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Finally, a fitting and acquitting end
March 29, 2005 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Johnnie Cochran, R.I.P. "Cochran died at his home in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles of an inoperable brain tumor, according to his brother-in-law Bill Baker. His wife and his two sisters were with him at the time of his death. "Cochran, his family and colleagues were secretive about his illness to protect the attorney's privacy as well as the network of Cochran law offices that largely draw their cachet from his presence. But Cochran confirmed in a Sept. 2004 interview with The Times that he was being treated by the eminent neurosurgeon Keith Black at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles."
posted by allaboutgeorge (91 comments total)

 
wow, i'm surprised.


if it doesnt fit, you must aquit.
posted by obeygiant at 3:33 PM on March 29, 2005


He's gonna have some 'splainin' to do.
posted by Optamystic at 3:34 PM on March 29, 2005


That does not make sense!
posted by fungible at 3:34 PM on March 29, 2005


if he died of a tumor, it ain't no rumor.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:37 PM on March 29, 2005


You have to wonder what they're going to say to him when he gets to the Pearly Gates about some of the people he's defended.
posted by PossumCowboy at 3:38 PM on March 29, 2005


There's a little less space in hell now.
posted by Livewire Confusion at 3:39 PM on March 29, 2005


Guilty black male celebrities are SOL.
posted by dhoyt at 3:43 PM on March 29, 2005


Simpson, who was cleared of murdering his wife, told CNN: "I loved him as a good Christian man; I look at Johnny as a great Christian. I knew him as that. He was a great guy."

*eyeroll*
posted by dhoyt at 3:43 PM on March 29, 2005


I hope Jesus rapes him!
posted by Doug at 3:44 PM on March 29, 2005


There's a little less space in hell now.

Actually, he's launched a class action suit on behalf of the damned.
posted by jonmc at 3:44 PM on March 29, 2005


Just the sort of commentary I expected. Talk about your high tech lynching.
posted by y2karl at 3:44 PM on March 29, 2005


.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:46 PM on March 29, 2005


Wow, there's some news out of deep, deep left field. Bummer for him. Of course, in retrospect, this makes Kobe's hiring of that white fella, Geragos, a lot clearer.

y2karl, he made his bed, now he's been remembered for it.
posted by fenriq at 3:47 PM on March 29, 2005


there goes Michaels back up plan....
posted by j.p. Hung at 3:47 PM on March 29, 2005


after the fact upon preview: jonmc excluded. The damned can always use a good lawyer.
posted by y2karl at 3:47 PM on March 29, 2005


bravo jonmc

btw, the glove didnt fitting was only part of it

the columbian necktie was also a huge piece of reasonable doubt (self link)
posted by tsarfan at 3:48 PM on March 29, 2005


man, and i had a chance to take him over terry schiavo in the office death poll. damn you, vegas oddsmakers!
posted by Hat Maui at 3:48 PM on March 29, 2005


Why aren't the so-called Major News Sources covering this? Thanks for bringing this to my attention, allaboutgeorge. Now please excuse me while I forward this information to some friends and family because they probably won't hear about it and they totally give a shit.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:48 PM on March 29, 2005


Thanks for the exclusion, karl, but I still say a shyster is a shyster. If it was F. Lee Bailey or Robert Shapiro, we'd be saying the same shit. Being black and famous should not sheild anybody from earned ridicule.
posted by jonmc at 3:48 PM on March 29, 2005


Jackie Chiles: "Who told you to put the balm? How you know what's in the balm?"
posted by fixedgear at 3:49 PM on March 29, 2005


Wow. This thread has provided me with the most laughs I've had all day. That's kind of sad.
posted by btwillig at 3:51 PM on March 29, 2005


For the record, I'd just like to point out that if you feel that the guilty should not receive legal representation at trial, please contact your local representative. The constitution clearly needs to be amended. Of course, I'm not sure just how that system could work, but many in this thread seem to think it would be a good idea.
posted by Doug at 3:54 PM on March 29, 2005


Doug, I believe everybody deserves representation, and Cochran may have done some good work in his life, but I sincerely doubt that his defense of OJ Simpson was driven by altruism.
posted by jonmc at 3:56 PM on March 29, 2005


who says it needs to be driven by altruism?

it's a constitutional right.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:58 PM on March 29, 2005


Just the sort of commentary I expected. Talk about your high tech lynching.

