As opposing lawyers fired the opening salvos in the next big battle over blood, members of O.J. Simpson’s fractious jury flashed the world an apparent sign of unity and harmony Friday by wearing identical T-shirts to court.
The jury’s display, however, merely underscored the widely reported divisions among panel members.
Only 11 of the 17 jurors and alternates wore the white T-shirts, which bore the emblem of a pizza chain and its cheesy slogan: “14 ethnically diverse cultures peacefully co-existing on a thin, delicious crust.”
Among those in the pizza pack were all the jury’s white or Hispanic members. Conspicuously not participating were the panel’s three black men.
Reading any jury is a tricky business. Judging jurors by their dress code is probably trickier still.
But for weary court watchers, the exercise provided a welcome distraction from another day of tedious testimony about blood types and the number of blood drops that may - or may not - be missing from a vial of blood drawn from Simpson the day after his ex-wife’s murder.
Defense attorneys again sought to show that at least 30 drops were missing from Simpson’s blood sample, more than enough to allow wayward cops to manufacture evidence implicating him in the June 12 stabbing deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, went to elaborate lengths to explain away the 1.5 milliliters of “missing” blood - almost a fifth of Simpson’s sample.
Friday, both sides claimed to have evidence that will prove conclusively whether detectives planted Simpson’s blood on a rear gate at the murder scene outside Nicole Simpson’s condominium, as defense lawyers contend, and also whether blood drawn from Nicole Simpson’s body was planted on a pair of socks that police found in her ex-husband’s bedroom.
Not surprisingly, the opposing sides reached opposite conclusions, foreshadowing the next major skirmish over blood evidence that lies at the heart of the case.