O.J.: Made In America Episode 4 Recap

Photo: Lee Celano/WireImage.
In the fourth part of O.J.: Made in America, the trial is in full swing. The episode features archival footage from the courtroom as well as new interviews with key figures in the case.

The documentary includes statements from district attorney Gil Garcetti, lead prosecution attorney Marcia Clark, deputy district attorney Bill Hodgman, and Carl Douglas, an employee at Johnnie Cochran's firm and a member of O.J. Simpson's defense team, all gave original interviews for O.J.: Made in America. Director Ezra Edelman also secured interviews with former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman, as well as two of the jurors from the trial.

Much of the episode focuses on the evidence presented in the courtroom. Simpson's defense team attempted to discredit the evidence in a number of ways, including suggesting that it wasn't gathered properly. We see courtroom footage of Barry Scheck, who served on Simpson's defense team, sowing doubts about the DNA evidence.

The defense team argued that the DNA evidence could have been contaminated. A videotape from the crime scene appeared to show LAPD criminalist Dennis Fung collecting a piece of evidence without wearing gloves. "Dennis Fung was a definite weak link," Clark says in the documentary.

The "Dream Team" also argued that blood evidence may have been planted at the crime scene, as an earlier photo didn't appear to show a blood droplet that was later cited as evidence. For her part, Clark says in the episode that "the defense is trying to insinuate that somebody took the blood that had been drawn from Simpson's arm, then took that test tube and sprinkled it all over the crime scene. And it's ridiculous." Clark also calls the defense team's arguments about the DNA evidence "unethical."

We also see an archival recording of Garcetti stating that DNA evidence "doesn't have biases or prejudices" and that the DNA was tested in two separate labs. "All the DNA evidence points to Mr. Simpson as being the person who committed those horrible crimes," Garcetti says.

"This was a case about blood. That was the heart of the case," Hodgman says in the episode. So casting doubt about the blood evidence was an effective strategy for the defense.

Of course, the discussion of evidence focused heavily on Fuhrman's testimony as well. F. Lee Bailey, one of Simpson's defense attorneys, suggested during the trial that the glove Fuhrman found outside Simpson's house still had "moist, sticky blood" on it. Bailey asked Fuhrman whether the blood would have been dried by the time it was found — suggesting it could have stayed moist in a plastic bag. (In a later round of questioning, Fuhrman pled the fifth when asked if he'd planted any evidence in the case.)

The fourth episode focuses heavily on Fuhrman, both in archival footage and interviews with the former detective himself. The defense team showed the jury portions of taped interviews Fuhrman had given writer Laura Hart McKinny, in which he used a racist slur while discussing police brutality and other police business.

"Some of the characters in that screenplay, I wrapped around some of the people that I knew on LAPD and other departments," Fuhrman says in the documentary. "I can remember where I heard them, I can remember, some, who said 'em, and then there's a little exaggeration in them."

But the alleged racism played into the perception of the LAPD being biased, thanks to earlier incidents cited in the documentary, including the beating of Rodney King. "Fuhrman may say he was just fictionalizing, but his words rang true," Douglas says in the episode.
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Photo: SAM MIRCOVICH/AFP/Getty Images.

The other key point of the episode is the courtroom scene when Simpson tried on the gloves in question. Clark says in the documentary that she tried to convince fellow prosecutor Chris Darden not to ask Simpson to try on the gloves. "It was the biggest fight Chris and I ever had," Clark says.

"I looked at him like, 'I can't believe you did it. You let him play you. You are the weaker one. And you didn't have to be,'" Yolanda Crawford, a member of the jury, says in the documentary. "Had O.J. never put that glove on, I would have assumed that it fit."

Darden's request ended up helping Simpson's defense team. In his summation to the jurors at the end of the trial, Johnnie Cochran said, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." The episode ends before the jury's verdict, and Simpson's acquittal, is revealed.
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