March 16, 1996 in Nation/World

Darden Slams Judge, Defense In Interview O.J. Prosecutor Describes Trial As Waste Of Time And Money

Associated Press
 

Prosecutor Christopher Darden says justice suffered at the O.J. Simpson trial because of a judge who lost control of the courtroom and a defense that cynically played to the black jurors’ desire for a racial “payback.”

“Collectively, we’re all a bunch of failures,” Darden said in an interview broadcast Friday on ABC’s “20/20.”

Launching his publicity campaign for his book, “In Contempt,” Darden called the trial “a monumental waste of time and taxpayers’ money” and said Simpson’s speedy acquittal in October was unfair to Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

Darden said there was plenty of blame, starting at the top. Judge Lance Ito let Simpson’s lawyers take control, Darden said.

Darden also said he wanted to slug Cochran “with a right cross” after the two black lawyers debated the impact of the jury hearing “the n-word.”

“What he was saying to African-Americans was that I was a sellout, I was a race traitor,” Darden said. “I was an Uncle Tom. I wasn’t to be trusted.”

As for Simpson, now facing a lawsuit filed by the victims’ families, Darden portrayed him as a pathetic figure. Simpson recently called Darden a “punk.”

“I wasn’t the guy riding around in the back of a van crying, with a gun to my head, afraid to pull the trigger,” Darden said. “I don’t care what O.J. Simpson thinks of me, and if O.J. Simpson thinks poorly of me, then I have to feel like somehow I’m enhanced by that.”

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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