CNN O.J. Simpson Trial

Defense: Let jurors go home at night

September 12, 1995 -- 9:30 p.m. EDT

From Correspondent Anne McDermott

LOS ANGELES (CNN) - O.J. Simpson Defense attorney Johnnie Cochran asked Judge Lance Ito Tuesday to allow jurors to begin going home at night.

He said the jurors were told they should be in deliberations by September 15, a date Cochran called "preposterous" at this point. Cochran said there was danger of a mistrial if Ito didn't take his suggestion.

Prosecutor Marcia Clark said Cochran's motion, argued outside the presence of the jury, "takes the cake for most transparent motion ever made by the defense." She said it was clear the defense wanted the jury to see posters, flyers, television shows, newspaper articles and other publicity that had been "unleashed" following the controversy over retired Los Angeles Police Detective Mark Fuhrman. She also said the prosecution will wrap up its rebuttal case by Friday unless "defense motions prevent it."

Ito did not rule on Cochran's request.

Other developments Tuesday:

  • Simpson defense attorney Robert Shapiro said a juror who had complained about financial trouble with a rental property should be dismissed and not given state funds to bail her out.

    Ito said he had not yet decided whether to give the woman financial aid. He reminded Shapiro, however, that he had helped other jurors with special problems and had used state funds to send jurors out of state for funerals.

    Shapiro said this case was different. "I'm sure all jurors have tremendous hardships that would greatly be alleviated with the largess of this court and by any type of compensation," Shapiro said. He said helping the woman would violate Simpson's right to a fair and impartial trial and that it would appear the court was favoring one juror.

    Shapiro said the juror might have a financial incentive to prolong the trial, prompting sarcastic laughter from prosecutor Clark.

    Ito, who said the problem might "go away," took no action. The juror is a retired white woman in her 60s.

  • The defense lost a motion to exclude a taped statement of Thano Peratis, the nurse who drew Simpson's blood the day after the murders.

    At the grand jury and the preliminary hearing, Peratis testified that he drew about 8 cc's of blood, which prompted the defense to claim about two cc's were missing and might have been planted to frame Simpson.

    More than a year later, after heart surgery prevented him from testifying in the trial, the prosecution had Peratis acknowledge on a videotape that he was mistaken and had only drawn about 6 or 6 1/2 cc's.

    The prosecution said they wanted to introduce the tape as evidence of prior inconsistent statements. But the defense argued that there was no basis for it being entered. The defense also said there were many problems with the tape, including: Peratis had a motive to fabricate; the statement wasn't taken under oath or with a defense member present; an experiment he conducted on the tape was inadmissible; and information on the tape was hearsay.

    Ito agreed that the experiment and hearsay portions of the tape would have to be taken out. He said he would then allow the jury to see the portion of the tape where Peratis said he only drew about 6 cc's of blood.

  • The court heard arguments about the prosecution's plan to call FBI agent Doug Deedrick. Last week, prosecutor Clark said he would testify that an imprint that Dr. Lee saw on the envelope was not made by a second set of shoes but, rather, by the jeans worn by Ron Goldman.

    Ito ordered the prosecution to turn over Deedrick's tests no later than 3 p.m. (EST) Wednesday.

    More arguments remain to be heard on the prosecution rebuttal case. On Wednesday morning, Ito will hear from attorneys on the admissibility of testimony regarding Simpson's flight from police on June 17, 1994, and the subsequent slow-speed Bronco chase. That hearing was set for 11:30 a.m.

    Ito has also yet to rule on the admissibility of a late DNA test done on blood found in the Bronco. He is expected to rule Wednesday.

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