OJ Simpson The Verdict: October 2, 3 and 31, 1995 transcripts

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1995 9:00 A.M.

Department no. 103 Hon. Lance A. Ito, Judge

(Janet M. Moxham, CSR no. 4855, official reporter.)

(Christine M. Olson, CSR no. 2378, official reporter.)

(At 9:00 A.M. the jury commenced their deliberations.)

(At 12:00 P.M. the noon recess was taken until 1:00 P.M. of the same day.)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1995 1:04 P.M.

Department no. 103 Hon. Lance A. Ito, Judge

APPEARANCES: (Appearances as heretofore noted, Mr. Douglas only appearing on behalf of the Defendant.)

(Janet M. Moxham, CSR no. 4855, official reporter.)

(Christine M. Olson, CSR no. 2378, official reporter.)

(The following proceedings were held in open court, out of the presence of the jury:)

THE COURT: All right. Back on the record in the Simpson matter. Mr. Simpson is again present before the court with his counsel, Mr. Douglas. The People are represented by Mr. Hodgman and Mr. Darden. The jury and alternates are not present. Counsel, we have a request for read back from the jury and the request has been shown to counsel for both parties. However, for the record, it reads as follows: “We, the jury in the above-entitled action, request the following: “Testimony from March 28, 1995, of Allan Park.” The request is dated today and it is signed by the Foreperson, Juror No. 1. And Mr. Douglas, you have discussed this matter with your client?

MR. DOUGLAS: I have, your Honor, and your Honor, I’m told that the 28th stops in the middle of cross-examination. I would therefore ask that the entire cross, redirect and recross be read as well.

THE COURT: All right. Any comment, Mr. Darden?

MR. DARDEN: I don’t think we should give the jurors any more than they asked for, but if you are inclined to do that, we have no objection.

THE COURT: All right. All right. My inclination is to give them the entire testimony, since it would be incomplete to give them just the one part. All right. And Deputy Trower, let’s have the jurors, please.

(Brief pause.)

(The following proceedings were held in open court, in the presence of the jury:)

THE COURT: All right. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Please be seated. And let the record reflect that we have now been rejoined by all the members of our jury panel and our two alternates. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

THE JURY: Good afternoon.

THE COURT: I have received from your Foreperson, juror no. 1, a request to have the testimony from March the 28th, 1995, of Allan Park reread to you. And, ladies and gentlemen, the testimony of Mr. Park on March 28th concludes at the end of the court day in the midst of the cross-examination, so I’m going to ask the court reporter to conclude reading through the end of the cross-examination so that you have a complete picture of the testimony of Mr. Park. All right. Madam court reporter, would you please commence. And the record should reflect, I believe, that we are starting after the issuance of the oath at page 2510 of the record. Is that correct, madam court reporter?

THE REPORTER: Yes, your Honor.

(At 1:07 the requested testimony was read back to the jury.)

(At 2:00 P.M. a recess was taken.)

(The following proceedings were held in open court, out of the presence of the jury:)

(A conference was held at the bench, not reported.)

(The following proceedings were held in open court, in the presence of the jury:)

THE COURT: All right. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Please be seated. And the record should reflect that we have been rejoined by all the members of our jury panel again. Ladies and gentlemen, I have received from your Foreperson, first of all, a note indicating that during the course of the reread that we just had that you had heard the information that you required. Let me just remind you that obviously we are not going to make you sit and listen to more information than you really need to answer the specific question that you needed to answer, but in making your request for other reread, you should consider the fact that the same topic may be covered on cross-examination, on redirect or recross. But if that is all you need, then that is all we will read back to you. All right. Secondly, with regards to the third note that you sent out, we will be sending in the verdict forms for you right now. They have to be in a certain form. I needed to talk to the lawyers about it beforehand. And so we will be sending those back to you as soon as we allow you to go back and conduct and continue with your deliberations. All right. Everybody nods affirmatively?

(The twelve jurors answered collectively in the affirmative.)

THE COURT: All right. Then as far as the jury is concerned, they will retire to continue their deliberations. And Mrs. Robertson, would you provide the verdict forms to the jury, please. All right. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. All right. We will be in recess.

