UCLA law professor Peter Arenella and Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson offer their take on the Simpson trial. Joining them is former Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner, who will rotate with other experts as the case moves forward. Today’s topic: Bodziak to the rescue.


On the prosecution: What second set of bloody shoe prints? William Bodziak found none left by a second killer. None on the bloody envelope, paper and jeans. And the parallel lines that Dr. Henry Lee saw on the walkway on June 25 were either not present on June 13 or they were in the tiles themselves. If the jury credits Bodziak’s expertise, there is only one set of size 12 bloody Magli shoe prints at Bundy, and those match O.J.’s shoe size.

On the defense: Barry Scheck may have met his match. Despite his considerable skills, he only struck glancing blows at the margins of Bodziak’s testimony, never undermining the expert’s confident conclusion that only one set of bloody shoe prints were present. Bodziak’s photos showing tool marks in the cement--which Lee had suggested were consistent with shoe prints--could leave jurors with the lasting impression that the prosecution won this battle.



On the prosecution: Bravo for Bodziak! Not only was he willing to give a clear, absolute opinion that there are no second shoe prints, but he also warned jurors that they had been misled by Dr. Lee’s testimony. After all, if Lee could confuse Bodziak, he could mislead the jury. As this case nears conclusion, credibility is key. Bodziak made the prosecution’s point--the defense, and their experts, cannot be trusted.

On the defense: Scheck has met his match. No matter how hard he pushes on Bodziak, Bodziak pushes back. Bodziak is un-cowed by Dr. Lee. After all, who in the world knows more about shoe prints than Bodziak. Scheck must find a way to repair the defense’s reputation and that of their expert. Their approach--get a disgruntled FBI agent to attack his colleagues.


On the prosecution: It’s good news for the prosecution if Judge Ito was right and jurors were paying attention to testimony. Evidence is the last thing the defense wants the jury to pay attention to. In an ordinary case, Bodziak’s testimony would be devastating, but I don’t think it will have the impact it would have in an ordinary case because this case is so unusual. A further cautionary note, evidence that comes in late in a trial seldom carries the day.

On the defense: Scheck is just outstanding, but it’s a lot better to have good facts than a good lawyer. The defense was made to look ridiculous when another one of their assertions turned out to be fanciful. The footprint of the second killer turns out to have been made in the concrete when it was originally poured. Earlier, we had the Colombian hit squad. And who can ever forget Rosa Lopez? There’s been one fanciful assertion after another.

Compiled by HENRY WEINSTEIN/Los Angeles Times