Simpson, Prosecutor Team Up Both Oppose Disclosing Medical Records, Photos

Article excerpt

O.J. Simpson's lawyers teamed up with the prosecutors Tuesday to oppose public disclosure of medical records, crime-scene photos and other evidence before the trial.

The accord came in response to a motion by Gannett Co. asking Judge Lance Ito to unseal transcripts of private judge-attorney sessions, let the press see gruesome photos of the bodies of the murder victims and hold public hearings on the contents of a mystery envelope the defense turned over to the court.

Simpson has been charged with slaying his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, at her home the evening of June 12.

Gannett, a media conglomerate, publishes USA Today.

Ito delayed a ruling until he could study the matter further.

After sniping at one another over who was responsible for leaking evidence to the media, the defense and prosecution agreed that secrecy is essential if Simpson is to receive a fair trial.

"This matter has been overtried in the press," Simpson's chief attorney, Robert Shapiro, complained. "We ask for something simple under the U.S. Constitution - a trial by jury."

Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark accused the defense and police of spreading "unfounded and outrageous" rumors. "There is an outcry by both sides that we cannot receive a fair trial because of the intensity of media coverage," she said.

She said that the only purpose to be served by allowing the press to inspect the murder scene photographs would be so that "they can then describe in lurid detail every little bit of the pictures and prejudice the right of both sides to select a fair jury in this matter. …