Rare images from the OJ Simpson trial

Arguably one of the most controversial cases of all time, the Trial of Oj Simpson was an American tragedy that turned into a media circus. On the night of June 12, 1994 the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were found outside of her home in Brentwood. Local authorities arrested Oj Simpson for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend. The trial itself was out of control and contained conflicting pieces of DNA samples, too many jury swaps to count, and reckless behavior from both sides of the law.

The Trial Of The Century

In 1994, Oj Simpson was charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and a local waiter, Ron Goldman. In 1995, what would be referred to as the “trial of the century” would unfold and remain in the media eye for 11 months.

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Pleading Innocent

At a Los Angeles county courthouse, Oj Simpson pled guilty to the charges brought against him. The former Heisman Trophy winner remained in prison for the duration of the trial; from January until October of 1995.

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A Collective Defense Team

Slowly, Simpson cultivated a small, yet impressive collection of defense attorneys to fight the opposition. The defense team included Bob Shapiro, Robert Kardashian, F. Lee Bailey, Gerald Uelmen, and the unprecedented leader, Johnnie Cochran.

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Johnnie Cochran & Company

Prior to the case’s hearing, F. Lee Bailey was enlisted by Oj Simpson to head the defense team and soon after, Bob Shapiro was recruited as the lead defense attorney on the case. It was at this point, that Johnnie Cochran joined the team and eventually, took primary leadership in the courtroom.

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The Prosecution

The lead prosecutor in the Trial of Oj Simpson was Marcia Clark, who was aided by Assistant Prosecutor, Christopher Darden. The televised trial quickly escalated from a murder case to the treatment of African-Americans by California law enforcement.

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“The Dream Team”

The media coined Simpson’s defense collection as The Dream Team. By the end of the trial, Oj Simpson had employed a total of 10 defense attorneys; two of which were DNA specialists Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld.

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Eunice Simpson In Attendance

As expected, Eunice Simpson stood by her son during the course of the trial and was present from Day 1 of the legal proceedings. At the time of the trial, she was 80 years and voluntarily testified on behalf of her son, Oj. Eunice passed away in 2001.

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Judge Ito Presiding

The LA Judge presiding over the Oj Simpson trial was Lance Ito. During and after the trial, Judge Ito has been publicly criticized for allowing the issue of race to become a forefront topic of the 11-month process.

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Cochran Addresses The Press

The case had garnered an unstable amount of media attention and press before it had even begun and at the helm of Johnnie Cochran, the public’s interest and emotional response to the trial heightened. In 1994, Oj Simpson was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine with a caption that read “An American Tragedy.”

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The Opposing Sides

The trial quickly became a stand-off between the prosecution and the defense, more specifically between Johnnie Cochran and Marcia Clark. Prior to the Oj Simpson trial, Johnnie Cochran had also represented high-profile cases as the defense attorney of Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, Tupac Shakur, and Michael Jackson.

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Marcia Clark On The Case

Marcia Clark was the lead prosecutor, assisted by Christopher Darden. As a female, she was ridiculed for her physical appearance and following the trial was blamed, by author Vincent Bugliosi, for the not guilty verdict given by the trial’s jurors.

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Witness: Denise Brown

Denise Brown, the younger sister of Nicole, testified on her behalf during the trial. Her testimony stated that Oj was abusive to her sister, both physically and emotionally. Following Denise’s testimony, Christopher Darden presented factual evidence of previous occasions where Nicole called the cops on Oj for domestic abuse.

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Witness: Kato Kaelin

Kato Kaelin was a tenant living in Oj Simpson’s guest house at the time of the murder. Kato was the last person to see Oj before the time of the crime took place.

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The Parents Of Ron Goldman

In court, sat the family of Ron Goldman – his sister Kim, his mother Sharon, and his father Fred. They sat near Denise Brown and Nicole’s mother, Juditha Ann.

