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The People vs. O.J. Simpson ranks indisputably as the trial of the century. It featured a double murder, a celebrity defendant, a perjuring witness, and a glove that didn't fit. The trial became a media circus of outrageous proportions that led the judge to sequester the jury, eject disruptive reporters, and fine the lawyers thousands of dollars. Now an insider of The People vs. O.J. Simpson reveals the untold story of the most widely followed trial in American history and the indelible impact it has had on the judiciary, the media, and the public.
As the Los Angeles Superior Court's media liaison, Jerrianne Hayslett had unprecedented access to the trial - and met with Judge Lance Ito daily - as she attempted, sometimes unsuccessfully, to mediate between the court and members of the media and to balance their interests. In Anatomy of a Trial, she takes readers behind the scenes to shed new light on the people and proceedings and to show how the media and the trial participants changed the court-media landscape to the detriment of the public's understanding of the judicial system.
For those who think they've already read all there is to know about the Simpson trial, this book is an eye-opener. Hayslett kept a detailed journal during the proceedings in which she recorded anecdotes and commentary. She also shares previously undisclosed information to expose some of the myths and stereotypes perpetuated by the trial, while affirming other stories that emerged during that time. By examining this trial after more than a decade, she shows how it has produced a bunker mentality in the judicial system, shaping media and public access to courts with lasting impact on such factors as cameras in the courtroom, jury selection, admonishments from the bench, and fair-trial/free-press tensions.
The media have written on all aspects of the O.J.Simpson trial, except their own responsibility to the public. Even today, judges, lawyers and journalists across the country say the Simpson trial changed everything. This book finally tells us why. It also includes perspectives of legal and journalism authorities and offers a blueprint of how the courts and media can better meet their responsibilities to the public.
… why Judge Lance Ito allowed camera-coverage of the trial and how that affected trial participants..
… an Ito interview that became the mistake of a career and opened the floodgates of criticism.
… Keystone Kop-like chases inside the courthouse, and the carnival of souvenir hawkers, gawkers and bantering radio deejays outside.
… jurors’ secret note taking, personality clashes, revolts, misconduct that prompted countless closed sessions during their nearly nine-month confinement.
… veteran high-profile judges’ assessments and predictions, a judicial horoscope for Ito and his future..
… judges who covet the spotlight and who pass judgment on those who are in it.
… a Larry King visit that flies off track into a thicket of misrepresentation.
… surprising assessments of legal scholars and media veterans and predictions that came true.
… a winning formula for the courts and the media – and for the public.
… high-octane lawyers who, despite fines, sanctions, chiding, court orders and being reported to the State Bar, still cavorted, pouted, postured, quarreled, delayed, defied and ridiculed.