November 28, 1995 in Nation/World

State Will Investigate Claims Fuhrman Lied Retired Detective Could Face Prison If Found Guilty Of Perjury

Michael White Associated Press

The California attorney general will investigate allegations that Mark Fuhrman lied under oath during O.J. Simpson’s murder trial, District Attorney Gil Garcetti said Monday.

Garcetti asked Attorney General Dan Lungren to investigate the retired police detective to avoid a conflict of interest.

Simpson’s lawyers claim that the prosecution witness lied when he testified that he had not used the word “nigger” in 10 years. The defense showed that Fuhrman used the term in taped interviews with an aspiring screenwriter more recently than that, and played excerpts in court to attack his credibility.

Fuhrman was also recorded talking of framing blacks and beating Hispanic suspects. The Justice Department is investigating.

Simpson’s lawyers argued that Fuhrman, who is white, is a racist who planted a bloody glove and other evidence at Simpson’s mansion.

Simpson was found innocent on Oct. 3 of murder charges in the slaying of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Fuhrman, who retired in August, could face up to four years in prison if convicted of perjury.

His lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment.

The district attorney’s office also released a memo citing prosecutors’ belief that the Simpson case failed because of Fuhrman.

“Most deputies, although not all, view Fuhrman’s testimony as an embarrassment and an outrage to the justice system,” wrote the head of the special investigations division, Allen Field.

“Fuhrman’s conduct is reviled throughout our office and is viewed by many as the principle reason why the Simpson case was lost,” Field said in the memo, written during the process of deciding whether the district attorney’s office should handle the perjury investigation.

Garcetti said he did not agree that Fuhrman was to blame, and didn’t know what the prevailing opinion in his office was.

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