O.J. Simpson Nevada Conviction Upheld, Co-Defendant's Reversed

The Nevada Supreme Court today upheld O.J. Simpson's convictions for armed robbery and kidnapping.

The opinion is here.

The Court reversed the conviction of his co-defendant, saying he should have received a separate trial due to, among other things, the prejudice of being tried with O.J. The opinion is here.

When will he be eligible for parole on the 33 year sentence? My best guess, 9 years.

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    Interesting that the prejudice against OJ (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Peter G on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:52:32 PM EST
    prevented his co-defendant from getting a fair trial, as I understand your summary of the decision, but the same prejudice (presumably) didn't affect the fairness of the trial as to OJ himself.

    That does seem a bit disjointed (none / 0) (#11)
    by Radix on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:45:37 PM EST
    doesn't it.

    Oh, I can see the distinction (none / 0) (#20)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 07:32:05 PM EST
    as it's fair for OJ to have to face up to being OJ.

    That's different for facing unfairness for being with OJ.


    I can't agree with you, CC (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Peter G on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 08:18:49 PM EST
    The jury in a criminal case should decide whether the state has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt without regard to who the defendant is.  In a criminal case, in other words, with respect to culpability on the present charges, he should not have to "face up to being OJ."

    Ah, well you're reading into it (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 08:28:14 PM EST
    more than I meant.  Mr. John Doe Simpson should stand on his own to be judged as to his part in a crime or not, and others should stand on their own.  I'm never a fan of multiple defendants at once, as there are so many parts in any event -- and as too many are adjudged part of events when they were not, from past cases I have read about.

    In this case, I must be missing the part that says the trial of Mr. Simpson was unfair; I only see that linking the other defendant in the trial was unfair.  A fine hair to split, but that's not unusual in judicial reasoning, is it?

    Of course, squeaky also is reading into it more than I meant, but for different reasons . . . squeaky being squeaky.  And I don't consider you, Peter, as being with squeaky.  So few are.


    Depends on what the opinion actually says, (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Peter G on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 09:01:22 PM EST
    as opposed to the linked news article, which frankly is all I've read.  So let's let it rest.  As always, I have nothing but admiration and high regard for your consistently thoughtful, well-informed, and temperate comments, CC.

    Mark Furman was on Oprah this week (none / 0) (#1)
    by Slado on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:26:48 PM EST
    I know, why is Slado watching Oprah?  

    Anyway it was pretty interesting to get his take.  I had no idea how bungled the prosecution and the detective work where.  Unused evidence, silly tactics etc...

    I watched too (none / 0) (#2)
    by Amiss on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:41:16 PM EST
    Just because I was fascinated with what he was going to say.

    I must admit I had accepted the (none / 0) (#8)
    by Slado on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:33:37 PM EST
    typical stereotype about him and found him rather sympathetic.

    In the back of my mind I do realize that Oprah always fawns over her guests and rarely goes after them.

    That said I felt bad that one mistake on the jury stand ruined his career and obviously left him bitter.


    so when it's a cop (none / 0) (#33)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 10:05:32 PM EST
    committing a crime (perjury) is just a "mistake on the witness stand?"

    You should never lie (none / 0) (#40)
    by Slado on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:15:33 AM EST
    He should have said, "yes, I've used the Nword and it was wrong".

    However he wasn't lying about evidence or trying to frame OJ.  That said what he did was wrong.


    For which case? The murder trial or robbery (none / 0) (#3)
    by republicratitarian on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:49:40 PM EST
    robbery, he was acquitted of (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 10:06:57 PM EST
    the crime of murder. This is the appeal of his 2008 Las Vegas kidnapping/robbery case .

    Fuhrman's book about (none / 0) (#4)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:28:15 PM EST
    the O.J. case is fascinating.  I think it's called something obvious like "Murder in Brentwood" and in it he runs down a great deal of detail about his and his partner's (um, a black guy, btw) investigation of the case and the stuff they found that Marcia whatsername never used.

    I followed (none / 0) (#5)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:44:30 PM EST
    the case closely back then.  The whole prosecution was a clusterf**k of massive proportions.  While I did think that O.J. was guilty, I would not have voted that way if I were on the jury because the prosecutors did not prove their case "beyond a reasonable doubt."  It is incumbent upon the government to present a good case, good investigative procedures, good chain of evidence, and so on.  If they take short-cuts, or cheat, they should lose.  The state has too much power to allow them to get away with sloppiness or illegalities in their quest to find someone guilty.  