Dead people can't be lynched.
posted by dhoyt at 3:59 PM on March 29, 2005


There's no way Michael Jackson will get off now.
posted by furtive at 3:59 PM on March 29, 2005


I sincerely doubt that his defense of OJ Simpson was driven by altruism.

I believe it was the piles and piles of money.

Save your pity for those who deserve it, Doug.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:59 PM on March 29, 2005


CNN's coverage includes the only real important information about his death though: Three paragraphs of OJ Simpson's reaction.
posted by x_3mta3 at 3:59 PM on March 29, 2005


Shyster? He was a defense lawyer and did his job damned well. His defense of Simpson was called 'doing his job' . Point your anger towards the idiots in the LA District attorney's Office and the LAPD.
posted by UseyurBrain at 4:00 PM on March 29, 2005


From the family's statement:

As Johnnie always said, 'an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' It was his rallying cry as he worked to right many wrongs, and as he provided a voice to those who needed to be heard.

Wonderful words. Too bad they're Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's.
posted by ColdChef at 4:02 PM on March 29, 2005


Mayor Curley: Since my best legal-defense option is finally resting, I throw myself upon the mercy of the court.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 4:02 PM on March 29, 2005


Give credit where credit is due. I'm just sayin'.
posted by ColdChef at 4:03 PM on March 29, 2005


jon, I don't claim he was driven by altruism. In fact, I don't pretend to know what his motivations were. I think Hat Maui basically summed up what I had to say.

Optimus Chyme: I honestly don't feel pity for the man. He lived a relatively long, prosperous life. I was just kind of shocked at the hatred people felt for him.

And let's be serious here, Cochran might have been a great lawyer, but the prosecution on the OJ case was AWFUL.
posted by Doug at 4:04 PM on March 29, 2005


Mind you, my opinion of Mr. Cochran's legal career and choice of clients does not mean I wish him any harm. His family has my condolences.

UseyurBrain, my opinion of most of the legal profession is not that good, so they're pretty much all shysters to me. And the failures of the DA's office notwithstanding, they were a bunch of civil servants up against a million dollar dream team. Money can buy you "justice."

Justice is lost
Justice is raped
Justice is gone
Pulling your strings
Justice is done
Seeking no truth
Winning is all
Find it so grim
So true
So real

posted by jonmc at 4:04 PM on March 29, 2005


.

He was one of the most successful shysters around. He had a very good run, and also did good--he represented Reginald Denny, and Abner Louima, and help clean up the LAPD's shit.
posted by amberglow at 4:07 PM on March 29, 2005


Sadly, the first thing I thought of when I heard this was "his most lasting legacy will be, in a way, the Chewbacca Defense".
posted by mrbill at 4:09 PM on March 29, 2005


Um, why is this a FPP? I mean, yeah, he defended OJ and adroitly played the race card, an amoral and divisive act that as a defense attorney, he was ethically obligated to do.

Was he a brilliant attorney? By all accounts. Was he a great manipulator of the media and of public opinion? Undisputably. But did he affect society in any lasting way, either for good or ill? No, I don't think so.

And now he's dead, and we have another "trial of the century" every six months.


Now if you want the imminent demise of men who did change our society, here's a man of whom I couldn't but think "here come his just desserts" when I heard he's critical condition. But he'd agree he'll be getting his "just desserts" too -- there's just a wide range of opinion on what those "just desserts" are.

"The Jews are returning to their land of unbelief. They are spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior."
"God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve"

posted by orthogonality at 4:10 PM on March 29, 2005


Dead people can't be lynched.
posted by dhoyt


Sure they can, dhoyt, its just boring without the twitching.
posted by fenriq at 4:11 PM on March 29, 2005


And the failures of the DA's office notwithstanding, they were a bunch of civil servants up against a million dollar dream team.