(At 2:17 P.M. the jury resumed their deliberations.)

(At 2:51 P.M. the following proceedings were held in open court, out of the presence of the jury:)

THE COURT: All right. Back on the record in the Simpson matter. Deputy Trower, let’s have the jurors, please.

(Brief pause.)

(The following proceedings were held in open court, in the presence of the jury:)

THE COURT: All right. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Please be seated. Let the record reflect that we have been rejoined by all the members of our jury panel, including our two alternates. Good afternoon again, ladies and gentlemen.

THE JURY: Good afternoon.

THE COURT: Ladies and gentlemen, while we were taking our brief recess Mrs. Robertson advised me that you buzzed three times and indicated that after receiving the verdict forms that you have reached a verdict in this case. Is that correct, Madam Foreman?

JUROR NO. 1: Yes.

THE COURT: All right. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to ask that–I’ve asked already that your foreman place the verdict forms–and ma’am foreman, have you signed and dated one set of verdict forms?

JUROR NO. 1: Yes, I have.

THE COURT: All right. And those have been placed in an envelope and sealed, correct?

JUROR NO. 1: Yes, it has.

THE COURT: Do you have that with you?

JUROR NO. 1: No, I don’t.

THE COURT: Did you leave it in the jury room?

JUROR NO. 1: Yes, I did.

THE COURT: That is not a good place for it. All right. Deputy Browning, would you escort the Foreperson to get the verdict forms, please.

(Brief pause.)

THE COURT: All right. Then if you would, madam foreman, would you hand the sealed envelope to Deputy Trower, please.

(Brief pause.)

THE COURT: All right. Thank you very much. All right. Ladies and gentlemen, we are missing, as you can tell, several of the attorneys. Predominantly we are missing Miss Clark and Mr. Cochran. And I indicated to the attorneys that I would give them a reasonable opportunity to be here for the announcement of the verdict and I have indicated to them that I will accept the verdict from you tomorrow morning at ten o’clock. That will give you the opportunity to pack up and take care of those things over back home, as you’ve called it. And so we will stand in recess until tomorrow morning at ten o’clock. And then what we will do tomorrow morning, madam foreman, is I will return this sealed envelope to you. I’m going to ask you to examine the verdict forms to make sure they are the same ones that you have signed, that they are in the same order and have not been changed. They will be in the custody of Mrs. Robertson overnight. And then if everything is appropriate, then we will accept the verdict from you tomorrow morning at ten o’clock. All right. Ladies and gentlemen, have your last pleasant weekend–evening, and we will see you tomorrow morning at ten o’clock. All right. We will stand in recess until tomorrow morning at ten o’clock.

(At 2:55 P.M. an adjournment was taken until, Tuesday, October 3, 1995, 10:00 A.M.)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1995 10:00 A.M.

Department no. 103 Hon. Lance A. Ito, Judge

APPEARANCES: (Appearances as heretofore noted.)

(Janet M. Moxham, CSR no. 4855, official reporter.)

(Christine M. Olson, CSR no. 2378, official reporter.)

THE COURT: All right. Back on the record in the Simpson matter. Mr. Simpson is again present before the court with his counsel, Mr. Shapiro, Mr. Cochran, Mr. Kardashian, Mr. Bailey, Mr. Blasier, People represented by Miss Clark, Mr. Darden and Mr. Hodgman. The jury is not present. Good morning, counsel.

(Counsel answered collectively, “Good morning, your Honor.”)

THE COURT: All right. The record should reflect that earlier this morning at 9:00 o’clock, the court met informally with counsel here in the courtroom because there are too many lawyers to go into chambers this morning for the purposes of discussing notifications to the jurors regarding their rights of privacy and the interest of the news media to interview them or speak to them following the delivery of the verdict in court here today. The court distributed to the parties copies of the questionnaire that has been distributed to the jurors and also the notice to them of confidentiality under 237 of the code of civil procedure, and those two questionnaires have been returned by the jurors. They have uniformly indicated their desire that their private information remain confidential. They have also indicated to the court unanimously a desire not to speak to the attorneys, including after the conclusion of the trial, and not to speak with the news media either. All right. Counsel, is there anything else we need to take up before we invite the jurors to join us?

