For months now, members of Ronald Goldman’s family have sat quietly in the front row of the courtroom enduring hours of tedious testimony and legal wrangling over issues in the O.J. Simpson case that often seemed unrelated to the murders with which he is charged.
But they erupted Wednesday in an emotional outburst over a controversy that they fear has overshadowed the charges against Simpson.
Accusing defense attorneys of focusing on taped interviews of police detective Mark Fuhrman in order to manipulate the jury, Goldman’s father said at a news conference outside the courtroom that his son and Nicole Brown Simpson were “butchered by their client.”
“This is a trial about the man that murdered my son,” Frederick Goldman said, his voice breaking. “How dare they take the position that all they want to do is prove perjury? They are liars. And with regard to their so-called feelings for our family, I reject that totally.”
Noting that defense lawyer Robert Shapiro had said repeatedly that race would not be an issue at the trial, Goldman said he was outraged that Simpson’s lawyers would argue that the tapes were being used only to prove that Fuhrman perjured himself when he testified under oath that he had not used racial epithets over the past 10 years.
“Are we fools?” he asked. “Do they take us all for morons? We all know what they want is to inflame the minds of the jury and to inflame anyone’s minds … with issues that don’t relate to this trial.”