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Plaintiff lawyer reaches for jurors' emotions

Petrocelli: 'Lovely, living boy is no more'

January 22, 1997
Web posted at: 4:30 p.m. EST

SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- As jurors sat grim-faced and two women panelists appeared close to tears, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the O.J. Simpson civil trial implored the jury to make the former football star pay for the slaying of Ronald Goldman.

"Fred Goldman's lovely, living boy is no more," lawyer Daniel Petrocelli said to conclude his summation.

Goldman's relatives wept as Petrocelli spoke of the father's love for his son and replayed a videotape from a family religious celebration showing Ronald Goldman dancing and singing.

"God knows where I'll be in a year," Goldman tells his stepsister at her bat mitzvah. "I love you."

Petrocelli, speaking in a near whisper, told the jurors, "I think we would agree whatever your ethnic, racial, or religious background is, there isn't a loss greater than a parent losing a child."

He said Fred Goldman's life "will never be the same" and that no monetary award will bring back Ronald Goldman or Nicole Brown Simpson. Petrocelli then pointed at Simpson and fired, "There's nothing that man can do to bring these people back."

"In the end, it all comes down to this," Petrocelli said, leaning close to the jury box. "There's blood. There's hair. There's fiber. There's cuts. There's a sweatsuit. There's a hat. There's no alibi. There's plenty of time. There's motive."

"What's on his side?" he asked. "His word that he did not do it?"

Simpson, 49, was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman. He is being sued for damages by the victims' relatives, who believe he is the killer. A 9-3 jury verdict is enough for the plaintiffs to win. If found liable, Simpson may have to pay millions of dollars.

Petrocelli started his summation Tuesday, and was followed Wednesday by John Kelly, a lawyer representing the estate of Simpson's former wife. Kelly was expected to discuss the domestic violence aspect of the case.

Simpson's lawyers were to give their closing arguments later Wednesday, and the case could be in the hands of the jury Thursday.

Petrocelli ended his remarks by quoting a 16th century poet: "My lovely living boy, "My hope, my happiness, "My love, my life, my joy." Petrocelli said: "Fred Goldman's lovely living boy is no more."

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