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Witness: Mark Fuhrman

Mark Fuhrman was a Los Angeles police officer who had been called to testify during the trial. The defense argued that Fuhrman framed Oj and used his prior record of racist statements to prove he had the motivation to do so.

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OJ & Johnnie.. Together Forever

Johnnie Cochran was an advocate for victims of police brutality, particularly in the Los Angeles region. During the Oj Simpson trial, his primary objective was to establish a notion that African-American men are subjected to unfair trials at the hands of caucasian authorities.

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A Restless Defense

Throughout the trial, cameras and television sets across the nation would bear witness to the defense team and their disinterest in the prosecution’s arguments. Pictured below is Simpson, Cochran, and Shapiro appearing dissatisfied.

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Christopher Darden Takes A Stand

As opposing forces, Christopher Darden and Johnnie Cochran would often bump head-to-head in the courtroom. Following the glove controversy, Darden would accuse Cochran of tampering with it prior to public fitting.

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The Brown Women

Near the Goldmans, sat Denise and Juditha Simpson for the entirety of the trial. On February 2, 2016, FX debuted a biographical depiction of the trial, a Ryan Murphy project entitled “The People Versus Oj.” The Brown women were outraged that the date of the show’s premiere took place on the anniversary of Nicole’s murder.

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Marcia Clark: Opening Statements

After Marcia Clark concluded her opening statements, she received well-rounded praise for initial, descriptive efforts. The lead prosecutor spoke for 2 and a half hours followed up by Chris Darden for another hour.

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A Trial That Turned Into A Circus

The media coverage surrounding the trial was impossible to ignore. The “Big Three” news networks gave the Oj Simpson trial more coverage and attention than the Oklahoma City Bombings and the Bosnian War – combined.

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Looking At The Simpson Estate

Photographed during the trial, are the defense and prosecuting attorneys dissecting the crime scene; otherwise known as Oj Simpson’s estate. In 2016, a buried knife was found on the Oj estate and was handed in by a construction worker.

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Glancing Over Documents

Clark and Cochran were forced to work together and find a solution to their jury problem. Before the criminal proceedings could officially begin, the attorneys had interviewed over 300 potential jurors and battled to choose the prospects that would suit their cases most.

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Witness: Rosa Lopez

The defense called Rose Lopez, the neighbor’s housekeeper, to testify that she saw Oj’s White Ford Bronco outside of his home at 10 pm on the night of the murders. Darden had implied that she was bribed by the defense with $5,000 and she changed her story a dozen times during questioning.

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Judge Ito Ignites The Media

At a specific point during the trial, the prosecution requested that Judge Ito step down as Judge. It came to light that Lance Ito’s wife, Margaret York, once worked as Mark Fuhrman’s superior officer. The prosecution withdrew their request shortly after making it, fearing it would cause a mistrial.

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2 Heads Are Better Than 1

The relationship between Marcia Clark and Chris Darden was speculated to surpass the realms of friendship and work colleagues. Darden has openly admitted that they were “more than friends” but not necessarily romantic. Whatever that means…

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Bob Shapiro Stuck To OJ Simpson

From the early stages, Bob Shapiro wanted to cement his position as lead defense attorney. His indifference towards Johnnie Cochran and his intention to play the “race card” put him at odds with Oj outside of the courtroom. Eventually, Oj leaned more towards Johnnie than he did Bob.

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OJ Keeping Tabs On Cochran

The 2 men may have had a “close” relationship throughout the legal proceedings but Cochran and Oj weren’t always on the same page. Oj Simpson was interested in saving himself by use of his reputation and Johnnie was interested in making Oj an example of what’s wrong with the Los Angeles authorities.

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If The Glove Fits…

In a move that would backfire on the prosecution, they hastily requested that Oj Simpson try on the pair of X-Large gloves found out the crime scene of the murder. The gloves, allegedly, didn’t fit the former football star and soon enough, excuses and justifications from both sides of the arguing case began to spring forward.

