accusing Simpson of "brutally and with malice aforethought stalked, attacked and repeatedly stabbed and beat" his ex-wife.

15: Simpson struggles to pull on bloody gloves found at murder scene and his estate. Prosecutors suggest the gloves had shrunk.


6: Prosecution rests.

10: Defense calls its first witness -- Simpson's grown daughter, Arnelle.


15: Clark says she'll ask Ito to remove himself from the trial because of an appearance of conflict of interest stemming from tapes Fuhrman made with a scriptwriter as part of a screenwriting project about the LAPD. In the tapes, Fuhrman makes derogatory comments about Ito's police-captain wife and minorities.

16: Clark backs down from her threat. Ito says he'll rule on the admissibility of the Fuhrman tapes but allows another judge to determine whether his wife is a relevant witness.

18: Superior Court Judge John Reid rules Ito's wife has nothing relevant to add to the trial.

29: Excerpts of recorded interviews between Fuhrman and the screenwriter are played with the jury absent.

31: Ito rules that jurors will hear only two of 61 excerpts the Defense wants to present. Cochran calls Ito's ruling cruel and unfair. Lawyer Robert Tourtelot says he will no longer act as Fuhrman's spokesman or represent him in civil matters.


5: Jurors hear Fuhrman on tape using racial epithets.

6: Fuhrman returns to the witness stand, out of the jury's presence, and invokes Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Black witness Roderic Hodge tells jurors that when Fuhrman arrested him in 1987, he used racial slur.

7: Defense ends months of speculation by saying Simpson won't testify. Judge Ito agrees to a defense request that the jurors be told Fuhrman had become "unavailable" and they could consider that in weighing his credibility. Prosecutors appeal.

8: Appeals court rejects Ito's jury instruction about Fuhrman.

11: The Defense refuses to rest its case pending appeal of the Fuhrman issue; Judge Ito orders the prosecutors to begin rebuttal.

13: Cochran announces he wants FBI agent Frederic Whitehurst to testify about problems in the FBI crime lab.

14: Appeals court rejects defense request to recall Fuhrman so he can be cross-examined in front of the jurors about his racist statements in taped interviews.

18: Prosecution conditionally rests.

19: Detective Philip Vannatter is grilled in court about statements he allegedly made to mob informants. Ito blacks out trial for first time in the case, so informants can testify. Craig and Larry Fiato and FBI Agent Michael Wacks testify that Vannatter said he suspected "the husband" from the start.

20: Ito bars Whitehurst testimony. LAPD Cmdr. Keith Bushey testifies he gave orders for investigators to go to Simpson's estate and notify him of his ex-wife's slaying.

21: Ito gives jurors the option of finding Simpson guilty of second-degree murder.

22: The Defense and prosecution rest. Simpson tells judge, "I did not, could not and would not have committed this crime." Ito reads jury instructions.

26: The Prosecution begins its closing arguments.

27: The Defense begins its closing arguments.

29: Rebuttal arguments and final remarks by the the Prosecution. The case goes to the jury.


2: After deliberating for less than four hours, the jury announces that it has reached a verdict. Judge Ito postpones the verdict to be read until the following day, so that all of the lawyers can be present

3: The jury returns a not-guilty verdict. Simpson is released. List of Prosecution Witnesses

Witness List

Sharon Gilbert, LAPD 911 Dispatcher 1/31

Det. John Edwards, LAPD 1/31

Det. Mike Farrell, LAPD 1/31

Ron Shipp, friend of O.J. and Nicole 2/1 - 2/2

Mike Stevens, LAPD investigator 2/2

Terri Moore, 911 Dispatcher 2/2

Sgt. Robert Lerner, LAPD 2/3

Catherine Boe, neighbor of Nicole 2/3

Carl Colby, neighbor of Nicole 2/3

Denise Brown, sister of Nicole 2/3 and 2/6

Candace Garvey, friend of Nicole 2/6

Cynthia Shahian, friend of Nicole 2/6

Tia Gavin, waitress at Mezzaluna 2/7

Stuart Tanner, bartender at Mezzaluna 2/7

Karen Crawford, manager at Mezzaluna 2/7

Karen Goldman, sister of Ron Goldman 2/7

Pablo Fenjves, neighbor of Nicole 2/7

Eva Stein, neighbor of Nicole 2/8

Louis Karpf, neighbor of Nicole 2/8

Steven Schwab, neighbor of Nicole 2/8

Sukru Boztepe, neighbor of Nicole 2/8

Elsie Tistaert, neighbor of Nicole 2/8

Mark Storfer, neighbor of Nicole 3/6 (called out of order)

