Opening statements set Wednesday in O.J. Simpson civil case
Web posted at: 8:30 p.m. EDT
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Attorneys for the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are scheduled to begin opening statements Wednesday, laying the foundation in a civil case against O.J. Simpson. They are demanding unspecified damages from the former football star for the slayings, of which he was acquitted in criminal court a year ago.
Simpson's lawyers have made it clear that they will once again put the Los Angeles Police Department on trial, alleging that police tampered with blood evidence in an effort to frame Simpson.
Lawyers for the victims' families want to bar the defense from talking about former police detective Mark Fuhrman's no- contest plea to one count of perjury earlier this month. During the criminal trial, the defense called Fuhrman a racist and accused him of planting a bloody glove found on Simpson's estate.
The racial makeup of the jury is dramatically different in the civil case and could play a crucial role in the outcome. The 12-member panel is mostly white this time around. During jury selection, potential panel members were divided along racial lines on whether they believed Simpson was guilty or innocent.
Unlike a criminal trial, in which a jury must reach a unanimous verdict beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of proof in a civil case is less stringent and may be decided with a majority of nine.
Simpson, who was acquitted in the criminal trial, could be ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages if he is found responsible for the killings. The plaintiffs are seeking more than $50 million in damages.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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