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October 04, 1995 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

onight: Partly cloudy,
)w 520.
omorrow: Chance of rain,
igh around 70°.

2 itIa


One hundredfve years of editorialfreedom

October 4, 1995

VQ~sCVINo. .' =-' I- ow

Simpson verdict mesmerizes campus

lo Decision marks close of 8-month trial
Simpson released after 474 days in jail

J. Simpson celebrates his acquittal yesterday.

Campus stood
still yesterday as
students crowded
dorm rooms and lounges
to await the verdict of the
most-watched trial in our
nation's history.
By Stu Brlow
and Jeff Eldridge
Daily Staff Reporters
"If he's acquitted, I'll be truly sur-
prised," Business junior Kenneth
Wright said yesterday before the an-
nouncement ofthe jury's verdict in O.J.
Simpson's double-murder trial.
Wright may well have gone into shock
just after 1 p.m. yesterday.
In scenes reminiscent of the start of
the Persian Gulf War, students flocked
to televisions around campus to see the
Simpson jury acquit the most famous
murder defendant in U.S. history.
"Everyone just stood there silent,"
said first-year student Dave Zabell, who
watched the news coverage in the Michi-
gan Union with about 500 other stu-
dents. After the verdict was announced,
some people looked to the floor and
walked away, but most people started
jumping and cheering.
"It's hard to believe it's going to be
over," Zabell added.
But after 15 months of speculation
and intrigue surrounding the soap-op-
era-like proceedings, the trial of the
man who was accused of Nicole Brown
Simpson and Ronald Goldman is over.
In the Modern Languages Building'
somber-faced students packed into a
small roomto see the newscast, while in
Angell Hall, elated students ran through
the building proclaiming Simpson's
LSA junior Kathy Rivkin expressed
strong emotions against the decision.
"It's incredible," she said. "The DNA
seemed to prove he was guilty. The
defense inflated evidence that wasn't
really there."
Many students expressed concern that
the decision illustrates shortcomings of
the Americanjudicial system. "It proves
that money can buy you anything," said
Engineering first-year student Devin
"I really believe O.J. Simpson did
kill his wife, but I don't think the pros-
ecution did a sufficient job of proving
he was guilty of committing the crime,"
said LSA sophomore Kenneth Jones,
who said he personally witnessed the
much-ballyhooed white Bronco chase
from a Los Angeles overpass.
While some students were confident
in Simpson's guilt, others believed the
prosecution failed to fulfill its obliga-
tion. "I don't know whether he did it,"
said LSA senior Cyrus Sidhwa. "But
that's the problem: No one can know. I
don't think the prosecution really proved
their case."
"I don't believe they had any evi-
dence to link O.J.," said Business School
student Lisa Munroe. "Our justice sys-
tem says 'beyond a reasonable doubt,'
and I think there's a lot of reasonable
doubt. I don't think the prosecution did
a good job."
Some felt former detective Mark

vows to
find 'real


Simpson headed home yesterday,
picking up a life of freedom instead
of starting life in prison. Acquitted of
murdering his ex-wife and her friend,
he pledged to track down the real
killers who are "out there some-
Ina courtroom
on the verge of
exploding with
emotion, a hush
fell as Judge
Lance Ito's
clerk, Dierdre
Robertson, read
the two words:
"Not guilty."
Sim p s on Brown Simpson
mouthed the
words, "Thank you," at thejurythen
clasped his hands together and was
embraced by his attorneys.
Tears of anguish and shouts of joy
burst from the three families whose
lives were torn apart by the bloody

June. 12, 1994,
slayings 'of
Nicole Brown
Simpson and
R o n a l d
"Oh my God!"
e x c'i a i m e d
grown daughter,
Arnelie, embrac
ing her brother
"We did it!" a


watching the end of the O.J. Simpson double-murder trial yesterday on a television In the Michigan Union, react to the jury's not-guilty verdict.

h e trial's lessons

O.J. Simpson Case,
By The Numbers

ay Kiran Chaudhrl
m d Laurie Mayk
)aily Staff Reporters
For one man, the O.J. Simpson trial
lecided the issue of guilt or innocence;
)ut for the American public, it had
nuch broader implications, University
xperts said yesterday.
First, the trial was a hard lesson in the
nner-workings of our criminal justice
ystem. Viewers saw more than a Perry
VMason courtroom drama and witnessed
what Joan Lowenstein called "the frail-
ies of how a criminal trial works."
"People already were distrustful of
he legal system and I don't think this
vill help," said Lowenstein, a commu-
nication lecturer specializing in media
aw. "What they can learn is that justice
s not certain, that justice can be tricky."
While providing the public with an
education in criminal law, however, the
rial may have worked against public
rust in the judicial system.