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Hand To Hand “Combat”

In the picture below, Oj Simpson is pressing hands, palm to palm, with the owner of the company who made the X-Large pair of gloves – Aris Isotoner. This particular day, for the defense, was an easy win.

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In The Absence Of Jurors

The only common struggle that Marcia Clark and Johnnie Cochran shared was their trouble with the jury. After 101 days in sequestration, 13 of the 18 jurors refused to return to the courtroom and demanded a meeting with Judge Ito. Once they were forced to return, they did so; they returned wearing all black, citing a “funeral procession.”

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Judge Ito Fires At Scheck

Judge Ito can be seen below, yelling at DNA specialist and defense attorney Barry Scheck. In this image, Ito is forcing Scheck to sit down after objecting to a statement made by Marcia Clark in a hearing.

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Analyzing The Physical Evidence

The physical evidence produced during the trial contained bloody socks, arrest records, shoeprints, blood samples, and the famous left-handed glove. There was also a step by step depiction of how Oj could have committed the crime, time-wise.

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Marcia Makes Moves

Pictured below is a still of Marcia Clark presenting her closing argument. Looking back, the former prosecutor has stated that the closing argument “wasn’t her best.”

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The Goldman Family

For 11 months, the Goldmans sat in the Los Angeles county courthouse and waited to see the conclusion of the Oj Simpson Trial. Kim, Ron’s younger sister, even testified on his behalf.

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More Hand Gloating…

During the course of the trial, the “Dream Team” wasn’t as humble as you’d expect a crew of professional businessman to behave. Oj, Cochran and the remainder of the defense were often seen nodding off, rolling their eyes, and making casual smirks.

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A Stunned Marcia Clark

Marcia Clark and Chris Darden occasionally faced judgment calls by Lance Ito that were not received well at the District Attorney’s office or the general public. Following the conclusion of the case, Marcia Clark was quoted as saying the final verdict was “physically painful.”

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Robert Kardashian

Robert Kardashian was a friend of Oj Simpson’s since the 1970’s. When Oj Simpson was initially charged with the murders of Nicole and Ron, Robert had no qualms about defending his friend, both legally and emotionally.

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Cochran Slips On The Gloves

Cochran wasn’t the only defense attorney to try his hand (pun intended) at wearing the gloves. In 2016, Bob Shapiro admitted to trying them on outside of court and feeling that they would be too small for Oj. The glove controversy led Cochran to his most infamous line of the trial – “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

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Secrets Of The Defense

The rivalry between Johnnie Cochran and Bob Shapiro shifted gears frequently over the course of 11 months. The attorneys disagreed on whether or not to play the “race card” but more importantly, each man wanted to be the lead defense lawyer on the case.

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Marcia Clark Talks To Reporters

Marcia Clark experienced an unfair amount of ridicule and taunting as she led the “trial of the century.” Nude photos of her were leaked to the National Enquirer, her husband threatened to take her children away, and her outfits were criticized in contrast to the flashy appearance of Oj’s attorneys.

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Darden Makes A Literal Point

Christopher Darden’s position as the assistant prosecutor during the trial was questioned by, well, pretty much everyone. Legal commentators claimed he wasn’t the best attorney for the job and speculated that he was given the position to rock the “race card” boat Cochran had anchored down in the courtroom.

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OJ Entering Court

Even as a man on trial for murder, Oj Simpson still had a big head sitting on top of his shoulders. He was a professional athlete and occasional actor who caused a media storm after being indicted. Pictured below is Oj with F. Lee Bailey.

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Two Best Friends [/post_page_title

The relationship between Robert Kardashian and Oj fizzled following the trial. In 1996, the late Kardashian told ABC News, “I have doubts. The blood evidence is the biggest thorn in my side; that causes me the greatest problems. So I struggle with the blood evidence.”

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[post_page_title]Front Row Press

The press didn’t cover the Oj Simpson trial solely based on its legal standings; the media became infatuated with the American crime because of its influence on pop culture. By the end of the trial, the Los Angeles Times had printed feature page stories of the case for 300 days in a row.

