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American Tragedy by Lawrence Schiller & James Willwerth

American Tragedy by Lawrence Schiller & James Willwerth

Author:Lawrence Schiller & James Willwerth [Schiller, Lawrence & Willwerth, James]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: USA, oj simpson, imprisonment, evidence, defense, court system, Murder, robert shapiro, lee bailey, True Crime, dream team, Football, crime, bronco chase, injustice, prison, johnnie cochran, gloves, criminal, lapd, acquittal, race relations, jury, lawrence schiller, nicole brown, california, justice, america, shawn chapman, james willwerth, oj, kardashian, dr henry lee, General, trial of the century, trial, race, jail, murder trial, los angeles, robert kardashian, ron goldman, simpson
ISBN: 9780380730599
Google: bGhgGwAACAAJ
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 1997-07-01T00:00:00+00:00


After Johnnie finished, Judge Ito excused the jury for the day. The court went back to a discovery violations hearing over the witness lists. Hodgman was mad over the thirteen witnesses the defense never shared with the prosecution.

He began his list of complaints by citing Cochran’s statements about unknown witnesses, missing reports, and late discovery. The D.A. was demanding a full discovery report, and Shapiro was refusing to provided it. Hodgman had just started a strong protest when Ito called a break. When the hearing resumed, Bill Hodgman was shaking with anger.

Part of Cochran’s opening statement, the prosecutor said with barely controlled rage, was very, very prejudicial to the people. Hodgman was turning colors. He’s almost blue, Kardashian thought.

Hodgman was stridently asking Ito to “admonish the jury to disregard that.” Then he paused. “… And, Your Honor, we will …” He took a longer pause.”… talk about discovery ….”

Then Hodgman stopped suddenly. The last pause was out of synch with his words.

“Excuse me. I need to slow down myself a little bit, Your Honor. Give me just a moment.” Another longish pause. Now the whole courtroom was staring. “Yesterday or the other day, the court had to take a deep breath. Allow me to take one, too.”

Hodgman quickly got himself back to normal.

Ito swung a steely gaze toward Carl Douglas. “Mr. Douglas, are you going to address these discovery issues regarding witnesses?”

Douglas took a deep breath. He was pretty sure how this was going to play, and the prospect wasn’t pleasant.

“The court is well aware that we have been working diligently in this matter,” he began cautiously. “We have not coordinated all of our defense efforts as well as I would have liked.”

Douglas felt the prosecutors staring at him.

“… I will represent to the court as an officer of this court that Miss Gerchas’s statement I saw for the first time only five minutes ago. It is a copy of a statement that was taken in July of 1994.”

Carl had assumed Shapiro’s firm had given the D.A. what the law required. Now he was in bad trouble. The prosecutors were enraged. The judge was glaring. Reporters were scribbling in their notebooks. Millions were watching on TV. There was nothing to do but plod on.

Douglas said desperately, his voice rising despite his efforts to sound calm, “I tell this court, looking the court straight in the eye with all seriousness, that it had been an oversight. I am embarrassed by it and I take full responsibility. It is my obligation as the coordinator of the evidence to be better on top of the witness flow …. It is my blame and my blame alone. I take full responsibility.”

Carl Douglas read out and spelled witness names, thirteen in all. It seemed to take an eternity.

Ito gave him a brittle smile. “I have to say, Mr. Douglas, I’ve had long experience with Mr. Hodgman. I’ve known him as a colleague, as a trial lawyer, and I’ve never seen the expressions on his face that I’ve seen today.



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