Known officially as the People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson, the O.J. Simpson trial was one of the most widely reported criminal prosecutions in American history. It involved a number of important lawyers from the defense and prosecution teams.
Marcia Clark: During the trial, she rose to prominence as the case’s chief prosecutor. Throughout the process, Clark was subjected to considerable public pressure and media criticism.
Christopher Darden: He collaborated closely with Clark and played a major role in the direct questioning of multiple important witnesses. The choice Darden made to have Simpson try on the bloody gloves that were discovered at the crime scene and at Simpson’s house sparked backlash.
Defense (also called the “Dream Team”):
Johnnie Cochran: Known for spearheading Simpson’s defense, Cochran was the chief defense lawyer. His statement, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” regarding the glove incident stated earlier, is one of his most iconic quotes.
Robert Shapiro: Before Cochran took over, Shapiro, an accomplished defense lawyer, served as the lead counsel. He was a major contributor to the early defense plan’s development.
F. Lee Bailey: Well-known attorney Bailey cross-examined important prosecution witnesses, including LAPD officer Mark Fuhrman. Bailey was a member of the defense team in the Sam Sheppard case.
Renowned appellate attorney and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz participated in the case’s appellate proceedings and offered general legal counsel.
Robert Kardashian: A lawyer and close friend of Simpson’s, Kardashian was perceived as backing Simpson and renewed his license to help with the case.
Co-founders of the Innocence Project Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld were experts in DNA evidence. They were essential in refuting the DNA evidence used by the prosecution.
Gerald Uelmen: A legal professor who was well-known for saying “garbage in, garbage out” throughout the trial and who gave the closing arguments.
Carl E. Douglas: He collaborated closely with Johnnie Cochran and took part in many planning and strategy discussions for the trial.
O.J. Simpson was found not guilty on October 3, 1995, following a trial that took place from January to October of that same year. In the years since the decision, there has been a great deal of debate and analysis regarding the performance of the defense team, the mistakes made by the prosecution, and the part that race and the media had in the trial.