THE O.J. SIMPSON MURDER TRIAL : Only Those in Courtroom See Simpson’s Scars
It was a moment millions of television viewers had hoped to see--O.J. Simpson on display as a living exhibit during opening statements.
But no one outside Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito’s relatively small courtroom witnessed Simpson as he bared parts of his body to jurors--part of a defense presentation intended to show that the former football star’s physical limitations would have made it impossible for him to have committed the murders.
On orders from Ito, the courtroom camera was trained on a wall as the demonstration got under way. Wearing a blue suit, Simpson sighed, rose from the defense table and crossed the courtroom.
Standing just inches away from the jury box, he bent down and lifted his left pant leg as some jurors in the back row stood and craned for a look at his knee, which his lawyers say has been scarred by repeated surgeries for chronic rheumatoid arthritis.
Reporters nearest to the jury box said Simpson looked uncomfortable as defense lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. described the misshapen knee.
Cochran asked Simpson to show the jurors the scar on his finger, which prosecutors contend he received in a struggle with victim Ronald Lyle Goldman, but which the defense maintains he suffered when he broke a glass in a Chicago hotel room.
Simpson looked at the wall behind the jurors, seemingly embarrassed, as he stood with outstretched hand for the jurors to see the cut.
Cochran got a laugh when he noted that he couldn’t mark the finger as an exhibit.