Off. Robert Riske, LAPD 2/9 and 2/14

Sgt. David Rossi, LAPD 2/14 - 2/15

Det. Ronald Phillips, LAPD 2/15 - 2/17

Det. Tom Lange, LAPD 2/17, 2/21 - 2/22 and 3/6 - 3/9

Det. Mark Fuhrman, LAPD 3/9 - 3/10 and 3/13 - 3/16<

Lt. Frank Spangler, LAPD 3/16

Det. Philip Vannatter, LAPD 3/16 - 3/17 and 3/20 - 3/21

Patti Goldman, Ron Goldman's stepmother 3/9

Darryl Smith, Inside Edition cameraman 3/16

Brian "Kato" Kaelin, O.J.'s houseguest 3/21 - 3/23 and 3/27 - 3/28

Rachel Ferrara, friend of Kato 3/28

Allan Park, limo driver 3/28 - 3/29

Judge Delbert Wong, Special Master 3/29

James Williams, skycap at LA International Airport 3/29

Sue Silva, Westec Security Inc. 3/30

Charles Cale, neighbor of O.J. 3/31

Dennis Fung, LAPD criminalist 4/3 - 4/5, 4/11 - 4/14 and 4/17-4/18

Andrea Mazzola, LAPD criminalist 4/20 and 4/25 - 4/27

Gregory Matheson, chief chemist, LAPD 5/1 - 5/5

Bernie Douroux, towtruck driver 5/8

Robin Cotton, lab director, Cellmark Diagnostics 5/8 - 5/15

Gary Sims, Calif. Dept. of Justice 5/16 - 5/22, 5/31 - 6/1

Renee Montgomery, criminalist, Calif. Dept. of Justice 5/23, 5/24

Collin Yamauchi, criminalist, LAPD 5/24 - 5/31

Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, LA County Chief Medical Examiner 6/2 - 6/15

Brenda Vemich, merchandise buyer, Bloomingdale's 6/15

Richard Rubin, former Isotoner Glove executive 6/15 - 6/16

William J. Bodziak, FBI shoe print expert 6/19

Samuel Poser, shoe department manager, Bloomingdale's 6/20

LuEllen Robertson, custodian of records, Airtouch Cellular Phones 6/21

Kathleen Delaney, lawyer for Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas 6/21

Bruce Weir, population geneticist 6/22, 6/23, 6/26

Denise Lewis, criminalist, LAPD 6/26, 6/27

Susan Brockbank, criminalist, LAPD 6/27, 6/28

Douglas Deedrick, FBI Special Agent 6/29 - 7/6

The rebuttal case began on September 11, 1995

Mark Krueger, amateur photographer at Bears game in Dec. 90 9/11

Bill Renken, runs photo lab, took pictures at Bengals game in Jan. 91 9/11

Kevin Schott, photography teacher, took pictures at Bills game in Nov. 93 9/11

Stewart West, photographer at 49ers game in Dec. 93 9/11

Michael Romano, photographer at Bills game in Jan. 94 9/11

Debra Guidera, photo assistant, took pictures at Giants game in Dec. 93 9/11

Richard Rubin, glove expert 9/12

Gary Sims, Calif. Dept. of Justice Lab 9/13

Stephen Oppler, Investigator, D.A.'s Office 9/13

Teresa Ramirez, Videographer, D.A.'s Office 9/13, 9/14

Douglas Deedrick, FBI Agent, expert on hair and fiber 9/14

William Bodziak, FBI Agent, expert on shoeprints 9/14, 9/15, 9/18

Comm. Keith Bushey, LAPD 9/21

List of Defense Witnesses

Rosa Lopez, housekeeper of Simpson's neighbour (called out of sequence) 2/24-3/3

Arnelle Simpson, OJ's daughter 7/10

Carmelita Simpson-Durio, Simpson's younger sister 7/10

Eunice Simpson, Simpson's Mother 7/10

Carol Connors, saw OJ & Paula Barbieri at a fundraising dinner on June 11 7/10

Mary Collins, interior designer who said she was redoing OJ's house 7/10

Shirley Baker, OJ's older sister 7/11

Jack McKay, Golf Partner of OJ 7/11

Danny Mandel, walked by Nicole's condo at 10:25 PM and saw nothing 7/11

Ellen Aaronson, on a date with Danny that night 7/11

Francesca Harman, was at dinner party on Dorothy that night 7/11

Denise Pilnak, Nicole's neighbor who saw her friend off at 10:20 PM 7/11

Judy Telande, Nicole's neighbor 7/11

Robert Heidstra, Nicole's neighbor who heard two men arguing and saw a white "Jeep-Like" vehicle speeding away from Bundy 7/11

Wayne Stanfield, American Airlines pilot on OJ's flight 668 from Los Angeles to Chicago 7/12

Michael Norris, courier who saw Simpson arrive at the airport; said OJ did not appear preoccupied or rushed that night 7/12

Michael Gladden, asked Simpson for his autograph at the airport with Norris 7/12

Howard Bingham, spoke briefly with Simpson on the flight to Chicago 7/13

Stephen Valerie, boarded the flight just ahead of Simpson 7/13

Jim Merrill, Hertz employee; greeted Simpson at Chicago airport 7/13

Raymond Killduff, Hertz division VP; gave Simpson a ride back to Chicago airport the following day 7/13

