Lessons from the Trial: The People V. O.J. Simpson

Gerald F. Uelmen, Author, Gerald F. Uelman, Author
Gerald F. Uelmen, Author, Gerald F. Uelman, Author Andrews McMeel Publishing $21.95 (223p) ISBN 978-0-8362-1662-2
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Uelman, former dean at Santa Clara University School of Law in California, was one of the quieter members of O.J. Simpson's ""Dream Team,"" and this sober, dry retrospective aims more to illuminate than to settle scores. Most interesting is Uelman's account of the notorious knife bought by Simpson. He reveals that he himself found the knife, apparently brand-new, in Simpson's home; though its presence in the sealed envelope rebutted some prosecutorial efforts, Judge Ito never allowed the envelope to be opened. Uelman criticizes judges and police alike for permitting police perjury, praises Simpson as ""a highly intelligent strategist,"" criticizes F. Lee Bailey for his ""treacherous"" efforts to undercut Robert Shapiro and laments the role of tabloid journalism in the case. Uelman scores Ito for limiting testimony about Mark Fuhrman's racism, criticizes police mishandling of DNA evidence and suggests that the case was won in the final arguments, when Johnnie Cochran and Barry Scheck spoke to the jurors' hearts and minds. The author does not believe in banning television cameras for trials, but recommends greater discretion in their use. While the book's tone suggests confidence in his client, Uelman does not explicitly assert Simpson's innocence; indeed, he notes that a trial can never determine ultimate truth. (June)
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