Kitty Felde |
Crime & Justice

That OJ glove performance still sticks in Chris Darden's craw

Some gripes never die.

Christopher Darden, one of the prosecutors in the Simpson/Goldman murder trial, was asked about the case at a university panel.  He accused OJ Simpson's defense team of manipulating the evidence.  He says he thinks  lead defense attorney Johnnie Cochran tore the glove's lining during a lunch break, making it impossible for Simpson to slip his hand inside.  Cochran is dead.  But Alan Dershowitz, one of the defense team members, says he's "certain" defense lawyers had no access to the glove before OJ Simpson tried it on and the famous "if it don't fit, you must acquit" line was born.

Dershowitz accuses Darden of a "whiny-little-snitch approach." 

It's not the first theory floated by Darden.  Early on, prosecutors suggested it was dried blood that made the glove stiff and difficult to put on, or that Simpson was acting his way through struggling to put on the glove.

Either way, prosecutors made a rookie mistake: never ask a question in court if you don't know how the witness will answer. Perry Mason could get away with introducing last minute evidence; not an LA County Deputy DA.  Legal veterans couldn't believe the prosecution asked for the glove demonstration. It wasn't necessary for its case, and it backfired.

Now, nearly two decades later, here we are, once again debating a badly organized case.

It wasn't the only mistake, either. Prosecutors withheld domestic violence evidence from the defense - an act that made Judge Lance Ito so mad, he told lawyers they couldn't present it until the end of the trial. This hurt the case because this was the motive they presented for the killings.  By the time they got to present that evidence, the jury didn't care.

I covered that nine-month trial, spending every single day in that courtroom.  I went to Holland to cover war crimes trials, just so I wouldn't have to cover the civil trial that followed.

Let it go, guys.  Move on.  Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman are dead.  This continuous debate won't bring them back.