2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Johnnie Cochran dies of
tumor NEWS IN BRIEF
The attorney for
passed away yesterday
at the age of 67
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Johnnie
Cochran, who became a legal superstar
after helping clear O.J. Simpson during
a sensational murder trial in which he
uttered the famous quote "If it doesn't
fit, you must acquit," died yesterday.
He was 67.
Cochran died of a brain tumor at his
home in Los Angeles, his family said.
"Certainly, Johnnie's career will be
noted as one marked by 'celebrity' cases
and clientele," his family said in a state-
ment.,"But he and his family were most
proud of the work he did on behalf of
those in the community."
With his colorful suits and ties, his
gift for couitroom oratory and a knack
for coining memorable phrases, Cochran
was a vivid addition to the pantheon of
best-known American barristers.
The "if it doesn't fit" phrase would be
quoted and parodied for years afterward.
It derived from a dramatic moment dur-
ing which Simpson tried on a pair of
bloodstained "murder gloves" to show
jurors they did not fit. Some legal experts
called it the turning point in the trial.
Soon after, jurors found the Hall of
Fame football star not guilty of the
1994 slayings of his ex-wife Nicole
Brown Simpson and her friend Ron-
For Cochran, Simpson's acquittal was
the crowning achievement in a career
notable for victories, often in cases
with racial themes. He was a black man
known for championing the causes of
black defendants. Some of them, like
Simpson, were famous, but more often
than not they were unknowns.
"The clients I've cared about the
most are the No Js, the ones who
nobody knows," said Cochran, who
proudly displayed copies in his office of
the multimillion-dollar checks he won
for ordinary citizens who said they were
abused by police.
"People in New York and Los Ange-
les, especially mothers in the African-
American community, are more afraid
of the police injuring or killing their
children than they are of muggers on the
corner," he once said.
By the time Simpson called, the
bywordtin the black community for
defendants facing serious charges was:
Over the years, Cochran represented
football great Jim Brown on rape and
assault charges, actor Todd Bridges on
attempted murder charges, rapper Tupac
Shakur on a weapons charge and rapper
Snoop Dogg on a murder charge.
He also represented former Black
Panther Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, who
spent 27 years in prison for a murder he
didn't commit. When Cochran helped
Pratt win his freedom in 1997 he called
the moment "the happiest day of my life
But the attention he received from
all of those cases didn't come remotely
close to the fame the Simpson trial
After Simpson's acquittal, Cochran
appeared on countless TV talk shows,
was awarded his own Court TV show,
traveled the world over giving speeches
and was endlessly parodied in films and
on such TV shows as "Seinfeld" and
In "Lethal Weapon 4," comedian
Chris Rock plays a policeman who
advises a criminal suspect he has a right
to an attorney, then warns him:."If you
get Johnnie Cochran, I'll kill you."
The flamboyant Cochran enjoyed that
parody so much he even quoted it in his
autobiography, "A Lawyer's Life."
"It was fun. At times it was a lot
of fun," he said of the lampooning he
received. "And I knew that accepting it
good-naturedly, even participating in it,
helped soothe some of the angry feel-
ings from the Simpson case."
Indeed, the verdict had done more
than just divide the country along
racial lines, with most blacks believ-
ing Simpson was innocent and most
whites certain he was guilty. It also
left many of those certain of Simpson's
guilt furious at Cochran, the leader of a
so-called "Dream Team" of expensive
celebrity lawyers that included F. Lee
Bailey, Robert Shapiro, Barry Scheck
Not enough evidence to convict Annan
Investigators of the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq said yesterday there
was not enough evidence to show that Secretary-General Kofi Annan knew of a
contract bid by his son's Swiss employer.
The report obtained by The Associated Press accused Annan's son, Kojo,
and the company, Cotecna Inspection S.A., of trying to conceal their rela-
tionship after the contract was in place. It also criticized the U.N. chief for
not determining the exact nature of his son's relationship with the firm.
The conclusion in the investigators' report was not the clear vindication
that the secretary-general wanted, although the investigation led by former
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker did not accuse the U.N. chief
The report obtained yesterday said "there is no evidence" the selection of
Cotecna for an inspection contract "was subject to any affirmative or improper
influence of the secretary-general in the bidding or selection process."
Investigators also said "the evidence is not reasonably sufficient" that Annan
knew about Cotecna's bid in 1998.
GUNUNG SITOLI, Indonesia
Indonesia quake death toll could hit 2,000
Most of the deaths from Monday night's 8.7-magnitude earthquake in the Indian
Ocean were on Nias, 75 miles south of the epicenter. By the end of yesterday, the
island's death toll stood at about 330, but government officials said it could climb
as high as 2,000.
An unidentified official from nearby Aceh province told Indonesia's Metro TV
that about 100 people also died on neighboring Simeulue island. Both islands are
just west of Indonesia's much larger Sumatra island.
