Entertainment & the Arts: Tuesday, July 23, 1996
Bugliosi’s Book: Counterpoint To The Drivel
By Mark Lindquist
Special To The Seattle Times
Most prosecutors in America thought they could have done a better job of trying O.J. Simpson. Vincent Bugliosi actually could have.
The onetime prosecutor who put away Charles Manson, Bugliosi has put people on death row when “the circumstantial evidence was one hundred times less powerful than (in the Simpson) case,” he says in his new bestseller, “Outrage: The Five Reasons O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder.” He is appalled by how his former office handled the so-called trial of the century: “The most incompetent criminal prosecution I have ever seen. By far.”
Bugliosi acknowledges that he is a critical person, and his criticism of almost everyone involved in the trial is scathing. Though he is annoyed by what he considers sleazy defense tactics, as well as Judge Lance Ito’s lack of judicial control, his outrage is primarily inspired by the blundering of prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher A. Darden and their boss, Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti (who kept Clark on the case even though focus groups actually called her names).
One of the many ironies of the O.J. trial was that personal responsibility was a favorite prosecutorial theme. Yet Garcetti, Clark and Darden all denied responsibility for the verdict: They blamed the jury, the judge, the defense lawyers and the media. Bugliosi puts the blame where it belongs, and he is absolutely convincing when he argues how the case could have been won.
His clear-headed analysis is a welcome counterpoint to a subject dominated by self-justifying drivel.