Reasonable Doubts: The O.J. Simpson Case and the Criminal Justice System

Alan M. Dershowitz, Author Simon & Schuster $19.5 (8p) ISBN 978-0-684-83021-6
Despite the hoopla surrounding the Simpson trial book deals, this is a solid piece of reflection and argument by Dershowitz (Reversal of Fortune), who was chosen to prepare the appeal had Simpson been convicted. Dershowitz believes that Simpson lawyer Robert Shapiro, not the flamboyant orator Johnnie Cochran, was the most crucial to the defense, because Shapiro hired top forensic experts to challenge the prosecution and insisted on a preliminary hearing (not a closed grand jury) to evaluate the prosecution's case. He also suggests that the verdict ""is a wake-up call about police perjury""; some jurors might have concluded that the police tried to frame a murderer; the jury and the public saw very different pictures of Simpson's history of spouse abuse; Judge Ito's exclusion of most of the Fuhrman tapes would have highlighted on appeal. The media circus, Dershowitz warns, took place outside the courtroom; the issue is not cameras in the court but whether we should restrict media coverage of trials, as in Canada. While Dershowitz lapses into score-settling with his critics and sniping about Marcia Clark's hyperbole, he makes a strong case against conventional perceptions of the trial. Author tour. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 406 pages - 978-0-7862-0785-5
Prebound-Other - 270 pages - 978-0-613-92019-3
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-684-83264-7
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