Mark Partridge, Chicago trademark attorney; sat next to Simpson on the return trip to L.A. He later wrote down eight pages of observations from that flight 7/13

Dr. Robert Huizenga, doctor who described OJ's physical condition upon his return from Chicago 7/14, 7/17, 7/18

Juanita Moore, OJ's barber for 16 years 7/18

Donald Thompson, officer who put Simpson in handcuffs when he returned; said he was ordered to by Det. Vannatter 7/18

John Meraz, tow truck driver at the police impound garage; admitted he stole things from Simpson's Bronco 7/19

Richard Walsh, personal trainer for the OJ Simpson workout video 7/19

Willie Ford, LAPD photographer 7/19, 7/20

Josephine "Gigi" Guarin, worked as O.J. Simpson's housekeeper 7/20

Det.Kelly Mulldorfer, Los Angeles Police Detective 7/20

Det. Bert Luper, Los Angeles Police Detective 7/20

Dr. Fredrich Rieders, Defense EDTA expert 7/24, 8/14

Roger Martz, FBI expert on EDTA 7/25, 7/26

Herbert MacDonell, Defense expert who tested blood stains on socks 7/27, 7/31, 8/1

Thano Peratis, LAPD nurse who drew blood from O.J. Simpson on June 13, 1994. NOTE: Testimony was via videotape 8/1

John Gerdes, director of Denver Laboratory. He testified about contamination in the LAPD Crime Lab. 8/2, 8/3, 8/4 and 8/7

Terence Speed, professor at the University of California, statistical expert. 8/7, 8/8

Michael Baden, former New York City Chief Medical Examiner. 8/10, 8/11

Michele Kestler, head of Los Angeles Police Department Crime Lab. 8/14, 8/16

Gilbert Aguilar, fingerprint specialist, Los Angeles Police Department. 8/17

Larry Ragle, former head Orange County Crime Lab. 8/21

Christian Reichardt, former fiancee of Faye Resnick. 8/22

Kenneth Berris, Chicago Police Department detective. 8/22

Dr. Henry Lee, wll-known forensic expert. 8/22, 8/23, 8/25, 8/28

Laura Hart McKinney, North Carolina screenwriter who taped conversations with Fuhrman in which he used the N-word. 8/29, 9/5, 9/6

Kathleen Bell, woman who says Fuhrman used racist language at Marine Corps Recruiting Station. 9/5

Natalie Singer, says Fuhrman used N-Word in front of her in 1987. 9/5

William Blasini Jr., says he saw Bronco at tow yard on June 21 and saw no blood inside. 9/5

Rolf Rokahr, LAPD photographer. 9/5

Roderic Hodge, man arrested by Mark Fuhrman in 1987; says Fuhrman used the N-word 9/6

Det. Mark Fuhrman, pleading the Fifth 9/6

Philip Vannatter, LAPD detective. 9/19

Michael Wacks, FBI special agent. 9/19

Larry Fialto, reputed mob figure and FBI informer. 9/19

Craig "Tony the Animal" Fialto, reputed mob figure and FBI informer. 9/19

Rebuttal Witnesses:

Herbert MacDonell, conducted shrinkage experiment on gloves. 9/18

Trial Statistics

Days Simpson spent in jail: 474

The total days from the start of jury selection to the verdict: 372

Number of questions on jury questionnaire: 294

Days jurors were sequestered: 266 at the Inter-Continental Hotel in downtown Los Angeles

Length of closing arguments: 4 days

Length of opening statements: 4 days

Length of deliberations: less than 4 hours

Average age of juror: 43

Number of jurors picked: 12 plus 12 alternates

Number of jurors dismissed: 10

Number of alternates left at end of trial: 2

Witnesses: defense 54; prosecution 72

Days of testimony: defense 34; prosecution 99

Exhibits presented during testimony: defense 369; prosecution 488

Number of motions filed: 433 total (no breakdown available)

Number of attorneys who presented evidence in court: defense 11; prosecution 9.

Number of times judge pulled plug on television: 2

Cost of trial: an estimated $9.1 million for Los Angeles County

Cost of sequestering the jury: $3 million

Total spent by O.J. Simpson on his defense team: an estimated $2.75 million

Amount earned by each of the 12 jurors and two alternates: $1,330 (at $5 a day for time of sequestration)

Length of official court transcript: more than 50,000 pages

Number of media credentials issued: more than 1,000

Number of telephone lines installed in press room: 250

Seating capacity in courtroom: 80

Fines imposed on defense: $3,000

Fines imposed on prosecution: $850

Fines imposed on others: $1,800

© Copyright 2000-2001 Jack Walraven, All Rights Reserved.
Last Update: Mar 21, 2001