"It's already had a large effect on
public perception. It's already been bad
- that is, to diminish the public's re-
gard for the system of criminal justice,"
said Law Prof. Samuel Gross.
The very media coverage that pro-
vided the details of the trial to millions
of Americans was the target of criti-
cism for its presence in the courtroom.
"If I were Judge Ito, I would have kept
the press out of the courtroom," said
Trevor Thrall, instructor for the commu-
nication course "Media and Govemment."
"Press coverage of the trial, regard-
less of the effects on juror, had an enor-
mous impact on the public. It was prob-
ably the first time that they had a good
look at the legal system - and what did
they see? They saw a travesty, the legal
system at its extreme," Thrall said.
Ito's handling of the media may have
set dangerous precedents, Thrall said.
"The media has realized that the pub-
lic has abig appetite for this sort ofthing.

Days since jury selection began: 372
Days jurors were sequestered: 266 _
Length of deliberations: less than 4
Number of jurors picked: 12, plus 12
Number of jurors dismissed: 10
Witnesses: defense 54; prosecution 72
Days of testimony: defense 34;,
prosecution 99
Cost: estimated $9 million for Los
Angeles County, includes costs for Ito
court and prosecution; defense figures
not available
Amount earned by each of the 12 jurors
and two alternates: $1,330 (at $5 a
day for time of sequestration)

family member exulted to lead de-
fense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr.
Eerily, the Simpson saga ended
much as it had begun, with the fallen
football superstar being transported
in a white van to his estate while news
helicopters tracked him overhead,
Yesterday's televised verdicts were
the most-watched event since June
17, 1994, when Simpson, in a white
Bronco with his friend Al Cowlings
driving, led police on a surreal slow-
speed chase viewed by millions.
Cowlings was at the door to em-
brace Simpson when he came home:
Later, family members gathered for a
See SIMPSON, Page 7
Fuhrman's testimony significantly un-
dermined the prosecution's case.
"Fuhrman's racist remarks and the fact
that he lied on the stand really con-
vinced the jury," said LSA sophomore
Thomas KelleyJr.
Throughout the past 15 months, many
people have said they lost interest in the
Simpson proceedings:Yesterday proved
"I had to cancel class because only
See STUDENTS, Page 7

Inside: Post-trial analysis, Simpson's
future. Page 7.

If the news organizations find them-
selves in the situation where they can
dramatize a case like this again, they
will, as long as the conditions are right."
Prof. Ann Lin of the School of Public
Policy expressed concern over how
people will regard the social statements
from the trial. "If (the public) reads the
wrong lesson, then everyone's preju-
dices will be confirmed.
"I think it's frightening that it has the
potential to allow whites to feel

perfectily justified in thinking blacks
always stand up for their own and for
blacks to think that the police are al-
ways out to get them," Lin said.
The general public is not the only
group who can learn from the racial
aspect of the trial, Gross added. He
suggested that the controversial testi-
mony of former Detective Mark
Fuhrman may encourage future pros-
ecution teams to choose their police
See EXPERTS, Page 7

lintnn iues veto on

The President

IeI'.a..Ea, ,t b ES aA1.FVE 4s I* v hT v l.iIs d s p o n e
t~hat theac
:on ssional endin provides more

Regents yet to begin
search for president

Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - President
Clinton, issuing only the third veto of
his presidency, yesterday refused to sign
a bill that provides money for the opera-
tion of Congress.
A llain t v il rie n,:rncin

started Oct. 1.
Clinton believes it would be "inap-
propriate" to provide full spending
authority for Congress "while fund-
ing for most other activities - the
government - remains incomplete,
-.nAl a nnrertan " McCurrv

Speaker Newt
Gingrich (R-
Ga.), said it was
that Clinton had
vetoed a bill that
cuts conares-

funding than
- Mike McCurry Clinton
Clinton press secretary

By Amy Klein
Daily Staff Reporter
As the shock of University President
James J. Duderstadt's announced re-
tirement subsides, members of the
Board of Regents will use the next
month to begin the search for a new
The regents traditionally have com-

the scheduled meeting would not harm
the search process, despite Duderstadt's
June 30, 1996 retirement date.
"It would be stupid to rush the pro-
cess," Newman said. "We can always
appoint an interim (president)."
Complicating the upcoming presiden-
tial search is the absence of a permanent
provost. As the University's No. 2 of-


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