MR. COCHRAN: Nothing else, your Honor.

THE COURT: All right. Deputy Trower, let’s have the jurors, please. (The following proceedings were held in open court, in the presence of the jury:)

THE COURT: All right. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Please be seated. And the record should reflect that we have now been rejoined by all the members of our jury panel and our alternates. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

THE JURY: Good morning.

THE COURT: All right. Mrs. Robertson, would you–do you have the envelope with the sealed verdict forms, please?

THE CLERK: Yes, your Honor.

THE COURT: Would you give those to Deputy Trower. And would you return those to our Foreperson, juror no. 1. Madam Foreperson, would you please open the envelope and check the condition of the verdict forms.

(The Foreperson complies.)

THE COURT: Madam Foreperson, juror no. 1, you’ve had the opportunity to review the verdict forms?

THE FOREPERSON: Yes.

THE COURT: Are they the same for you, signed and are they in order?

THE FOREPERSON: Yes, they are.

THE COURT: Would you hand those, please, to Deputy Trower. And you have signed and dated those verdict forms, indicated the jury’s verdicts?

THE FOREPERSON: Yes, I have.

THE COURT: All right. Thank you. All right. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m going to ask that you carefully listen to the verdicts as they are being read by the clerk, Mrs. Robertson, as after the verdicts have been read, you will be asked if these are your verdicts. And I would caution the audience during the course of the reading of these verdicts to remain calm and that any–if there is any disruption during the reading of the verdicts, the bailiffs will have the obligation to remove any persons disrupting these proceedings. All right. Mrs. Robertson. All right. Mr. Simpson, would you please stand and face the jury. Mrs. Robertson.

THE CLERK: “Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. In the matter of People of the State of California versus Orenthal James Simpson, case number BA097211. We, the jury, in the above-entitled action, find the Defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, not guilty of the crime of murder in violation of penal code section 187(A), a felony, upon Nicole Brown Simpson, a human being, as charged in Count I of the information.

“Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, in the matter of People of the State of California versus Orenthal James Simpson. We, the jury, in the above-entitled action, find the Defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, not guilty of the crime of murder in violation of penal code section 187(A), a felony, upon Ronald Lyle Goldman, a human being, as charged in Count II of the information. “We, the jury, in the above-entitled action, further find the special circumstances that the Defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, has in this case been convicted of at least one crime of murder of the first degree and one or more crimes of murder of the first or second degree to be not true. “Signed this 2nd day of October, 1995. “Juror 230.” Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is this your verdict, so say you one, so say you all?

THE JURY: Yes.

THE COURT: All right. Counsel, Mr. Simpson, would you be seated, please. Let’s have it quiet in the courtroom, please. Mrs. Robertson, would you please poll the jurors.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 1, as to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 1: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 2, as to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 2: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 3, as to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 3: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 4, as to count 1, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 4: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 5, as to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 5: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 6, as to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 6: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 7, as to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 7: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no 8, as to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 8: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 9, as to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 9: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 1o, as to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 10: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no 11, as to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 11: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 12. As to Count I, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 12: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 1, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 1: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 2, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 2: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 3, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 3: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 4, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 4: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 5, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 5: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 6, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 6: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 7, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 7: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 8, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 8: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 9, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 9: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 10, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 10: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 11, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 11: Yes.

THE CLERK: Juror no. 12, as to Count II, is this your verdict?

JUROR NO. 12: Yes.

THE COURT: All right. The clerk is directed to record the verdicts as read. Parties agree to waive reading of the verdicts as recorded? Mr. Cochran, do you waive reading of the verdicts as recorded?

MR. COCHRAN: Yes, we do.

THE COURT: Miss Clark?

MS. CLARK: Yes, your Honor.

