Now that both the defence and prosecution have rested their cases in the Dr. Conrad Murray manslaughter trial, we are thankfully edging closer to the finish line. Closing arguments are expected to begin today, after which the case will be handed over to the jury for deliberation.
I think the court proceedings have been educating and entertaining so far. And Judge Michael Pastor has done a great job in maintaining a relaxed, and yet, business-like courtroom.
When this trial commenced a few weeks ago, I was hoping for a pretty griping trial, somewhat similar to the 1995, O.J. Simpson criminal trial. I was also looking forwarding to some brilliant courtroom displays, especially from the defence. But once the prosecution rested its case and it became clear that the defence case lacked substance, my interest in the trial began to wane.
Let’s face it, Dr. Conrad Murray’s defence team isn’t particularly in the same league as the celebrated defence lawyers who successfully represented O.J. Simpson in his criminal trial 16 years ago (collectively called the “dream team”). Each individual member of the “dream team” was an ace lawyer in his own right. The team included the late great Johnnie Cochran; F Lee Bailey; Robert Shapiro and Alan Dershowitz. But given Dr. Conrad Murray’s widely reported financial health, it is doubtful that he would have been able to afford anything near the astronomical $3-$6m price tag O.J. Simpson’s defence is thought to have cost.
But there’s another dimension to my harking back to the O.J. Simpson trial. Quite a handful of those involved in that trial went on to profit from their involvement in the case. And this includes court staff, witnesses, jurors, as well as defence and prosecuting lawyers.
Unless there is a future judicial ruling prohibiting jurors, witnesses and lawyers from profiting from the Dr.Conrad Murray trial, it is almost impossible not to expect a similar raft of trial-inspired books from key participants at the end of the trial. Now, I am not contending that it is right or wrong to profit in this way, but if acquitted of the involuntary manslaughter charge, we can certainly expect Dr. Conrad Murray to give his own account of events in a book. But of course, a book deal would be furthest from Dr. Conrad Murray’s mind while his fate hangs in the balance. In the pursuant of justice, one can only hope that the members of the jury focus, initially, on the job at hand and defer drafting their memoirs until after the end of the trial.
For information, the nine books authored or co-authored by key participants in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial are listed below.
- Madam Forman: A Rush to Judgement? – By Cooley, Amanda; Rubin-Jackson, Marsha; Bess, Carrie; Cravin, Willie; Hampton, Tracy; Harris, Jeanette; Kennedy, Tracy; Knox, Michael; Byrnes, Tom; Walker and Mike Walker. (Eight former jurors )
- Murder in Brentwood – by Mark Fuhrman (Prosecution Witness)
- The Private Diary of an O.J. Juror: Behind the scenes of the Trial of the Century – by Michael Knox (Former juror)
- Without a Doubt – by Marcia Clark (Lead Prosecutor)
- In Contempt – by Christopher Darden (Co-Prosecutor )
- Journey to Justice – by Johnnie Cochrane ( Defence Lawyer)
- The Search for Justice: A Defence Attorney’s Belief on the O.J. Simpson Case – by Robert Shapiro ( Defence Lawyer)
- Reasonable Doubts: The Criminal Justice System and the O.J. Simpson Case by Alan Dershowitz (Defence Lawyer)
- Evidence Dismissed – by Tom Lange (Prosecution Witness)