    I didn't Furman's book, but I read (none / 0) (#7)
    by republicratitarian on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:00:56 PM EST
    Evidence Dismissed

    Written by the Detectives Tom Lange Phillip Vannater. Great read.


    I never (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:28:54 PM EST
    read the book but heard Chris Darden speak and he was absolutely livid at Fuhrman. He said that Fuhrman ruined any case they had going with his stupidity. He also said btw, that the things Fuhrman said about women was just unconscionable.

    Yeah, well (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 05:09:27 PM EST
    Chris Darden was in fairly desperate need of somebody to blame for the whole fiasco.  He got pummeled very, very, very hard by the black community for being on the prosecution team and it obviously caused him a great deal of anguish.

    I would not say that Mark Fuhrman is a nice guy.  I don't think he is.  (Among other things, he's apparently a pretty rabid right-winger politically.)  But to suggest that Fuhrman ruined the case is simply ridiculous.  He was a superb and unimpeachable witness on evidence, until F. Lee Bailey's people did some in depth oppo research and completely destroyed him personally not on the facts of the case but by inference to support their assertion that the police could have framed O.J.

    You really should read the book.  I assume it's out of print but that a used PB copy can be gotten for pennies through Amazon.  It's a fascinating read about how real-life detectives go about their work.  He has also, of course, some interesting things to say about the whole N-word thing, for which he does not hold himself blameless.

    And just let me point out again that his partner as a detective during that whole time was a black man.


    Once a lead Detective (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:52:10 PM EST
    in the wake of Rodney King and Darryl Gates, gives an interview in which he uses the n word every five minutes and in which he talks cavalierly about instances of police brutality, he and the case he's intimately involved with are going to be toast in the hands of Cochrane & co.

    Who are you referring to? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 05:11:54 PM EST
    Fuhrman gave no "interview."  He did some ugly role-playing for a wannabe screen writer who wanted to get some sense of how brutal, bigoted cops talk and behave-- and that's according to the screen writer.

    "ugly role-playing" from (none / 0) (#17)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 05:35:49 PM EST
    from a white, right wing cop, that just happened to match, a little too intimately, the actual experience of a significant sector of the LA urban populace.    

    Exactly right. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 06:20:41 PM EST
    That's what the writer asked for and that's what he gave her.  He had lived and worked in that environment intimately, as you say.  He voluntarily sought psychiatric counseling because he was so upset about what it was doing to his head, and then asked to be transferred out of that district for the same reason.

    Are you talking about his filing (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 08:03:39 PM EST
    a disability claim in the early 80's? As Jeff Toobin (a former prosecutor and hardly a defense advocate) wrote in the New Yorker in 1995:

    The foundation for the defense assault on Fuhrman was a disability claim that Fuhrman had filed against the city in the early nineteen-eighties, in which he said that the stress of patrolling the inner city had left him psychologically scarred. "I have this urge to kill people that upset me," Fuhrman had told a psychiatrist who examined him. Fuhrman had lost the case and consequently remained with the L.A.P.D., but the file on his claim lay buried in public court files, and that explosive detonated around the time Simpson's lawyers began talking to me.

    Thus did Mark Fuhrman become the indispensable bogeyman in the defense team's strategy. At the time of my article not even Simpson's lawyers knew how lucky they were in having come up with the vain-glorious, hate-filled Fuhrman. A superior had noted in an evaluation of him that Fuhrman was obsessively intent upon making "the big arrest," and, as we now know, Fuhrman's ego eventually drove him to spin his unforgettable tales of bigoted braggadocio for the tape recorder of the aspiring screenwriter Laura Hart McKinny. It is astonishing in itself that Fuhrman would boast to McKinny about beating suspects, hating "n***," concocting evidence, and the like. That he would do so on tape suggests a special, twisted vanity.

    So, are there circumstances (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 09:41:54 PM EST
    "I have this urge to kill people that upset me," Fuhrman had told a psychiatrist who examined him.

    where a psychiatrist is given the liberty to repeat what a patient says to them in confidence? Toobin put the words in quotes, too.

    I've always thought Fuhrman was probably a very good detective, but not a person I would ever want to meet.


    Actually, I've met him (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 10:02:02 PM EST
    and he's pretty personable. It's only his views I have a problem with.

    I'm sure he's very personable (none / 0) (#39)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 10:14:33 AM EST
    Manipulators generally are. He strikes me as being intelligent, charming, and judgmental. A horrible combination. Known many like him.