Dave Jenkins, a New Zealand physician who runs the relief agency SurfAid
International in western Sumatra, said he feared for about 10,000 people living on
the tiny Banyak Islands, close to the quake's epicenter. By late yesterday, contact
had not been made with the islands.
Pope may need tube to aid in swallowing
Pope John Paul II may have to return to the hospital to have a feeding tube
inserted because he is having difficulty swallowing, an Italian news agency
The APcom news agency said no.decision had been taken and the feeding tube
was one option being considered to help the 84-year-old pope get better nutrition and
regain his strength.
Calls to the Vatican spokesman went unanswered late yesterday.
Citing an unidentified source, the agency said the pope's doctors were consid-
ering the procedure, which involves inserting a feeding tube through the throat
and into the stomach. The tube is drawn through the throat then extended from
inside the stomach to outside the body through a small incision in the abdomen.
Liquid formula is fed through the tube into the stomach, and the tube does not
remain in the throat.
Attorney Johnny Cochran passed away Tuesday.
and Peter Neufeld.
But in legal circles, the verdict rep-
resented the pinnacle of success for a
respected attorney who had toiled in
the Los Angeles legal profession for
Cochran was born Oct. 2, 1937 in
Shreveport, La., the great-grandson of
slaves, grandson of a sharecropper and
son of an insurance salesman. He came
to Los Angeles with his family in 1949
and became one of two dozen black stu-
dents integrated into Los Angeles High
School in the 1950s.
Even as a child, he had loved to
argue, and in high school he excelled
He came to idolize Thurgood Mar-
shall, the attorney who persuaded the
U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw school
segregation in the 1954 Brown vs. Board
of Education decision and who would
eventually become the Supreme Court's
first black justice.
"I didn't know too much about
what a lawyer did, or how he worked,
but I knew that if one man could
cause this great stir, then the law
must be a wondrous thing," Cochran
said in his book.
" " " " BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan
Pakistanis imprsoned for protesting President ofKyrgyzstan launchesinvestigation
Kyrgyzstan's interim president announced plans yesterday to investigate
from American prison
are imprisoned again
in home country
HUSSAINABAD, Pakistan (AP) -
More than three dozen Pakistanis who
were freed from an American prison at
Guantanamo Bay remain jailed in their
home country, most without charge
and with no sign of when they might
be released, security and government
The prisoners staged a protest ear-
lier this month seeking an end to their
legal limbo, shunning food and shout-
ing slogans at jail staff, a senior prison
There was apparently no violence,
but the official told The Associated
Press it "took hours to get them to
calm down" inside their high-secu-
rity cells in Adiala jail, near the capi-
tal Islamabad. The official spoke on
condition of anonymity because of the
sensitivity of the topic.
Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema, a senior
Interior Ministry official, confirmed
that about three dozen former Guanta-
namo prisoners are being held at the
jail, but would not say how long they
had been there or discuss when they
might be released. He said the men
were being "debriefed."
Hundreds of Pakistanis, mostly
-Islamic seminary students, went to
Afghanistan to fight alongside the
Taliban after the United States began
military operations in October 2001 in
response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Some 180 Pakistanis freed from
are also held at
Adiala." h e
"They are I have no
under protec- the govern
Their cases won't relee
cally reviewed, There can
and any deci-
sion about their good reas
release will be
taken by the pro- Brothe
told the AP.
could hold such men for an unspecified
time, he added.
In Hussainabad, a clutch of mud-
brick homes 185 miles south of the cap-
ital, the family of one of the prisoners
said yesterday it is desperate to see him
freed, and argues the U.S. decision to
let him leave Guantanamo is evidence
he is not a dangerous terrorist.
Ghulam Farid - brother-in-law
of prisoner Bashir Ahmad - said
the family's joy at learning of his
release from Guantanamo has turned
"I have no idea
- Ghulam Farid
r-in-law of prisoner
why the government
won't release him.
There can be no
good reason," he
said. "We are poor
people. We can't get
any answers from
our government. We
man Lt. Cmdr. Flex
Plexico said 29
home in Septem-
ber for continued
six were released
prisoners who are released or trans-
ferred will be treated humanely, but,
"We have no authority to tell another
government what they are going to do
with a detainee."
The U.S. military has released at
least 211 detainees from Guantana-
mo, but many are freed on the condi-
tion they will be held by their home
Bashir Ahmad was 17 years old in
2000 when he closed his video rental
shop and went off to fight, his mother
Jannat Bibi said. A friend of Ahmad's
said he was motivated by a local reli-
gious leader from the banned Sunni
militant group Sipah-e-Sahaba,
which is headquartered just a few
miles away in the city of Jhang, a
hotbed of militancy.
