On Thursday September 6th, former Los Angeles District Attorney Christopher Darden accused Simpson’s late defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran of “manipulating” the glove that acquitted Simpson of murder.
Cochran passed away in 2005.
In 1995, OJ Simpson was charged with double homicide, of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman. In a pivotal moment in the racially-charged trial, Simpson tried on the bloody leather glove, which was clearly too small for his large palms and would not fit over his hand. Many in the jury said that piece of evidence convinced them that Simpson was not guilty.
However, at a panel discussion at Pace Law School in NYC this past Thursday, Darden claimed that Cochran “tore the lining.”
“There were some additional tears in the lining so that O.J.’s fingers couldn’t go all the way up into the glove,” he said.
In a follow-up interview the next day, Darden expanded on his statement. He said that the structure of the glove appeared to have changed between its admittance into evidence, and Simpson trying it on. “A bailiff told me the defense had it during the lunch hour,” he reported. He then said he had voiced similar concerns in TV interviews, but didn’t remember details.
At the time, Darden attempted to explain why the glove would not fit in a move considered one of the greatest legal blunders in history. The District Attorney brought in expert Richard Rubin, who explained that gloves can shrink “up to 15% if they are drenched in moisture. Even if stretched, the gloves could never return to more than 92% of their original size.”
As that evidence did not stand, the prosecutors then attempted to show that the gloves actually belonged to Nicole Brown Simpson.
Darden’s new statement comes as a surprise to many involved in both sides of the litigation. Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz was a member of Simpson’s defense team, and he said that Darden had never made this claim during the trial. Paul Callan, the lawyer who represented Nicole Brown Simpson’s estate in the successful civil suit against Simpson, agreed.
Questions about the gloves’ lining did come up in the 1995 trial, but there were no allegations against the defense lawyers at the time.
Dershowitz said that Darden’s statement was “a total fabrication” and that “the defense doesn’t get access to evidence except under controlled circumstances.”
“Having made the greatest legal blunder of the 20th century,” Dershowitz said of Darden, “he’s trying to blame it on the dead man.” If Darden had any evidence the gloves had been tampered with, Dershowitz said that he should have reported the misconduct, and even filed a grievance with California’s bar association. Darden retorted that he did not believe either of these measures would have changed anything, and that it was a “whiny-little-snitch approach to life.”
No one from the Cochran Firm has yet commented on Darden’s new allegations.
As in OJ Simpson’s case, even being accused of a crime can follow you the rest of your life. Your freedom, stability, and reputation are all at stake. The criminal defense lawyers at the Strom Law Firm can help. We represent clients both in the state of South Carolina and nationwide. We offer free consultations to help you with the facts of your case, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.