It’s been almost 17 years since former football great O.J. Simpson was tried for murder, and now one of the prosecutors claims that the “bloody glove” was deliberately tampered with by Simpson’s defense team. The glove was considered one of the most important pieces of evidence in the case. Simpson’s attorney, the late Johnny Cochran, famously told jurors, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Simpson was not able to pull it over his hand, a shocking development for the prosecution which all but derailed the case.
Former Los Angeles deputy district attorney Christopher Darden says he thinks Cochran or someone on his team “manipulated” the glove before Simpson tried it on. Darden declared: “I think Johnny tore the lining. There were some additional tears in the lining so O.J.’s fingers couldn’t go all the way up into the glove.” Darden also claims that a bailiff told him that Cochran had the glove in his possession during the lunch break and may have done the additional damage then. He said, “It’s been my suspicion for a long time that the lining has been manipulated.”
Attorney Alan Dershowitz, who was part of the Simpson defense team, strongly denied the allegation. He called Darden’s comments a “complete fabrication” and said that courtroom rules prohibit the defense from accessing evidence except under “controlled circumstances.” Dershowitz says he is “certain” that the defense didn’t have access to the glove until Simpson tried it on in the courtroom. He also accused Darden of “blaming a dead man” for Darden’s bungling of the case. Cochran died of a brain tumor in 2005.
At the time of the trial Darden and his fellow prosecutors were excoriated for failing to have Simpson try on the glove first before introducing it as evidence. The glove was one of two, both soaked in blood. One was found at the murder scene, the other was found at Simpson’s home. Darden was asked why he didn’t report his suspicions at the time, and he replied that making a report would have been a “whiny-little-snitch approach to life.” Simpson, while escaping a murder conviction, is currently serving a 33 year prison term for armed robbery. The defense team’s ability to overcome what the prosecution called a “mountain of evidence” is still considered one of the most important criminal defense victories of modern times.
Source: Reuters, “Ex-prosecutor claims O.J. Simpson attorney tampered with glove,” Terry Baynes, 9/8/12