Ahmad told his family he was going
to fight in Kashmir, but they heard
nothing from him until getting a let-
ter in 2002 saying he was in jail in
Afghanistan. A second letter arrived
later from the Red Cross saying he was
Two weeks ago, Red Cross officials
came to tell the family that Ahmad
had been returned to Pakistan, but said
they had no power to get him out of jail
or arrange a visit.
last week's storming of the government headquarters that toppled President
Askar Akayev and led to widespread looting, while the ousted leader said
from Russia that he was not ready to resign.
Legislators ended a damaging battle for legitimacy between rival parlia-
ments, boosting prospects for political stability in the impoverished Central
Members of the previous parliament had struggled for supremacy against newly
elected rivals since the ouster of Akayev's government.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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- -- i
outright. It wasn't clear why the Pen-
tagon figures differed from those pro-
vided by the Pakistani authorities.
Plexico said the United States
seeks assurances from countries that
Roadblock removed to withdrawal
NEWS Farayha Arrine, Managing Editor
EDITORS: Melissa Benton, Donn M. Fresard, Michael Kan, Jameei Naqvl
STAFF: Omayah Atassi, Adrian Chen, Amber Colvin, Jon Cohen, Jeremy Davidson, Adhiraj Dutt, Victoria Edwards, Eduardo Escalante, Laura
Frank, Magaly Grimaldo, Breeanna Hare, Julia Hemring, Tina Hildreth, Jacqueline Howard, Anne Joling, Carmen Johnson, Genevieve Lampinen,
Andrew Kaplan, Emily Kraack, Rachel Kruer, Tomislav Ladika, Kingson Man, Carissa Miller, Justin Miller, Mark Osmond, Kristin Ostby, Leslie
Rott, Ekjyot Saini, Talia Selitsky, C. C. Song, Sarah Sprague, Karl Stampfi, Phil Svablk, Kim Tomlin, Amine Tourki, Laura Van Hyfte
OPINION Suhael Momin, Sam Singer, Editors
ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Matt Rose, Christopher Zbrozek
STAFF: Emily Beam, Amanda Burns, Katherine Cantor, Whitney Dibo, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared Goldberg, Eric Jackson, Brian Kelly, Theresa
Kennelly, Andy Kula, Rajiv Prabhakar, David Russell, Dan Skowronski, Brian Slade, John Stiglich
CARTOONISTS: Sam Butler, Colin Daly, Alexander Honkala
COLUMNISTS: Daniel Adams, Jasmine Clair, Jeff Cravens, Joel Hoard, Sowmya Krishnamurthy, Elliott Mallen, Zac Peskowitz, Jordan
Schrader Dan Shuster
SPORTS Ian Herbert, Managing Editor
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NIGHT EDITORS: James V. Dowd, Jack Herman, Katie Niemeyer, Jake Rosenwasser, Matt Singer, Matt Venegoni
STAFF: Scott Bell, H. Jose Bosch, Daniel Bremmer, Daniel Bromwich, Chris Burke, Gabe Edelson, Gennaro Filice, Seth Gordon, Tyler Hagle, Bob
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Sosin, Anne Ule, Ben Voss, Kevin Wright
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's par-
liament on Tuesday easily approved the
long-overdue 2005 state budget, mean-
ing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's gov-
ernment can no longer be brought down
by opponents of a Gaza withdrawal set
for this summer.
After Sharon secured a majority by
pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in
special spending to three parties to secure
their votes, the parliament approved the
budget 58-36 with one abstention.
The budget confrontation caps a tur-
bulent political year, and settler lead-
ers say they will now take their battle
against the pullout to the streets, threat-
ening mass protests and even civil war.
Failure to pass a budget by Thurs-
day would have forced Sharon to
resign, delaying or even torpedoing
the plan to remove all 21 Jewish set-
tlements from Gaza and four from the
West Bank in the summer.
Opponents of the withdrawal,
including many in Sharon's Likud
Party, prevented passage of the budget
at the end of last year and continued to
vote against the government on Tues-
day, though it was clear the budget
would be approved.
Securityofficials fear increasingly
desperate settlers will resort to vio-
lence to disrupt the pullout, includ-
ing possibly attempting an attack on
a disputed holy site in Jerusalem or to
Public Security Minister Gideon
Ezra said he picked up a warning that
extremists among the settlers might
open fire on soldiers who come to
Ezra said a Gaza resident opposed to
the pullout told him it would be a good
idea "if we can find a way to collect the
weapons from the settlers in Gush Katif
(in Gaza) because somebody can shoot,
and there could be casualties."
Speaking in an Associated Press
interview, Ezra said he opposed the
idea of confiscating weapons.
Pinchas Wallerstein, a settler leader,
said he and others would try to refrain
from violence, but the situation might
spin out of control. "We don't intend
to compromise in the battle," he told
Lawmaker Effie Eitam, who quit
Sharon's government last year over the
pullout, told the AP the evacuation is
illegitimate. Now that the parliament
ARTS Adam Rottenberg, Managing Editor
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