O.J. Simpson Murder Trial

O.J. Simpson Murder Trial

The O. J. Simpson murder case (officially called the People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson) was a criminal trial held in Los Angeles County, California Superior Court that spanned from the primary jury being sworn in on November 2, 1994 to opening statements on January 24, 1995 to a verdict on October 3, 1995. Former American football star and actor O. J. Simpson was tried on two counts of murder following the June 1994 deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. The case has been described as the most publicized criminal trial in American history. Ultimately, Simpson was acquitted after a lengthy trial that lasted over eight months which was presided over by Judge Lance Ito.

Simpson hired a high-profile defense team initially led by Robert Shapiro and subsequently led by Johnnie Cochran. Los Angeles County believed it had a solid prosecution case, but Cochran was able to persuade the jurors that there was reasonable doubt about the DNA evidence (then a relatively new type of evidence in trials) – including that the blood-sample evidence had allegedly been mishandled by lab scientists and technicians – and about the circumstances surrounding other exhibits. Cochran and the defense team also alleged other misconduct by the Los Angeles Police Department. Simpson's celebrity and the lengthy televised trial riveted national attention on the so-called "Trial of the Century". By the end of the criminal trial, national surveys showed dramatic differences in the assessment of Simpson's guilt between most blacks and most whites.

Later, both the Brown and Goldman families sued Simpson for damages in a civil trial. On February 6, 1997, a jury unanimously found there was a preponderance of evidence to hold Simpson liable for damages in the wrongful death of Goldman and battery of Brown. On February 21, 2008, a Los Angeles court upheld a renewal of the civil judgment against him.

Read more about O.J. Simpson Murder Trial:  Murders, Ford Bronco Chase, Arrest and Trial, Media Coverage, Reaction To The Verdict, Civil Trial, Aftermath of Trials

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