“O.J.: Made in America” – Parts 4 & 5 Recap

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Updated: June 23, 2016

The fourth part of this series tackled the trial that made managed to make a number of lawyers and certain key witnesses famous for a variety of different reasons.

Focusing on the evidence presented in the courtroom, Simpson’s defense team attempted to discredit the overwhelming proof against their client in a number of ways, including suggesting that it wasn’t gathered properly. Barry Scheck, who proved to be the most valuable member of Simpson’s defense team, did his best to create doubts about the credibility of the DNA evidence. He made the prosecutors and their experts appear inept to some degree, masterfully distracting the jury from blood evidence that all pointed to O.J.

Additionally, the discussion of evidence fixated heavily on Mark Fuhrman’s testimony as well. Fuhrman comes off as a likeable enough of guy in the various interviews he gave for this documentary, but going back to that particular time and the volatile relationship that existed between the LAPD and the community, it’s easy to see how he was such a lightning rod (especially once the deplorable interviews he gave came to life).

Perhaps the most pivotal moment in the trial is broken down in great detail, as Chris Darden defied Marcia Clark’s wishes and had Simpson try on the gloves. It ends up being a big with for the defense team, getting the jury further off the rails of all the evidence that wasn’t favorable to the defendant. In the end, the entire ordeal turned into a big cluster f$#% for the prosecution, and the episode ends with the verdict being revealed.

The final episode shows the continued descent of O.J. following his acquittal, as the world never let him forget that they believed that he got away with murder. His social circle in Brentwood all but evaporated, and he eventually sold his home and moved to Florida (taking up a decadent lifestyle in the process).

Simpson lost the civil trial and was ordered to pay the Goldman’s and Brown’s $33.5 million (most of which is still unpaid), and then, in 2007, he was arrested for his involvement in an armed robbery at the Palace Station Casino in Las Vegas. Payback was returned to O.J. in the form of a 33-year prison sentence.

Overall, Ezra Edelman put a together a riveting and insightful series. It is still amazing to me that even after O.J. was acquitted in 1995 that he made little to no effort to make changes in his life, even if it was doing what was best for his children. Instead, he remained the same self-centered, self-absorbed person he was always was, ultimately receiving a punishment that landed him in a place where most believed he should’ve been along time ago.

 

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