Johnnie Cochran

Johnnie Cochran

American lawyer
Johnnie Lee Cochran Jr. was an American lawyer and civil activist best known for his leadership role in the defense and criminal acquittal of O. J. Simpson for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.Wikipedia
BornOctober 2, 1937
HometownShreveport, Louisiana, United States of America
Net worth$8 million
SpouseSylvia Dale (m 1985 - 2005) , Barbara Berry (m 1960 - 1977)
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The ultimate courtroom drama: how a play kept the OJ Simpson jury sane

  • Impassioned speeches. Hostile cross-examination. The (gasp!) surprise witness or new piece of evidence. And, sometimes, a life hanging in the balance. Courtrooms are inherently theatrical; little wonder they’re a favoured setting for dramatists, from The Crucible and Witness for the Prosecution on stage, to Twelve Angry Men on the big screen and the slew of legal TV shows. “I object!” “You’re out of order!” “You can’t handle the truth!” Of course, one of the most sensational trials in history was the 1995 OJ Simpson case. It played out like a drama, thanks partly to Judge Ito’s decision to allow cameras into the Los Angeles courtroom, and partly to the feverish media coverage of a story that had it all: murder, celebrity, sex, race. Prosecutor Marcia Clark noted that initially, TV viewers complained because the trial interrupted their soap operas. Soon, the Simpson trial became their soap opera. Defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran revelled in that spotlight. What could be more theatrical than his famous use of a prop, forcing Simpson to try on the bloody glove found at the scene of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman’s murders? Topped off with that slam-dunk Cochran line: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” The Simpson jury spent nine months as a captive audience to this unfolding real-life melodrama. There was no reprieve: even on their day off, the judge kept up the drama – arranging a private showing of the play Love Letters (playing in the West End from later this week) in the courtroom itself. It sounds cruel, but this bizarre site-specific production was actually part of a mercy mission to keep the Simpson jury sane. They were sequestered for a staggering 265 days, longer than any other jury in American history. That meant almost nine months of arguably inhumane conditions. They were kept in isolation at the Hotel Inter-Continental, and, to avoid outside influence, were not allowed newspapers, radio or TV. Nor could they go anywhere or see anyone. It was the criminal justice equivalent of the Big Brother house.