THE COURT: Thank you. All right. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to at this time take this opportunity to publicly thank you for the service that you’ve given to us. The burdens that we placed upon you were enormous and words can’t begin to express the debt that we owe to you for the time and patience and exertion that you’ve given to us during the course of this case. I will have an opportunity to meet with you privately later, and I’ll give you my private comment when we have a chance to meet. I want to caution you at this time that there is, as you know, intense media interest in this case. The news media will probably seek you out at your home or at your place of business, and I would implore that the news media act responsibly to avoid harassing you or identifying you without your consent or otherwise causing you concern. Whether you wish to cooperate with the news media is, of course, entirely up to you. However, I must warn you to expect the worse as far as that is concerned. We want to–I know I share with you in expressing our thanks to the bailiffs and the Sheriff’s Department, to our court reporters, Miss Moxham and Miss Olson, to the research attorney, John Byrne, who has assisted our Pepperdine law clerks, Mr. Golob and Miss Carswell, our media liaison, Jerrianne Hayslett and her staff and, of course, the jury commissioner, Gloria Gomez, and her staff. All right. Counsel, is there anything we need to take up before we excuse the jurors? Mr. Cochran?

MR. COCHRAN: No. May we approach for just one second one last time?

(A conference was held at the bench, not reported.)

(The following proceedings were held in open court:)

THE COURT: All right. Thank you, counsel. All right. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am now going to excuse you from further service on this case. As you know, this does absolve you from your voice of silence. You may take with you your juror notebooks as you have requested and I will be chatting with you shortly. All right. Thank you very much. And I’ll see you all later.

(The following proceedings were held in open court, out of the presence of the jury:)

THE COURT: All right. Let’s everybody have a seat, please. All right. Miss Clark, Mr. Cochran, anything else we need to take up?

MR. COCHRAN: No, your Honor. I would like the thank the court for under tell he is through United States. Thank you very kindly.

THE COURT: May Clark.

MS. CLARK: Thank you.

THE COURT: All right. The Defendant having been acquitted of both charges, he is ordered transported to an appropriate Sheriff’s facility and released forthwith. We’ll stand in recess.

(Proceedings concluded.)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 1995 9:00 A.M.

Department no. 103 Hon. Lance A. Ito, Judge

APPEARANCES: The Defendant not present in court represented by Carl Douglas, Esquire; Alan Yochelson, Deputy District Attorney of Los Angeles County, representing the People of the State of California; also present on behalf of the estate of Nicole Brown, John Q. Kelly and Michael J. Piuze, Esquires; on behalf of Fred Goldman, Daniel Petrocelli, Edward Medvene and Peter B. Gelblum, Esquires; on behalf of the city of Los Angeles, Mary Thronton House, attorney at law; and on behalf of Sharon Ruffo, Michael Brewer, Esquire.

(Janet M. Moxham, CSR no. 4855, official reporter.)

THE COURT: All right. Back on the record then in the Simpson matter. Mr. Simpson is not present. However, he is represented by his counsel, Carl Douglas. And, counsel, I need your appearances for the record.

MR. PETROCELLI: Daniel Petrocelli.

MR. MEDVENE: Edward Medvene, Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, for Frederick Goldman.

MR. BREWER: Michael brewer for Sharon Ruffo.

MS. HOUSE: Mary house appearing on behalf of the custody of records, Los Angeles Police Department.

THE COURT: We have other people in our jury box.

MR. GELBLUM: Peter Gelblum, Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, for Frederick Goldman.

MR. KELLY: John Kelly for the estate of Nicole Brown Simpson, your Honor.

MR. PIUZE: Michael Piuze for the estate of Nicole Brown Simpson.

THE COURT: Good morning, counsel. All right. The motion is to return property filed by Mr. Cochran’s office on behalf of the Defendant, Mr. Simpson.

MR. DOUGLAS: Good morning, your Honor. How are you?

THE COURT: Mr. Douglas, good to see you.

MR. DOUGLAS: your Honor, I’m struck by the absence of a representative of the District Attorney’s office at this proceeding. I think that speaks volumes. We take the position–

THE COURT: Apparently the District Attorney isn’t going to oppose the motion.

