March 14, 1995 in Nation/World

Defense Tries To Demonstrate Misconduct By Fuhrman

New York Times

A lawyer for O.J. Simpson set out to show Monday that a police detective was so incurably racist that he picked up one of two bloody gloves at the crime scene, rubbed it inside Simpson’s car, then deposited it behind Simpson’s house.

Court adjourned before the lawyer, F. Lee Bailey, could question Detective Mark Fuhrman about finding the glove, and Bailey did not explicitly say before the jury that the detective planted it there.

But earlier, in a hearing before Judge Lance A. Ito, he said that Fuhrman “is very definitely a suspect” in such misconduct. “And that’s what we intend to show with circumstantial evidence far stronger than the people will ever offer against O.J. Simpson for the murders,” he stated.

After months of innuendo and press leaks, Simpson’s lawyers finally began laying out in court what has become a central theme of their case: that crucial evidence linking Simpson to the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald L. Goldman flowed directly from the racism of a rogue policeman.

They supplied no evidence Monday, relying instead on aggressive questions and suggestions from others that Fuhrman was a bigot who cannot be believed.

Bailey asked Fuhrman to provide a minute-by-minute account of his activities both at 875 South Bundy Drive, where Simpson’s former wife and her friend were killed last June, and Simpson’s home at 360 North Rockingham.

The lawyer attempted to show that at each place, Fuhrman had a few moments to himself, and used them to fabricate a case against Simpson, because he loathed a black man in an interracial marriage.

Prosecutors insist that Simpson’s lawyers have no evidence at all to back up what they consider their preposterous claim. Marcia Clark, the chief prosecutor, told Ito on Monday that the defense “has never and will never be able to demonstrate either the opportunity or give any kind of real offer of proof to this court that Detective Fuhrman planted anything.” She called the defense’s contention “a virtual impossibility.”

But Bailey labored to show that by character and conduct, nothing Fuhrman said on the matter was trustworthy.


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