Everyone loves a bit of legal drama, especially if it means someone messing up. And how can anyone forget the glove incident in the OJ Simpson trial. There have been some rather questionable high profile attorney blunders over the years, but perhaps one of the most infamous, is this one.
It has recently been debated that the prosecutor Chris Darden’s decision to make Simpson try on the glove “gave the case away” and that there couldn’t be “anything stupider.” The glove supposedly had some of the victim’s blood on it, and so Simpson was asked to try on the glove. It didn’t fit, which consequently led the jury to find Simpson not guilty in the case of murdering his wife Nicole Simpson. This was, bear in mind, despite crushing evidence to find him guilty.
In a twist, it actually turned out that defender Johnnie Cochran allegedly tampered with the glove before the trial so that it would not fit Simpson, by slitting the lining so the disgraced running back could not get it on his hand. Throughout the rest of the trial, the defender repeated the chant: “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Simpson was in fact acquitted of the murder charge, though he was found accountable for the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend Ronald Goldman in a 1997 civil trial.
In a more recent panel, Alan Dershowitz (Cochran’s co-counsel) described Darden’s decision to introduce the glove as the “greatest legal blunder of the 20th century”. Darden was mocked during the panel for his various trip ups during the trial and defence attorneys denied his allegations that the evidence had been tampered with. Talking to the LA Times, Shawn Holley, who was a defence attorney in the courtroom at the time said: “Mr Darden’s self-serving assertion that Johnnie Cochran tampered with the glove — or any piece of evidence — is false, malicious and slanderous. Almost 20 years later, it seems Mr Darden is still trying to exculpate himself from one of the biggest blunders in the history of jurisprudence.”
Still being criticised today, Darden is probably regretting the trivial decision to make Simpson try on those gloves, seeing as it just about gave the trial away, as well as having the complete opposite effect on his case… Evidence tampering, or not, he gets a 10 out of 10 for stupidity in the courtroom.