MR. DOUGLAS: Correct, your Honor. And we take the position that while the other litigants that are present in court may well have an occasion to seek relief in a civil court, that they have no standing in this proceeding to appear. I gave courtesy copies to the counsel simply as a courtesy at the request of Mr. Yochelson, but I argue initially they would have none or no standing to even participate in this particular hearing. your Honor, Mr. Goldman, from whom I have received a formal opposition, is not a party to this particular proceeding, does not claim any ownership interest in any of the items sought to be returned, and I think that there is no basis legally to deny or delay hearing this matter based on the arguments that they have made in their responsive pleadings. I think it very interesting, your Honor, that there has been no cited authority for the proposition that it would be appropriate for a criminal court to delay what is usually a pro forma procedural matter, that is seeking the return of the items that were seized or items that were admitted into evidence from the Defense, and I think that speaks volumes to the clear ability of civil litigants within the confines of the rules of civil procedure to seek the production of different items or property, to seek examination of same.

And certainly, as the court is aware, Mr. Simpson has already been placed on notice that there is the risk of their being an amended complaint for the exfoliation of evidence were there to be any circumstance that would affect the integrity of any of the items that he is seeking to have returned. Now, your Honor, I think it’s important to remember that Mr. Simpson is not seeking the return by this motion of any prosecutory exhibits. I think that is very important because the only information or property that is being sought to be returned would be personal property of his that was not introduced in a nine-month trial and personal property of his that was introduced by the Defense. I think by the very nature of these items which we seek to have returned, they are items that would be more favorable to Mr. Simpson’s interest, and by that corollary, prejudicial to the interest of the Defense. We are also seeking, your Honor, the return of charts and boards that were used in the case for which Mr. Simpson purchased himself, and we are not seeking by that same instance any of the boards or exhibits, as I’ve said, that the Prosecution had introduced in the case.

This motion was filed on the 23rd of October, 1995. The resources of the firm of Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp got together the following day and then served subpoenas on both the District Attorney’s office, this court, the LAPD, and I argue they were doing so to thwart the clear right of–that Mr. Simpson has to have returned his property; and I do not think it would be fair that they could seek to go around the clear language of the penal code by serving a subpoena, for example, on the LAPD, and by that act, prevent the fair return of property that has been in the possession of LAPD and that is entitled to be returned to Mr. Simpson. I do not think, for example, your Honor, that Mr. Goldman can claim a paramount right through some legal artifact for the return of Mr. Simpson’s own property. He has been deprived of this property for now going on more than 16 months. It includes personal items of jewelry. It includes photographs and pictures–including pictures of his children. It includes credit cards and other sorts of–frequent flyer card. The plaintiffs, your Honor, cannot suggest that these items are items that they are going to be offering in their trial nor I think can they fairly argue that there is some concern that the integrity of these items in any way will be changed or altered so as to affect the probative value if in fact it is necessary to be introduced in the civil case. Hundreds of different items, your Honor, were seized by the police department in this case both during the execution of two search warrants on June the 13th and June 28th, during the course of a search of Mr. Simpson’s Bronco. And just as an aside, we are not seeking the return of the actual Bronco automobile. As well, your Honor, there were some items of personal nature that were seized during the course of Mr. Simpson’s arrest on June 17th of 1994. Certainly, your Honor, as I said earlier, if in fact there is some damage to the integrity of any of the items that were seized, the plaintiffs in the civil case have a variety of options at their disposal. First and foremost–and we have been placed on notice of this–is the ability to filing an amended complaint. I think as importantly, there is always the option of a jury instruction which, in fact, can notify the trier of fact that there were certain items that were then in the exclusive control of Mr. Simpson, that if those items were not produced or do not retain the value and the probative value when they are released, they can infer untoward motives against Mr. Simpson if they’re in fact lost or in some way materially damaged. So I do think, your Honor, that there are remedies that are available to the civil litigants in this action. I do not think that simply because this is a case that has generated some mild degree of public interest, that that justifies thwarting Mr. Simpson’s bona fide entitlement to the return of his property nor does it require there be a delay for a companion civil case because there are options that are nonetheless available to these litigants to inspect and to observe each of the items that we are seeking to have returned. Unless the court has any questions, I’ll submit the matter.

