O.J. Simpson prosecutors rushing to finish rebuttal before more juror problems erupt presented last-minute DNA evidence against Simpson and dropped plans Wednesday to recount his Bronco chase.
The latest DNA results bolstered the prosecution’s scientific case showing blood consistent with Simpson and both murder victims inside his Bronco.
An appeals court, meanwhile, rejected a key defense appeal to force Detective Mark Fuhrman to return to the witness stand.
Defense attorneys disclosed a new tactical plan - to attack the FBI much as they have attacked the Los Angeles Police Department and Fuhrman.
Identifying their mystery witness as an FBI agent, defense attorneys said they wanted to use him to show that the FBI routinely encourages agents to tailor testimony in favor of the prosecution.
They said Frederic Whitehurst, a witness at the New York terrorist conspiracy trial, would tell how he was pressured to change a report about his investigation into the World Trade Center bombing to favor the prosecution.
Late in the day, an appeals court denied a defense request to recall Fuhrman to the witness stand, a move that also was rejected earlier by the Simpson trial judge. The defense attorneys argued that the denial of a chance to cross-examine Fuhrman about racist statements could result in reversal should Simpson be convicted.
Fuhrman invoked Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination during a hearing and was not required to appear again before the jury. The appeals court last week sided with prosecutors and squelched Judge Lance Ito’s plan to tell jurors that they could use Fuhrman’s “unavailability” to return to weigh his truthfulness.
In court, prosecutor Marcia Clark’s announcement that she was streamlining her case and hoping to rest today came after a woman juror’s request to leave the panel due to financial problems. The woman is one of only two whites on the predominantly black panel. Only two of 12 alternates remain.
“At this time, your honor, we would like to indicate to the court that we will not be asking to admit the events of June 17 at this time,” Clark said in an oblique reference to the infamous slow-speed chase.
She said she could change that decision depending on what the defense raises in the balance of its presentation.