Oh please. They were the government. The notion that OJ Simpson had more resources than the State of California is just absurd.

On preview: just deserts damnit
posted by Armitage Shanks at 4:13 PM on March 29, 2005


ortho,

youre so wrong on so many counts.

- he played All his cards, just like you'd want your lawyer to do if you were up for double murder

- trials of the century are just that, you say theres one every 6 months? name the prosecuters, defense attny's, judges, and witnesses of these other TOCs -- quick! quick!

- because he won his case Riddled with reasonable doubt, you call him a manipulator? try again.
posted by tsarfan at 4:14 PM on March 29, 2005


Oh please. They were the government. The notion that OJ Simpson had more resources than the State of California is just absurd.

Armitage, let me put it to you this way: you're a brilliant attorney, are you gonna work for the DA's office and make $60k a year or work for a high-end private firm and take home 7 figures?

That's what I mean by the DA's office being outmatched.

And of course we're now arguing the Simpson case yet again, and no good can come of that. only hard feelings.
posted by jonmc at 4:17 PM on March 29, 2005


You have to rely on the prestige of working in the DA's office to attract top notch lawyers, because the pay certainly isn't going to. If people want to be pissed that OJ "bought justice", they should direct their anger to the same system that pays teachers next to nothing. If the state would pony up more money for salaries, they could afford the best lawyers, too.

I disagreed with nearly everything he stood for, but he is only an easy target for outrage - not a totally appropriate one.

On preview, what jon said.
posted by gatorae at 4:18 PM on March 29, 2005


The notion that OJ Simpson had more resources than the State of California is just absurd.

I don't think "volume of resources" is at issue, although if you understood the funding of District Attorneys vs. private defense attorneys we can all understand that OJ had more resources.

The case (and Cochran) proved that reasonable doubt could be manufactured when otherwise absent. That's always been the case, of course, but this, like Schiavo, just happened to be made extremely public.

There are worse attorneys than Cochran out there, like those who fall asleep during their trials and provide otherwise inadequate counsel. Let's not berate the dead man for being a damn good lawyer; we need more of them out there.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 4:19 PM on March 29, 2005


now Falwell will not get a "."

no way. no how. never.

Cochran did do good in this world, which is either enough, or a lot, depending on how you look at it. The outlawing of the carotid choke hold in LA is directly his doing, and it saved lives.
posted by amberglow at 4:19 PM on March 29, 2005


Don't worry, OJ's currently looking for Cochran's real cause of death.
posted by knave at 4:24 PM on March 29, 2005


tsarfan writes "trials of the century are just that, you say theres one every 6 months? name the prosecuters, defense attny's, judges, and witnesses of these other TOCs -- quick! quick! because he won his case Riddled with reasonable doubt, you call him a manipulator? try again."


I said, he did what a good defense attorney should do. I don't fault him for it. Part of what he did was to manipulate the media in order to soften up potential jurors. again, that's part of being a good defense attorney.

As to the other "trials of the century", off the top of my head: McVeigh, Nichols, Peterson, Michael Jackson, Blake, possibly Schiavo.
posted by orthogonality at 4:25 PM on March 29, 2005


those are big cases, but in my opinion a Trial of the Century is one where the average joe knows all the players, not just the accused.
posted by tsarfan at 4:29 PM on March 29, 2005


tsarfan writes "those are big cases, but in my opinion a Trial of the Century is one where the average joe knows all the players, not just the accused."

Wake me up when the "trial of the century" isn't a celebrity murder or a cheating husband killing his pregnant wife, but something with real import. Like Rumsfeld and Calley at Nuremberg or -- I'm sure it'll be coming soon -- the next Scopes trial.

Fuck, at least Bryan could write a speech, unlike that mealy-mouthed Randall "Terry-cloth Tongue" Terry. What a pathetic joke this country has become.
posted by orthogonality at 4:35 PM on March 29, 2005


Don't worry, OJ's currently looking for Cochran's real cause of death.

