Simpson Murder Case : Closing Arguments by Defense, Prosecution at Murder Hearing


The following are excerpts from the closing arguments of O.J. Simpson’s principal attorney, Robert L. Shapiro:

Your honor, I would ask the court to consider the jury instruction that would be given in a case like this regarding circumstantial evidence, and that is if the evidence presented relies solely on circumstantial evidence, there can be no conviction unless the circumstances point to guilt and are not reconcilable with any other reasonable theory.

If, on the other hand, the circumstances may point to guilt or innocence, the jury or finder of fact must adopt that theory which points to innocence and reject that which points to guilt.


Now clearly this not a trial, and clearly this burden is not the same. But the legal principle remains.

This is a case based entirely on circumstantial evidence. And it is clear from the presentation of the people and through our cross-examination that the circumstances can point both toward a suspicion of guilt and also toward a theory of innocence.

The key piece of evidence that the people are relying on is the serology of a 99% chance that four blooddrops found at the Bundy crime scene were of the same type and chemical composition as that of Mr. O.J. Simpson.

The converse is this: If you take the Coliseum on any given Sunday, 40,000 (to) 80,000 people will have that same blood type.

No. 2, there was testimony elicited from the people’s witness that Mr. Simpson has joint custody of these children with his ex-wife, the decedent, Nicole.

That being the case, it is reasonable to assume that he would visit the children or pick them up at her condominium on a regular basis.


Since the criminalist cannot fix the age of the blood spots, there is an equally reasonable theory that those blood spots, if in fact they belonged to Mr. Simpson, were placed there at some other time than the time of death.

And, in fact, the criminalist testified that by viewing the photographs, the blood appeared to be of different ages. However, he blamed that on poor photography.

But on cross-examination, he admitted that proper crime scene photography requires using the same type of equipment with the same lighting conditions from the same angle.

Point No. 2 that the prosecution relies on: There is a matching glove found . . . behind the Simpson residence that matches a glove found at the crime scene.

Another conclusion--well, let’s go by the testimony.

I asked (Detective Philip L.) Vannatter: “How did that glove get there?” He said: “Someone brought it there.”

Let’s look at the other circumstantial evidence involved. If, in fact, the killer lived at the Simpson residence, the court would have to believe the following:


That in a window period of less than an hour, the killer was able to leave the crime scene (where there was) . . . a victim with two arteries in the neck cut, two jugular veins cut, and massive blood from both victims.

A clear inference would be that the murderer was indeed covered with blood. The murderer would then have to do the following:

Abandon the bloody clothing, because they have not been found or presented; abandon bloody shoes, because they have not been found or discovered, and then go back to his house and leave a bloody glove in his back yard.

That just doesn’t hold up to logic.

We have no evidence whatsoever in this record that whoever committed this horrendous act acted with premeditation and deliberation, as is charged in the complaint filed by the district attorney.

This is a case that the police admit is still under investigation, where other suspects are being sought, where the medical examiner admits that two weapons could have been used, a clear inference that there may be more than one killer.

I don’t want to go through each and every area of impeachment with the witnesses, but I think it is very, very clear that everybody who has participated in this investigation has not done so in a professional manner. From the time the Los Angeles Police Department arrived on the crime scene, it was nearly 10 hours later until they started the scientific investigation and even took the temperature of the body.


There was testimony that the Fire Department obviously was there and left and didn’t do anything, yet the coroner’s records clearly indicate that the Fire Department chief was the person who pronounced the bodies dead. I doubt if he did that from a distance.

This is a case that everybody has jumped to an immediate and unrealistic conclusion as to the state of this evidence.

. . . This is a case where the chief serologist said: “We used serology as much to eliminate as to implicate,” and yet we have no DNA testing back. This is a case that is needless and groundless.

The court on viewing all of the evidence . . . should have little difficulty in deciding that this certainly is not a case of premeditated murder by anyone for there is totally no evidence on that issue whatsoever; and No. 2, that there is not and cannot be at this point in time a strong suspicion that Mr. Simpson is guilty of anything.