THE COURT: I’ll hear from the People.

MR. YOCHELSON: your Honor, our position here is very simple. First of all, we want to make it clear that this property is not in the possession of the Prosecution. It’s in the possession of either the Superior Court, the Grand Jury or the Los Angeles Police Department. Our concern here is only that there be an orderly disposition of this property. Penal code section 1536 provides that property seized pursuant to a search warrant may be returned upon order of the court. Notice has been given. We have no position other than that the court will make its order according to the request of all the parties. We take no position on whether the civil litigants have any standing here. We simply wanted to have this hearing to proceed in an orderly fashion. We’ll submit it.

THE COURT: Thank you. I’ll hear from the city of Los Angeles. Miss house. Good morning again, Miss House.

MS. HOUSE: Good morning, your Honor. Just like the District Attorney’s office, we are in a catch-22 position. We do retain some property that was not brought to this courtroom that was not entered into evidence, but merely as being retained by the city of Los Angeles incident to Mr. Simpson’s arrest. If the court will know, we were not provided notice of this hearing regarding the return of property as to those items held by the Los Angeles Police Department. However, we were provided in direct notice by Mr. Goldman serving us with a subpoena duces tecum on October 24th.

So rather than have it be a problem, we have prepared for this hearing in a somewhat hurried fashion, but also stress to the court we’re in the position of having two conflicting claims for these items of evidence and we are looking to the court to provide us some guidance. And in looking to the court to provide us some guidance, we have in fact joined with Mr. Goldman’s motion because we are sort of in a position of interpleader. I know the property is going to be provided to someone, and in what manner and fashion in which it’s going to be provided, we feel that’s best done by the court who is handling all the related lawsuits incident to this particular situation.

THE COURT: All right. Thank you, counsel. I’ll hear from plaintiff’s counsel.

MR. PETROCELLI: Daniel Petrocelli for Fred Goldman. your Honor, we got into this case only about 10 days ago. One of the first things that happened is, I heard about this motion for the return of Mr. Simpson’s evidence; and our concern was simply to protect the status quo so that we could get a handle on things, have a chance to inspect the evidence, determine what evidence is of no consequence to the civil action, in which case we could withdraw any position to withhold any property of Mr. Simpson’s. With respect to that evidence that we think was crucial to preserve and protect for the civil action, we thought it best to present the issue to the civil court in the form of a motion to the presiding Judge over this case, who was Judge Alan Haber in Santa Monica. So that’s exactly what we did, your Honor. We subpoenaed all the records to make sure that we had some legal process with respect to them. We then filed the motion before Judge Haber to preserve and protect the evidence, put it in the hands of a neutral custody, whether it be the court or somebody else; not us, not any of the parties, not Mr. Simpson, but a neutral custody until all of us has had the time to examine the evidence, determine what is needed and was not needed. As your Honor knows better than anyone, Mr. Simpson made as the centerpiece of his defense in the criminal trial the poor handling of the evidence, the contamination of the evidence, chain of custody problems. We want to make sure that in the civil action, he does not have any of those concerns. We want to make sure that the evidence is protected and remains intact.

And, your Honor, I might add that the evidence that he seeks the return of in this motion that he filed is all the items set forth on numerous pages of his property report, and some of them include things as swatches, blood and other biological items. You know, I take it from Mr. Douglas’ comments that he is desirous and intends at this point to get those items back, and I’m glad to hear that. However, it does include such items as plastic bag containing one fake goatee, one fake mustache, one bottle of cement make-up adhesive, one bottle of make-up adhesive removal. Now, these could be important items, your Honor, and our position is simply that this court should defer ruling on this motion today for a mere two weeks and let your companion court, Judge Haber, decide our motion. He’s the Judge who is now going to have responsibility for this case. The civil case is going to involve virtually the same issues of liability as were involved in the criminal case, whether Mr. Simpson is responsible for the deaths of these two people, and we are going to need much of the same evidence.