    Assuming the quote is true (none / 0) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 01:11:09 AM EST
    it's rather revealing of basic character, wouldn't you say?  Seems to me the role-playing with the writer takes on a rather different character in light of that quote.

    Yes, that's the one (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 01:09:18 AM EST
    Thanks for the reminder of why I so disliked the young Jeff Toobin.  He's grown up some since then and doesn't so freely attach personal judgments to his writing/commenting as if they were proven facts.

    I'll say it again.  I don't think Fuhrman is a very likable person. At least, I don't like him much at all.  But he's a very different person from the stereotypical bad cop he's been painted as, thanks to F. Lee.  (A great lawyer, but certainly ruthless about collateral damage in defense of his clients.)

    I say again that anybody with enough interest to comment on Mark Fuhrman and the OJ trial ought to read his book on the subject.  He was never given the opportunity at the time to give his side of the story, both about the trial and about the horrible episode with the writer and his professional history, as far as I ever saw.

    My only interest in this is that I object vehemently to painting complex human beings in broad caricatures, whether it's Sarah Palin or Mark Fuhrman.


    He admitted it (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 07:33:36 PM EST
    Read his plea agreement when he pleaded guilty to felony perjury. There were four witnesses who testified to his use of the racial epithet, it wasn't just the screenwriter.

    On September 5, 1995, Laura Hart McKinny testified. In her testimony she laid the foundation for two tape recorded excerpts which, in Defendant's own statements as recorded, impeached defendant's denial of any use of the racial epithet during the ten year period. She also testified that defendant had used the epithet in non-recorded conversations during the ten year time period.

    Three other witnesses, Kathleen Bell, Natalie Singer and Roderick Hodge, each testified to instances of defendant's use of the racial epithet within the ten year period.

    On September 6, 1995, defendant was recalled to the witness stand as a defense witness. Out of the presence of the trial jury, defendant asserted his constitutional right not to incriminate himself.

    He's lucky he got probation.

    Read the Frontline interviews of the participants (Dershowitz for one) including on whether there was planted evidence:

    There is absolutely no doubt that the sock that was soaked in blood was planted. Why? First of all, the blood had EDTA on it, a chemical that's an anticoagulant that is not found in the human body; it's only found in tubes. So we were able to prove that the police had poured blood from the test tubes onto the sock.

    Moreover, the splatter pattern on the sock was such that it was consistent only with blood having been poured on the sock, and not with blood having hit one side of the sock and then soaked through the leg in the middle and then hit the other side of the sock.

    Third, there was a videotape of the house on the morning of the search which showed that the black socks were not on the white rug in the place where the police claimed they found them. So I think all the jurors concluded that the sock was planted. And once you conclude that the blood on the sock was planted, you begin to have doubts about all the rest of the evidence.

    Together, Vannatter, Lange and Furhman torpedoed the case. Why buy or read a book by any of them? The trial transcripts speak for themselves.


    And from Scott Turow (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 07:41:03 PM EST
    to Frontline:

    Did the O.J. defense cross that line?

    There were some examples where I thought lines had been crossed, yes. But was it anywhere near as egregious as what went on in terms of the testimony that was offered from Vannatter and Fuhrman? Not by my lights. Not by my lights.

    Turow said from the prelim on, their stories were a "fairy tale."


    The funny thing was (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 07:56:33 AM EST
    The prosecution and police work were so inept, yet, at the same time, the defense was also able to convince jurors that the cops were so on the ball, they were able to plan this grand conspiracy in a matter of hours to frame OJ - without even knowing if he had an airtight alibi or anything.  Had the prosecution done its job right, they would have been able to point out the dichotomy of the defense's claim - on one hand the cops were so inept, they bungled the investigation, and on the other hand, they were brilliant masterminds who planned to frame a famous person for a horrendous crime.

    It astounds me that no one on the prosecution team saw this - it was right there for them to connect the dots.


    once again (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 06:58:11 PM EST
    if you aren't interested in a topic here, scroll on by. Bye.

    Bugliosi's book (none / 0) (#41)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 10:14:53 AM EST
    on the O.J. case was interesting too. He blasted the prosecution, saying essentailly what gryfalcon said above, namely that despite O.J.'s obvious guilt, a jury would have no choice but to acquit based on the lousy job the prosecution did.

    As for Alan Dershowitz, I don't know if I would consider him a totally reliable source. Especially in this case.

    And as for O.J. (none / 0) (#42)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 10:15:27 AM EST
    Sorry, not shedding a tear. Let him stay in prison.