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Nicole Brown Simpson

Before her death in 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson had called the police to her home on several different occasions claiming that her husband was physically hurting her. Nicole and Oj divorced in 1992, with Simpson pleading no contest to spousal abuse. They made an unsuccessful attempt to reconcile in 1993.

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The Socks From Oj’s Bedroom

When LA authorities searched Oj’s house, they found a pair of bloody socks in his bedroom. This pair of socks was presented as material evidence at the trial; pictured below is LA Police Criminalist Collin Yamauchi explaining the evidence to the court.

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Mark Fuhrman On The Stand

When Mark Fuhrman took the stand he directly contributed to Oj’s acquittal. He was charged with committing perjury after a set of audiotapes had proven he used racial slurs within 10 years prior to the trial. Fuhrman also chose to “plead the 5th” when asked if he planted evidence against Oj Simpson.

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Marcia Clark’s Haircut

Marcia Clark debuted a new haircut in 1995 mid-way through the trial. The new ‘do only further propelled taunting towards the lead prosecutor; Johnnie Cochran and Oj Simpson were amongst the crowd of people making fun of her and calling her “hysterical.” She was the only legal personnel in the case whose physical appearance was unjustifiably teased.

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OJ & Johnnie Making Jokes

The picture below shows Johnnie and Oj behaving as their usual selves on a typical day in court. Following the release of FX’s The People Versus OJ, the real Simpson made a public statement (from prison) exclaiming that he did no approve of Johnnie’s portrayal on the show.

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The Deposition Of OJ

Simpson had chosen not to testify at his trial but did submit to a 7 part deposition. On the tapes, he says, “I think any marks that’s on her, I take full responsibility for. I don’t know what else you want to do. I take total responsibility.”

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F. Lee Bailey

F. Lee Bailey had a high-profile roster of clients before joining the “Dream Team.” He had previously defended the Boston Strangler, Ernest Medina, and Patty Hearst. During the Oj trial, Bailey kept a silver flask on his desk which Rob Kardashian claimed only contained coffee.

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Detailing The Crime Scene

In this case, the timing was everything to the prosecution. However, with the shoddy testimony of Rosa Lopez, it was difficult to pinpoint the exact timeline of the fatal night’s events. Clark and Darden had to find a way to convince the jury that Oj was capable of committing the murders within a limited time frame.

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The Jenners’ 1st Television Appearance

At the time of the trial, Robert Kardashian was divorced from Kris Jenner. Kris, who had been close with Nicole, attended a fraction of the trial with her new husband, Bruce Jenner. The reality star also claimed that Oj was “like a big brother” to her.

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OJ’s Crocodile Tears

Oj Simpson may have chosen not to testify but he still found a way to speak up without the threat of a prosecution cross-examination. During his closing speech, he shed a few tears while talking about Nicole.

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A Theatrical Display

Johnnie Cochran presented his closing arguments quite dramatically. The underlying context he used in his arguments involved conspiracy, racism, and the flaws within the Los Angeles Police Department.

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The Goldmans’ Devestation

When the jury returned from deliberation, they announced a verdict of not guilty on both counts. The Goldmans, most understandably, were devastated and held each other as they reacted to the outcome of the trial.

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Kim Goldman Hears The Verdict

Pictured below is Kim Goldman, the younger sister of Ron Goldman. Today, Kim is the founding co-chair of The Ron Goldman Foundation For Justice and is a victim’s rights advocate.

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OJ’s Family Cheers

Pictured below is Oj’s mother Eunice, his daughter Arnelle, his son Jason, and his sister Shirley. The Simpson family is rejoicing after hearing the jury’s not guilty verdict.

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A Verdict Of Not Guilty

On October 3rd, 1995 Oj Simpson was acquitted of all charges. The jury took only 2 hours to deliberate. Today, Oj Simpson is serving 33 years in a Nevada prison for armed robbery and kidnapping.

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