And it strikes me that the prejudice to the civil litigants, the plaintiffs in that case, if something were to happen to that evidence, would be irreparable, whereas there isn’t any conceivable prejudice to Mr. Simpson if the evidence is not given back to him for the next two weeks. What is he going to do with a fake goatee in the next two weeks? All of these credit cards that are on here, they’re probably all expired by now. I don’t think he used them in the last year and a half. So, your Honor, when you’re balancing the equities, we don’t think there’s any legitimate position that he needs to get these materials back and that he can’t wait another two weeks. I might also add that this court does have the inherent power under long-established law to ensure the orderly administration of justice. This court has the inherent power to regulate the proceeding. The civil court is not a different court. It’s all part of the Los Angeles Superior Court. We’re all dealing with one and the same court, and the intention here of all parties is just to make sure that we are in a position to protect and preserve the evidence and get to the–get to a trial where we are assured that nothing has happened to this evidence in the meantime.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. BREWER: your Honor, I would agree with Mr. Petrocelli’s comments. I would just add that if the court is inclined to grant Mr. Douglas’ motion, I believe that at a minimum, the plaintiffs in this case should be afforded an opportunity to inspect and photograph the evidence before it is returned because one of the issues that relates to the exfoliation, we have to have an understanding with respect to the condition of the property to the extent that it’s changed so we can amend our complaint. So to the extent that the court is inclined to grant this motion, we would ask for at least an opportunity to inspect, photograph all of the evidence. Thank you.

THE COURT: Thank you, counsel.

MR. PLUZE: Our suggestion is just put this over for about a week after the 15th, let Judge Haber make his ruling, and the court doesn’t have to do anything, just expose of the evidence as the civil Judge says. Thank you.

THE COURT: Thank you, counsel. Mr. Douglas, you want to respond briefly?

MR. DOUGLAS: Briefly, your Honor. I’m struck by their being no suggestion that the litigants here have standing in this proceeding to seek the return of any of or to speak to the objection to the return of any of this property. That I think is very interesting because certainly we are not suggesting that there be the return of any items belonging to Mr. Goldman, to Miss Brown, any of the items that were collected at the Bundy crime scene. That’s the first point that I want to make. Also, your Honor, I do think, having sat through over a year of this trial, that there is no Judge in America better able to dispose properly and fairly of this evidence than this honorable court. Judge Haber is a fine Judge. He has a calendar call of 20 or 30 cases each day. I do not think that that is the best use of judicial economy, for that Judge to be given the awesome task of sifting through and making determinations and decisions as to the proper disposal of different pieces of evidence. I think that Mr. Simpson has waited patiently for 16 months for the return of his property. He now wishes to have his rights assured and to have the property back now.

We are not seeking the return of any biological evidence. We are not seeking the return of any prosecutorial exhibits. Therefore, we are not seeking to change in any way or to alter the integrity of items of evidence that we challenged and that will be a centerpiece of the civil case as well. We did not challenge the handling of the pictures that were never introduced. We did not challenge the handling of credit cards, pieces of personal property, clothing, et cetera, that was never introduced into evidence. This was a prosecutorial effort, your Honor, that was handled by an array of very fine, experienced, talented lawyers who dedicated much of their lives to reviewing this evidence and putting forward that case which they thought best proved the burden that they had of proving Mr. Simpson guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I argue, therefore, that these lawyers best know those pieces of items that have been relevant. And there were over 600 prosecutorial exhibits, your Honor, over 300 Defense exhibits. But cold among those exhibits I argue were those items that many lawyers in their eminent wisdom believed best demonstrated Mr. Simpson’s responsibility for these crimes and, therefore, by inference, they argued or they decided that these items that were seized and yet not introduced into evidence did not hold sufficient probative weight to justify their introduction into evidence. What we are now seeking, however, is an effort to hold everything, as is frequently the want of civil attorneys, and to wait so that another forum and another Judge can do that which this court I argue is better able to do now. If there is perhaps a desire to examine and to photograph items before they are returned, I would not disagree with that. I think that would be prudent. I think that would be good so we can demonstrate there has been no material alteration in the evidence, but I would like that to occur sooner rather than later so that we can have this property returned and Mr. Simpson can put forth the evidence to defend himself in the civil proceeding.

