THIS Is A Great Explanation For What Went Wrong In The O. J. Simpson Case

Photo: Desiree Navarro/WireImage.
The third part of Ezra Edelman's ESPN documentary, O.J.: Made in America, focuses on the circumstances of O. J. Simpson's trial. The episode includes archival footage, as well as new interviews with key players in the case.

The documentary features interviews with L.A. County prosecutor Marcia Clark, Deputy District Attorney Bill Hodgman, and former L.A. district attorney Gil Garcetti, among others.

In the interviews, Clark, who served as the lead prosecutor in Simpson's trial, is blunt about the various failings that happened during Simpson's investigation and trial.

For example, the series' third installment includes recordings from the LAPD's original questioning of Simpson, when he said he hurt his hand on a glass in Chicago. Clark suggests that the police didn't question Simpson enough about the specifics of what he was doing the night Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman were killed.

"There's a million things that they just let go," Clark says of the police questioning. She cites the LAPD's failure to ask specific questions about Simpson's hand injury as one example. If he cut it in Chicago, Clark says, they could have asked why his blood was on the Bronco.

Clark also mentions Simpson's celebrity status and suggests that he was treated differently by the police: "If he was any other guy, would you have let him go?"

She also criticized the fact that the jurors visited Simpson's Rockingham estate, saying it wasn't relevant to the case. If the jurors did need to see Simpson's home, all they needed to know was where the glove was found outside, Clark says. Instead, the jurors went inside the estate. The decor had been altered before their visit.

Carl E. Douglas, an attorney at Johnnie Cochran's firm and a member of Simpson's defense team, says in the documentary that the team did change some of the photos displayed in the house before the jurors went there. Many of the photos displayed on Simpson's walls were of him with white friends. But the defense team swapped a number of them out with images of Simpson with Black friends.
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"If we had a Latin jury, we would have had a picture of him in a sombrero," Douglas says in the documentary. "There would have been a mariachi band out front." Mike Gilbert, Simpson's former agent, also says in the episode that "what we did that day is create an illusion." In addition to changing out some of the photos, the defense team also took a Norman Rockwell lithograph from Cochran's office and displayed it near Simpson's staircase.

"It was never relevant to begin with, and now it's completely irrelevant," Clark said of the Rockingham estate. She criticized Judge Lance Ito for allowing the jury to visit the home.

Hodgman also outlined some of the case's shortcomings in the documentary's third installment. "Marcia seemed to discount the fact that Black women jurors didn't seem to appreciate her very much," Hodgman says in the episode. The jury included eight Black women.

For her part, Clark says in the episode, "We wound up with eight African-American women. I thought, You know, it'll be an uphill battle, but I think they'll listen."

"I have to tell you, personally, for all the cases I've tried, I never felt so white," Hodgman says.
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