I bet he's scouring every sandtrap in Dade county.

What a pathetic joke this country has become.

Liberals love America like O.J. loved Nicole.

Kidding! Just wanted to bring it all full circle...
posted by dhoyt at 4:42 PM on March 29, 2005


What a pathetic joke this country has become.

Technically speaking, the Scopes trial occurred in the same century as the OJ trial, so Scopes is still "trial of the century" depending on what company you keep. If all your friends are talking about the latest Survivor episode as opposed to the atrocities committed in Guantanamo and Iraq, perhaps it's time to find some new friends, as opposed to judging this country as "pathetic". Normal, average people talk about events/people that are easy to understand. Schiavo and Elian Gonzales are great examples. Most people can't completely wrap their heads around evolutionary biological phenomena.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 4:43 PM on March 29, 2005


Damn you, mrbill! My thoughts, exactly.

The most important part of that particular trial must be reprinted here:
But ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider: Ladies and gentlemen this [pointing to a picture of Chewbacca] is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now, think about that. That does not make sense! Why would a Wookiee—an eight foot tall Wookiee—want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense!

*sniff* Godspeed, Emperor!
posted by graventy at 5:17 PM on March 29, 2005


I knew about as much about Cochran as any television owning person until I read about his involvement in Geronimo Pratt's exhoneration. Say what you have to, but in my estimation freeing a wrongly accused political prisoner who has spent decades of his life in prison is an act of grace.
posted by prettyboyfloyd at 5:17 PM on March 29, 2005


The outlawing of the carotid choke hold in LA is directly his doing, and it saved lives.

Uh. One could easily and successfully IMHO argue the opposite of that, actually.

...Like Rumsfeld and Calley at Nuremberg

LOL. You don't like to think small do you? How? Maybe in 20 years the EU abducts Rummy while he is getting crucial Stem Cell treatment, only available in Old Europe, for his severe cantaloupe-sized anal warts? Kinda like the Pinochet thing.

At last. A reason to stay alive.
posted by tkchrist at 5:21 PM on March 29, 2005


I don't think "volume of resources" is at issue, although if you understood the funding of District Attorneys vs. private defense attorneys we can all understand that OJ had more resources

Horseshit.

No doubt that Simpson's attorneys were paid more than any DA.

But.

The DA is not the sum total of all of the machinery California set in motion against Simpson. There were also massive numbers of police officers looking for evidence against him, none of whom work for free as far as I know. There were multiple ostensibly-skilled investigators at the helm of different aspects of the investigation. They had a vast array of technical and laboratory resources, presumably none of which was just given to California gratis, and the necessary technical experts to make all that stuff work and conduct further investigation, none working for free.

All of which was dedicated to putting Simpson in prison.

The difference between you or me and Simpson is that he had enough money to point out the fuckups in their work by hiring his own investigators, something that you or your public-defender lawyer or even your hired criminal defense lawyer can't *ever* hope to do. The difference between him and you or me and is that he had the resources to put up at least token opposition to the army of people that any state puts against a defendant that it gives a crap about.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:22 PM on March 29, 2005


prettyboyfloyd: ESSENCE: [...] Our people have ties. We're kind of related through the elders. In fact, his father's church, Second Baptist, was one of the first to allow the Panthers to start the breakfast program for children in Los Angeles. But everybody loves Johnnie. He is one of the most loving people; he's got one of those hearts that you're not going to find too often. [Johnnie Cochran adds: "First Geronimo was my client, and then my friend. Now he is my brother. I love Geronimo, and he loves me."] [...]
posted by allaboutgeorge at 5:27 PM on March 29, 2005


I bet he's scouring every sandtrap in Dade county.

I remember when I lived in Kendall, my co-workers would regularly discuss "OJ sightings" around town.
posted by jonmc at 5:29 PM on March 29, 2005


I am really surprised at the vehemence of the dislike for such a successful defence lawyer.

