Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from the People vs. O.J. Simpson

Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from the People vs. O.J. Simpson

Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from the People vs. O.J. Simpson

Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from the People vs. O.J. Simpson

Synopsis

The first account of the trial written with Judge Ito's cooperation, this is the narrative of the Los Angeles Superior Court's media liaison and features photographs that capture both the drama of the courtroom and the excesses of the media.

Excerpt

When former pro football player and TV pitchman O. J. Simpson was acquitted in the slashing deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, few foresaw the effect that trial would have on the judiciary and, consequently, on the public. Now, more than a decade after the verdicts, the Simpson trial remains a topic of debate and is cited as a major factor for an increase in such restrictive measures as gag orders, sealed documents, closed proceedings, and courtroom-camera bans. Those mea sures inhibit the public’s access to the courts and its understanding of court proceedings and the judicial system.

No other case in recent times, not even the 2005 Michael Jackson childmolestation trial, has come close to affecting the U.S. judiciary and media access to the courts or shaping public perception as much as the Simpson trial did. Even today, judges, journalists, and lawyers across the country say Simpson changed everything.

While hardly the first case to be called the “trial of the century,” the Simpson case came to epitomize media excess and perceived judicial mismanagement. It was, and continues to be, the subject of countless news stories. It launched an industry of legal punditry and even, some say, the reality-TV phenomenon. Yet, despite an explosion of news outlets in the past decade, the media and the public now have less access to and a diminished understanding of the third branch of government, thanks in part to the Simpson trial and media coverage of it.

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