O.J. Simpson ‘bloody glove’ not manipulated, Cochran friends say

Shelby Grad and Andrew Blankstein (Los Angeles Times) | September 9, 2012

Friends and colleagues of Johnnie L. Cochran, including those who worked with him in the O.J. Simpson murder case, are blasting a former prosecutor who claims Cochran tampered with the “blood glove.”

They said the accusation is “slanderous” and that Cochran, who died in 2005, is not around to defend himself.

During the trial in the stabbing deaths of Simpson’s former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Lyle Goldman, Simpson tried on bloody gloves and held up his hands in front of the jury box to let everyone see the leather bunched up around his broad palms and that they wouldn’t fit. That demonstration became a powerful symbol for the defense, summed up by Cochran: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

Several jurors cited the too-tight gloves as a key reason for voting to acquit Simpson. But this week, Christopher Darden, one of the prosecutors on the case, told Reuters news service and a law school audience that he believed Cochran manipulated the glove.

“As members of the defense team, Carl Douglas and I were present in court on the day that Chris Darden asked O.J. Simpson to try on the glove,” attorney Shawn Holley said in a statement to The Times. “Mr. Darden’s self-serving assertion that Johnnie Cochran tampered with the glove — or any piece of evidence — is false, malicious and slanderous.

“Almost 20 years later, it seems Mr. Darden is still trying to exculpate himself from one of the biggest blunders in the history of jurisprudence.”

Alan Dershowitz, who also worked with Cochran, has said in a statement that the claims are “a total fabrication.”

On Thursday, during a panel discussion about the trial at Pace Law School in New York City, according to Reuters, Darden declared: “I think Johnnie tore the lining. There were some additional tears in the lining so that O.J.’s fingers couldn’t go all the way up into the glove.”

The glove incident was seen as the pivotal moment in the 1995 trial.

At the time, Darden tried to explain how the glove would not fit Simpson by bringing in expert Richard Rubin, who “testified that moisture had caused the extra-large leather gloves to shrink nearly a full size and lose much of their elasticity,” according to a Times report. Rubin said “the gloves in their original condition would easily go onto the hand of someone of Mr. Simpson’s size.”

Read more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/oj-simpson-bloody-glove.html

Photo credit: Associated Press

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