Sunday, October 3, 2010
O.J. Simpson Acquited 1995
In closing arguments, Deputy District Attorney Christopher A. Darden ridiculed the notion that police officers might have wanted to frame O.J. Simpson. He questioned why, if the LAPD was against Simpson, they went to his house eight times on domestic violence calls without arresting him before eventually citing him for abuse in 1989, and why they then waited five days to arrest him for the 1994 murders.
Defense Attorney Johnnie Cochran's jury summation compared Mark Fuhrman, proven to have repeatedly referred to African-Americans as "niggers" and to have boasted of beating young African-Americans in his role as a police officer, to Adolf Hitler, a technique which was later criticized by Robert Shapiro and by at least one juror. Cochran called Fuhrman "a genocidal racist, a perjurer, America's worst nightmare and the personification of evil." Fuhrman later pleaded no contest to felony charges of perjury, arising from his testimony in Simpson's trial.
Fears grew that race riots would erupt all over Los Angeles if Simpson was convicted of the murders, similar to the 1992 riots following the acquittal of four police officers for beating black motorist Rodney King. As a result, police officers were put on 12-hour shifts, and a line of over 100 police officers on horseback surrounded the L.A. county courthouse on the day of the verdict, in case of rioting by the crowd.
At 10:09.32 a.m. on October 3, 1995, after only four hours of deliberation the previous day, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.