September 29, 1995
Web posted at: 1:10 p.m. EDT
LOS ANGELES (CNN)-- Soon a new voice will be heard in the Los Angeles courtroom: that of the jury -- when it reaches a verdict. Nine months after they began, arguments in the O.J. Simpson murder trial will end Friday, with the prosecution getting the last word.
Thursday, Johnnie Cochran wrapped up the defense's closing arguments. Cochran used his last appearance before the jury to echo the themes he laid out Wednesday: that the prosecution "rushed to judgment" in charging Simpson with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman; that the prosecution's case "doesn't fit;" and that key witnesses lied to the jury.
The prosecution began its rebuttal Friday. When asked Thursday which contradictions in the defense's case the prosecution planned to highlight in its rebuttal, prosecutor Marcia Clark shook her head and said "Oh God, there are so many."
Once the prosecution finishes its rebuttal, Judge Lance Ito then needs only to give jurors his final instructions before turning the case over to them.
If the case is turned over to the jury Friday, deliberations would probably begin Monday.
In a news conference Friday, Los Angeles Police Chief Willie Williams stated he was offended at the comments made in court Thursday by the Simpson defense team and wants to hold the entire defense team accountable. "Their actions are deliberately making an attempt to raise fears among all walks of like in this community," said Williams.
Williams conceded the department has problems and, said former detective Mark Fuhrman should never have been on the force. Williams said an extensive investigation is being conducted of Fuhrman's career, but he said that is not the issue at stake in the Simpson trial. Williams said the central issue remains who killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. "If the jury has the opportunity to wash away some of that garbage we've heard for two days from the defense I believe they'll make the proper decision," said Williams. "I still believe that we arrested the right person for the death of Nicole Simpson."
"That's what it is all about," Williams added. "He viciously slayed these two people. My department is not on trial and my department should never have been placed on trial."
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