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REASONABLE DOUBTS: The O.J. Simpson Case and the Criminal Justice System Hardcover – March 12, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (March 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684830213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684830216
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,517,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Alan Dershowitz, arguably one of the foremost legal thinkers of our time, gives an eye-opening account of the O.J. Simpson case and examines the larger issues of race, money, media, and gender that shape the criminal justice system in America.

From Publishers Weekly

Despite the hoopla surrounding the Simpson trial book deals, this is a solid piece of reflection and argument by Dershowitz (Reversal of Fortune), who was chosen to prepare the appeal had Simpson been convicted. Dershowitz believes that Simpson lawyer Robert Shapiro, not the flamboyant orator Johnnie Cochran, was the most crucial to the defense, because Shapiro hired top forensic experts to challenge the prosecution and insisted on a preliminary hearing (not a closed grand jury) to evaluate the prosecution's case. He also suggests that the verdict "is a wake-up call about police perjury"; some jurors might have concluded that the police tried to frame a murderer; the jury and the public saw very different pictures of Simpson's history of spouse abuse; Judge Ito's exclusion of most of the Fuhrman tapes would have highlighted on appeal. The media circus, Dershowitz warns, took place outside the courtroom; the issue is not cameras in the court but whether we should restrict media coverage of trials, as in Canada. While Dershowitz lapses into score-settling with his critics and sniping about Marcia Clark's hyperbole, he makes a strong case against conventional perceptions of the trial. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jtk on January 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
No where within Reasonable Doubts or in Dershowitz's comments elsewhere does he try to convince you who did or did not commit the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. I wouldn't be surprised if Dershowitz still thinks, as he originally did, and possibly even now knows that Simpson is the killer. Yet, what he, as a defense lawyer, and the Simpson defense team knows or thinks is immaterial to the higher purpose of their role in the U.S. legal system. This truth alone is what prevents many citizens and outside observers from accepting what they see as the harsh and seemingly unjust result. Dershowitz insufficiently lays the groundwork, explaining the important role of the defense to make the prosecution prove it's case beyond a reasonable doubt, although he gets there eventually. It may have been helpful to the general reader to have some of this history from the Founding Fathers up to the present day before delving directly into the case itself.

Instead, but still valuable, Dershowitz takes on various themes and tries to identify why the jury decided to acquit. The issue of race, sex, police malfeasance and trial by public opinion are all examined. Regardless of where you stand on this case or other issues he is notorious for, he is nothing if not consistent, reasoned and convincing. Like most good works, this book leaves you asking, thinking and searching to not only better understand the case, but your own convictions and beliefs on the larger issues it raises as well.

This book will be most enjoyable to those who lived through and remember the events. Younger people or those totally unfamiliar with the case seeking a larger, more complex story of the entire circus may be best served with a summary of events elsewhere first.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steve Trowbridge on January 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is just another lawyer capitalizing on the infamy of this trial to make a ton of money. He doesn't even try to convince of O.J.'s innocence because that would be impossible.

Regarding the two pieces of evidence the other reviewer mentioned 'proving' O.J.'s innocence, neither is pertinent. Neither was featured prominently by the defense, nor mentioned by the jurors as a reason for acquittal. The defense itself put the time of the murders at 10:45, rendering the 'red blood''evidence' as unimportant since their OWN time-line would have been made a lie of. The blood under the fingernails was degraded blood which can not be typed-but the fingers were found in a pool of her own blood making it extraordinarily likely that it was her own blood.

Consider the following:

--Simpson had a fresh cut on his finger and his blood was found in his home, in the Bronco and at Nicole's residence. If he hadn't had a cut big enough to bleed there would have been no case. A pretty extraordinary coincidence.

--Simpson had been given gloves, like the ones found, by Nicole and had been photographed wearing them. He said he had never owned those "ugly as# shoes" (Bruno Magli) but then a photo was found with him wearing those exact shoes. He had bought a knife the size of the one used, which was never found.

--The limo driver never saw a white Bronco before 11:00 despite going to both entrances. He rang the door bell many times but received no answer until almost 11:00.

--Kato heard a VERY loud bump behind his room at the very time Simpson was alleged to have been there, and at the exact place where the glove was found.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
OJ Simpson - Not Guilty
The testimony of the two witnesses who cannot lie say that OJ Simpson is not guilty.
Blood and flesh were found under Nicole Brown's fingernails; the blood type did not match OJ (or Nicole or Ron). Ron Goldman walked to work, worked out, and practiced karate; his hands showed bruises from punching someone in the face or head more than once. OJ had no scratches or bruises on his hands, arms, face, or body: he could not have been a lone murderer.
The newspapers said that when the bodies were found after 12:15 AM their red blood was trickling down the sidewalk. The crime scene pictures printed in the National Enquirer showed the red blood. This says they were freshly killed, around 11:30, because their blood would be black and clotted if dead for over an hour (as in the Borden Murders).
The above physical evidence proves OJ Simpson to be innocent of these murders. Some say the 25 to 30 stab wounds on Ron Goldman suggest an emotional frenzy from a personal enemy, and Nicole Brown was the innocent bystander. The book "Killing Time" is the first and only objective book (arguments for both sides) to discuss all the evidence.
I hope that those who want to know the facts will read this, and reconsider any prejudgments that they made in June 1994.
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