Do you not understand that having someone do the absolute best they can to get someone off who they know is probably guilty is at the very core of our legal system?
posted by freebird at 5:37 PM on March 29, 2005


.
posted by cell divide at 5:43 PM on March 29, 2005


I just heard on tv he defended Lenny Bruce too : >
posted by amberglow at 5:48 PM on March 29, 2005


furtive: There's no way Michael Jackson will get off now.

Eh, just put him in a room with a little boy...

[runs and hides]
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:57 PM on March 29, 2005


I don't really understand all this venom towards Mr. Cochran. He did his job, which was to use every legal resource to defend his clients to the best of his abilities, and he did his job well. Defense attorneys are an essential part of a fair justice system. I appreciate his skills and I hope his fame led many minorities into joining the legal profession.
posted by gyc at 6:23 PM on March 29, 2005


.
posted by joedan at 6:28 PM on March 29, 2005


.
posted by thecaddy at 6:42 PM on March 29, 2005


.
posted by ramix at 7:30 PM on March 29, 2005


I just heard on tv he defended Lenny Bruce too

Actually, he prosecuted him.


Long before he defended O.J. Simpson on murder charges, Johnnie Cochran prosecuted Lenny Bruce for alleged obscenity. Even in the more genteel days of 1964, the young deputy city attorney couldn't convict the notoriously foul-mouthed comedian. In a 1996 memoir, Cochran belatedly conceded that his attempt to do so was contrary to the 1st Amendment.


posted by o0o0o at 8:04 PM on March 29, 2005


ohhh--at least he realized he was wrong to do so.
posted by amberglow at 8:05 PM on March 29, 2005


Just the sort of commentary I expected. Talk about your high tech lynching.

Happens every time there's a celebrity death. Perhaps you didn't notice? Or didn't care to object in those cases.

Why aren't the so-called Major News Sources covering this? Thanks for bringing this to my attention, allaboutgeorge. Now please excuse me while I forward this information to some friends and family because they probably won't hear about it and they totally give a shit.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:48 PM CST on March 29


Are you serious? Where do your friends live, in a cave? I heard it on the radio right after it was announced. It was on cnn, the top story on cnn's website. Maybe it's a conspiracy! Or maybe you're making crap up to be upset about.

because he won his case Riddled with reasonable doubt, you call him a manipulator? try again.
posted by tsarfan at 6:14 PM CST on March 29


There's no reasonable doubt in that case, even with a sloppy prosecution. A major problem was the jury. Vincent Bugliosi called it "the worst possible jury". You might have heard of this Bugliosi character?

In the scott williams trial a juror said after the verdict that williams didn't commit murder, you could see it in his eyes. With jurors like that, there is no hope. You're deluded if you think there's any reasonable doubt OJ was guilty.

As for Cochran, who cares. Should never had been posted.
posted by justgary at 8:46 PM on March 29, 2005


so many graves, so little urine.
posted by breakfast_yeti at 9:13 PM on March 29, 2005


If the tumor grows fine, you must flatline.
posted by HTuttle at 9:27 PM on March 29, 2005


to the happy bunch of Cochran-haters:

blame Marcia Clark and Darden's appalling incompetence, and the LAPD happy klukkers who kept saying things "let's burn all the niggers" on tape. blame them for the OJ fiasco, blame that clown Lance Ito. also, blame Garcetti who decided to try the case downtown.

Cochran did his job, a job that is part of the jury trial system.
simple as that.

