Why Robert Shapiro Knew O.J. Simpson Was Guilty
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Politics and Activism

Why Robert Shapiro Knew O.J. Simpson Was Guilty

He knew it all along--he just pretended his client was innocent.

Why Robert Shapiro Knew O.J. Simpson Was Guilty

On May 17th, Megyn Kelly sat down with defense attorney Robert Shapiro for an in-depth interview. The subject was—what else? — “The Trial of the Century.”

Shapiro was one of the eight lawyers who formed the infamous “Dream Team”, O.J. Simpson’s defense team that brought him to justice when he was accused of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman back in 1994.

“I felt that legal justice was served that day,” Shapiro told Kelly. “As far as moral justice being served, I have not discussed that matter with anyone, not even my wife.”

When you’re a lawyer, your prime directive is to give a solid performance. You need to be as persuasive as possible, make people see the situation from your point of view (which is the only point that matters). Your performance needs to be strong, non-negotiable, and insightful.

In other words, you need to put on a good show if you’re an attorney.

And that’s exactly what Robert Shapiro did as he worked day and night to acquit the once-beloved O.J. Simpson: he put on a show. Shapiro was evidently a well-seasoned actor during his most unforgettable performance—trial, that is.

Prior to Simpson, Shapiro’s clients included Jose Canseco, Darryl Strawberry, and Vince Coleman.

Notice anything? These are the names of infamous baseball players. Athletic celebrities.

Shapiro’s unique gift as a defense attorney was working around an argument, meaning he would do anything to strike a deal guaranteeing his client would walk away scot-free.

This strategy worked, so O.J. Simpson, another athletic celebrity, would be easy for Shapiro to handle.

Defense attorneys uncommonly face the dilemma of representing a guilty client. When this happens, the lawyers need to find some way—any way—to convince a jury that their client is innocent. In the case of O.J. Simpson (no pun intended) Shapiro worked with fellow defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran to argue that racial tension had led to the accusation that Simpson was the killer. This would be a tough (albeit absurd) point to argue, for the defense knew in the back of their minds that Simpson was guilty.

It’s hard to defend a client whose blood is found at the crime scene.

In playing the so-called “Race Card,” Shapiro (as well as the entire Dream Team) made the jury avoid the central conflict of murder of two innocent people and averted them to the conflict of racism on behalf of the LAPD.

It was a good show with a happy ending (for the defense, at least)—he got away.

Shapiro himself remembers that year all too well, and the answers he gave during his interview revealed that his feelings for Mr. Simpson have not changed.

Although not directly implied, Shapiro knew who killed Nicole and Ronald. He was quoted as saying, “There’s a strong possibility that more than one person was involved [in the killings].” Yet Shapiro never implied that his former client was or was not one of the people involved in the murders.

What’s more, Shapiro confessed he tried on those infamous gloves. While they were quite large for him, Shapiro argued the gloves would be too small for the big-handed Simpson. Shapiro said it was “Chilling” to have briefly worn the gloves of a serial killer, but he suppressed this fear with his obligation to analyzing the size of the gloves.

To put it bluntly, the defense lawyer needed to make that glove-fitting demonstration as persuasive to the jury as possible without regarding who actually owned the gloves.

It is unknown whether or not Shapiro wore latex gloves underneath the leather gloves like Simpson did when he tried them on (Sorry, I had to!)

When asked if Simpson had reached out to him again when he was put on trial for armed robbery and kidnapping, Shapiro said, “No, and I wouldn’t have taken the case anyway.” Why? “He still owes me money for the first one.”

Kelly’s interview with Shapiro took an emotional turn when she asked him about the death of his son, Brent. Brent had died from an MDMA overdose on October 11, 2005, at the young age of 24. Shapiro and his wife, Linell Thomas, honored him by creating the Brent Shapiro Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at raising drug awareness.

“This is what I’d like to be known for,” Shapiro said of his organization (for which he is chairman of the board), “But I know I won’t be.”

See the highlights from Shapiro’s interview at: https://youtu.be/I8Xb07eB4YI

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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