CNN O.J. Simpson Trial

Simple as DNA - page 2

September 25, 1995

From 'CNN Presents' and Correspondent Art Harris

In the Simpson case, the defense hopes prosecutors will pay dearly for even the tiniest errors made by investigators.

Even lead detective Lange was attacked for storing a pair of O.J. Simpson's tennis shoes overnight in the trunk of his car.

Blood Samples

"If the police made all these mistakes at all these levels and contaminated everything and bumbled everything else, why does everything only point at every level to one person? Mistakes, yes. Did they mean anything? No, nothing," said Lange.

For all the raised eyebrows over police mistakes, experts say there is one idea prosecutors may have failed to hammer home -- that even if you contaminate a blood sample you can't change one person's DNA into another person's DNA. "If they did have any effect at all on the DNA, it would cause the DNA not to give you a type," explained DNA expert Michael Baird. "It would not give the wrong type, it would give no type at all."


Still, the defense kept selling its version of science, putting up its experts to remind jurors what could have happened at the lab.

For jurors who didn't buy DNA contamination, the defense pitched a conspiracy of cops to explain why blood matching Simpson's was everywhere. At the heart of their plot was Detective Mark Fuhrman, who spotted blood on Simpson's Bronco and the famous bloody glove at Simpson's estate -- a cop who the defense claimed had a motive to frame their client.

In March, Fuhrman denied he's a racist. (128K AIFF sound or 128 K WAV sound) Five months later, tapes made by an aspiring screenwriter showed he's a liar. The jury heared two excerpts of Fuhrman using racial epithets. The defense told jurors Fuhrman showed his racial bias 39 other times on the tapes, and they called four witnesses to hammer home their point.


Simpson's lawyers hoped to convince the jury their so-called frame-up involved more than a racist cop, that others in uniform and in the lab had to be in on it too, an idea prosecutors ridicule.

"All they're doing is they're looking for one juror that may buy this crazy, ridiculous, almost obscene theory or argument."

-- Gil Garcetti, L.A. County District attorney

(221K AIFF sound or 221K WAV sound)

Stuck with Fuhrman's racist words, prosecutors argued there still was no proof he planted evidence, and that it would be a sad day for justice if the jury ignored what they called overwhelming DNA evidence and let an accused killer go free just because a cop on the case is a racist.


Copyright © 1995 Cable News Network, Inc.