OJ did it? yeah. does it mean that his lawyer should have worked like those nice court-appointed Texas lawyers who fall asleep in court, sending their clients off to death row while they're having a nap?
unfortunately for you guys, for once, a black man had enough money to buy himself a first-class defense attorney, just like rich whites do (Enron, anybody?).

do you guys think that defense lawyers should only defend the innocent? if you do, I guess you don't have a very clear idea of how your jury system works, then.

some of the jurors decided to pay back the LAPD for all the shit the LAPD gave to brown people during the decades? well, tough shit. maybe the LAPD could have cleaned up its act before the Rodney King beating, right.

it's also interesting how the usual suspects (dhoyt, as always, especially tasteful in his usual glee for a dark-skinned man's death) are ejaculating all over their keyboards over Cochran's death. I'm sure you're going to be this happy when Robert Blake's attorney dies, too

*snicker*
posted by matteo at 2:18 AM on March 30, 2005


OJ was both guilty AND he was framed. Cochran got Simpson off by focusing on the latter fact rather than the former.
posted by psmealey at 3:26 AM on March 30, 2005


"my opinion of most of the legal profession is not that good, so they're pretty much all shysters to me."

If that is your opinion, you might want to reexamine it.

As for Mr. Cochran, he was at the top of his field. You people moaning about shysters have no idea how hard it is to do what he did. A shyster is an unethical lawyer. If you think his dedication to his clients was unethical, you truly do not understand the adversarial nature of our legal system.

Let me ask you this, if you had been wrongly accused of a crime, and you could have had Cochran as your lawyer, would you have said, no give me someone else, that guy is a shyster.
posted by Outlawyr at 4:32 AM on March 30, 2005


Frank Zappa once said the following:

"People say that Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe. I think that Stupidity is, with Hydrogen a distant second." (I may be misremembering the exact wording.)

I would like to amend that statement:

"People say that Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe. I that that Stupidity is more common, but there are 3 things even more common than stupidity: Lawyer jokes, people with no sense of humour, and unmerited righteous indignation."
posted by shmegegge at 5:42 AM on March 30, 2005


I'm sure you're going to be this happy when Robert Blake's attorney dies, too

It won't exactly break my heart either. Wealthy and famous people of any race get a different justice system than the rest of us.

some of the jurors decided to pay back the LAPD for all the shit the LAPD gave to brown people during the decades? well, tough shit.

And as long as race relations are stuck in a cycle of payback, nothings going to get any better.

it's also interesting how the usual suspects (dhoyt, as always, especially tasteful in his usual glee for a dark-skinned man's death)

Yes, he has a Klan robe in his closet and secretly cooks black children in a pot and serves them with potatoes. Do you actually believe your own bullshit?
posted by jonmc at 6:44 AM on March 30, 2005


Wealthy and famous people of any race get a different justice system than the rest of us.

yeah, but the most hated lawyer just happens to be the black one who was good enough to let the black guy go free for a change.
what's Blake's lawyer name, jon?

hmm.

double standards, anybody?

suppose you're on trial, jon, in the mid-nineties. the court appoints a defense attorney for you, and you can choose between either Cochran or Marcia Clark.

so?

I guess you would be real thrilled to have the very competent legal duo Clark-Darden in charge, when your ass is on the line.

re poor pitiful dhoyt: you're the one adding the Klan part, jon, I never said that. I stand by my comment, dhoyt's posting history is open to scrutiny (for those who have a strong enough stomach, of course). it's interesting to see all the hate against Cochran by the usual suspects. I bet dhoyt was outraged at Rodney King's verdict, too.
posted by matteo at 7:24 AM on March 30, 2005


(dhoyt, as always, especially tasteful in his usual glee for a dark-skinned man's death) are ejaculating all over their keyboards over Cochran's death.

You made it personal, matteo. jonmc was just defending your unprovoked attack at one specific member of this community. You can stand by anything you'd like; I would suggest a large statue with the inscription "childish provoker covering his tracks with race-baiting commentary".
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:33 AM on March 30, 2005


Although, to be fair, I agreed with everything you said in this comment, except for the swipe at dhoyt.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:36 AM on March 30, 2005


yeah, but the most hated lawyer just happens to be the black one who was good enough to let the black guy go free for a change.
what's Blake's lawyer name, jon?


If it was Shapiro or Bailey who croaked, I imagine the MeFi thread would be similar, even though both are lawyers.

suppose you're on trial, jon, in the mid-nineties. the court appoints a defense attorney for you, and you can choose between either Cochran or Marcia Clark.