THE COURT: Thank you, counsel. Certainly an issue of first impression, the court never having seen under 1536 of the penal code a motion to return property after an acquittal where it’s opposed by other parties and parties technically without standing in the criminal matter. Having said that, this court does not operate in a vacuum. The court is aware of the civil litigation that has been mentioned on the record here, and in the filings with regard to the specific issue by the parties, the court is again on notice that the civil litigation does–is in progress in the Santa Monica branch court before Judge Haber. I’m also aware that and I have as part of my court file that the plaintiffs’ counsel have filed various motions to preserve evidence and various motions to produce evidence now in the custody of the court, the Los Angeles Police Department and District Attorney’s office, although the District Attorney’s office indicate they are not physically in possession of any of the items.

MR. YOCHELSON: It would be the grand jury, your Honor.

THE COURT: Grand jury. That is the legal process under the rules that apply to civil litigation. And this court, like any other court, any other governmental body, is bound to comply with lawful process from other courts. That having been accomplished by plaintiffs’ counsel, I’m going to deny the motion to return the property without prejudice until the conclusion of the parallel proceeding before Judge Haber concerning preservation of evidence, and I’m going to transfer further litigation on this matter to Judge Haber for his determination. And the court has already transferred to Judge Haber the transcripts of the criminal trial. And as soon as I have finished–it has taken me 11 days so far to organize the criminal file–I will be sending that to Santa Monica as well. Thank you.

(Proceedings concluded.)

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

Department no. 103 Hon. Lance A. Ito, Judge

The People of the State of California,)

Plaintiff,)

Vs.) No. Ba097211)

Orenthal James Simpson,)

Defendant.)

Reporter’s transcript of proceedings

Monday, October 2, 1995 Tuesday, October 3, 1995 Tuesday, October 31, 1995 volume 234

Pages 48287 through 48330, inclusive

——————————————————————————————-

APPEARANCES:

Janet M. Moxham, CSR #4588 Christine M. Olson, CSR #2378 official reporters

FOR THE PEOPLE: Gil Garcetti, District Attorney by: Marcia R. Clark, William W. Hodgman, Christopher A. Darden, Cheri A. Lewis, Rockne P. Harmon, George W. Clarke, Scott M. Gordon Lydia C. Bodin, Hank M. Goldberg, Alan Yochelson and Darrell S. Mavis, Brian R. Kelberg, and Kenneth E. Lynch, Deputies 18-000 Criminal Courts Building 210 West Temple Street Los Angeles, California 90012

FOR THE DEFENDANT: Robert L. Shapiro, Esquire Sara L. Caplan, Esquire 2121 Avenue of the Stars 19th floor Los Angeles, California 90067 Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., Esquire by: Carl E. Douglas, Esquire Shawn Snider Chapman, Esquire 4929 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 1010 Los Angeles, California 90010 Gerald F. Uelmen, Esquire Robert Kardashian, Esquire Alan Dershowitz, Esquire F. Lee Bailey, Esquire Barry Scheck, Esquire Peter Neufeld, Esquire Robert D. Blasier, Esquire William C. Thompson, Esquire

ALSO PRESENT: John Q. Kelly, Esquire Michael J. Piuze, Esquire Daniel Petrocelli, Esquire Edward Medvene, Esquire Peter B. Gelblum, Esquire Mary Thronton house, Deputy city attorney Michael brewer, Esquire

——————————————————————————————-

I N D E X

Index for volume 234 pages 48287 – 48330

——————————————————————————————-

Day date session page vol.

Monday October 2, 1995 A.M. 48287 234 P.M. 48288 234

Tuesday October 3, 1995 A.M. 48300 234

Tuesday October 31, 1995 A.M. 48313 234

——————————————————————————————-

PROCEEDINGS

Verdict 48304 234

Motion re return of property 48313 234

Tagged with:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.