September 25, 1995
From "CNN Presents" and Correspondent Jim Moret
Author Dominick Dunne has been watching the jury almost every day in the courtroom. "This guy just took hold of those gloves and knew what to do, and the jury was watching him through the whole moment. And when he went over in front of them, they were all looking at him, and they're all writing like this. It was an amazing, extraordinary moment of that trial," he said. (244K AIFF sound or 244K WAV sound)
Dunne and other courtroom observers said that during tedious DNA testimony, some jurors looked like they were paying attention, but some seemed to fall asleep. But the jurors appeared riveted by a coroner who described how he thought O.J. Simpson committed the crime.
"When Brian Kelberg several times used the coroner to demonstrate how the murder was committed, he had the jurors absolutely in his thrall at that moment," Dunne said.
The lawyers won't be in the jury room, but some very powerful evidence will be, including graphic autopsy photographs. How will they affect jurors? Before a small group of reporters viewed those pictures, a therapist advised that they should discuss their feelings as soon as possible with someone else who shared the experience. The jurors viewed those horrifying pictures for eight days in court, and for months afterwards they were forced to keep their feelings to themselves.
"In the process of deliberation itself it may lead them to want to strike out, to want to retaliate against the folks who brought them there, whether that's the judge or the prosecutors or the defendant himself," said jury consultant Carol Jaenicke.
This is a trial in which race has been made an issue inside and outside the courtroom. And it could be critical to the fate of O.J. Simpson. Votes could hinge on jurors' concerns about how their decision will play with their families and communities. "One of the members of my family said that she prayed that I would be off the case so I wouldn't have to make that decision," said former juror Willie Craven. "Because they're going to be stuck with it the rest of their lives." (122K AIFF sound or 122K WAV sound)
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