I'm not a multimillionaire celebrity athlete who can hire a Johnny Cochran or F. Lee Bailey. That's where a lot of people's resentment come from, although I'll allow that there's probably a racial element in it for some.

As for Blake, I've avoided coverage of his trial because the Simpson debacle soured me on the whole sordid voyeuristic spectactle of celebrity meeting criminality. I assumed he was defended by the parrot from Berreta.

I stand by my comment, dhoyt's posting history is open to scrutiny (for those who have a strong enough stomach, of course).

dhoyt is difficult, contrary and cranky. so am I, so are you. "offering opinions that are contrary to fashionable prevailing wisdom on race" does not equal "racist."

I bet dhoyt was outraged at Rodney King's verdict, too.

I won't speak for him, but I was ouraged when the officers who beat him got off, and equally outraged when the guys who beat Reginald Denny got off with a slap on the wrist. Neither verdict was about justice, but about throwing bones to various constituencies. And I refuse to call it anything else.
posted by jonmc at 7:39 AM on March 30, 2005


insert "brilliant" before lawyers in my first reply.
posted by jonmc at 7:40 AM on March 30, 2005


with race-baiting

I am always amazed at how the mere mention of skin color's possible role in stuff that happens in America still has the power to fuck some (white) Americans' shit up. so many years have passed, taboos remain. bah.
posted by matteo at 8:02 AM on March 30, 2005


I am always amazed at how the mere mention of skin color's possible role in stuff that happens in America still has the power to fuck some (white) Americans' shit up.

It's more assuming it's role in everything that gets people's back up, I've found.
posted by jonmc at 8:05 AM on March 30, 2005


Agreed, jonmc.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:16 AM on March 30, 2005


Thread jumped the shark at KKK mention...
posted by fixedgear at 8:27 AM on March 30, 2005


although I'll allow that there's probably a racial element in it for some

Ya think?
posted by fullerine at 9:02 AM on March 30, 2005


I'm not a multimillionaire celebrity athlete who can hire a Johnny Cochran or F. Lee Bailey. That's where a lot of people's resentment come from

Which is weird.

The best that having the most fuckin'-A bad-ass defense attorney in the history of the universe can get you is...

...a fair and legal trial.

Resenting Simpson for getting a fair and legal trial is misplaced. If you're going to harbor resentment, resent the state for making it impossible to get a fair and legal trial without ridiculously expensive legal help, resent the state for refusing to give its public defenders the same set of resources that its prosecutors have, resent that if you're ever dragged into a criminal trial the state will devote vastly more resources to putting your ass in jail than to discovering the truth or to giving you a fair trial.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:27 AM on March 30, 2005


If he doesn't breathe, you must bereave.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:33 AM on March 30, 2005


"It is better for ten guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be imprisoned." OJ's just one of the ten.

As far as trials of the century, that label has been applied to: Sacco and Vanzetti, The Scopes Monkey Trial, Leopold and Leob, the Lindberg Baby, the Manson Family trial, OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg... The list goes on.
I think it's because "Trial of the Century" has a better ring to it than "Really important trial right now that we might not remember in 20 years." Because, seriously, who's gonna remember Kato in another 10?
posted by klangklangston at 9:54 AM on March 30, 2005


I'm sick of that, too. I thought there was only one "Trial Of The Century" and it was held at Nuremberg.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:58 AM on March 30, 2005


Because, seriously, who's gonna remember Kato in another 10?

Couch manufacturers and hair product companies.
posted by jonmc at 10:08 AM on March 30, 2005


I'm way late here, but I worked for a small law firm that by virtue of its name attracted calls from employees who thought they may have a class action discrimination suit. Cochran's office took the burden of a lot of that horribly expensive investigative work. That's a good defense lawyer.
posted by goofyfoot at 12:28 AM on April 1, 2005


I almost can't forgive him for indirectly killing lenny bruce ...what an odious fucker.

RIP
posted by schyler523 at 10:32 AM on April 4, 2005


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