October 11, 1995
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden sat in stunned silence when the verdict was read last week. Later, he broke down at a prosecution news conference (1.4M QuickTime movie). Darden has been notably silent since, refusing to discuss the incendiary case. But he guaranteed Tuesday that he will have more to say eventually: Darden inked a book deal with the William Morris Agency, the same company that will represent his fellow prosecutor Marcia Clark.
Darden said the book will chronicle the prosecution of Simpson and clarify the role race played in the trial. "I think my perspective is unique, and I want to make sure that perspective is memorialized and preserved," Darden told The Associated Press.
Many people, including Clark, have suggested that race assumed some role in the jury's decision to acquit Simpson. Darden is still contemplating the issue. "I need time to step back and reflect on what occurred," he said. "I'm too close to it right now."
Still, Darden's minimal comments suggest the case's charged racial environment affected him quite personally.
"It's like Mr. Johnnie (defense attorney Cochran) said, 'Race is a part of everything,'" Darden said. "My race apparently preceded everything I have done. There was Christopher Darden. But first there was an African-American man who happened to be named Christopher Darden."
Darden plans to work no more this year to make up for the considerable overtime he put in on the Simpson trial. He said he's uncertain about his future in the district attorney's office.
Meanwhile, he continues to teach law classes at California State University in Los Angeles. Will he become a full-time professor? "Perhaps," the weary prosecutor replied. "I'm considering all my options, and there aren't people breaking the door down to offer me jobs at this point."
Darden wouldn't say whether he believes justice was served in the Simpson case, but he did talk about what he hoped his students would learn from him. "I think the most important thing they can learn is to just follow the rules. Follow the law to the letter," he said. "When you follow the rules and when you follow the law, when things go sideways or wrong, no one can blame you."
Perhaps Darden's forthcoming book will disclose a deeper meaning hidden in that statement. In the meantime, his words are few.
He refused to comment directly on Simpson's Wednesday night television interview. However, when asked what he would ask if he were interviewing Simpson, Darden told AP, "I have no questions for O.J. Simpson. I know all the answers."
Copyright © 1995 Cable News Network Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.