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Without a Doubt Paperback – May 1, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 425 customer reviews

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Paperback, May 1, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Closing arguments in the infamous O.J. Simpson trial hadn't even been made when the first O.J. book--the defendant's own, I Want to Tell You--hit the stands, and the ink wasn't even dry on newspaper accounts of the jury's verdict when Johnnie Cochran, Christopher Darden, Mark Fuhrman, members of the Brown and Goldman families, detectives concerned with the case, and even journalists covering the trial hurried into the fray with their own tell-all versions of this latest "trial of the century." So perhaps Marcia Clark, the chief prosecutor in the Simpson case, is a little late to the dance with her offering, Without a Doubt, cowritten with Teresa Carpenter. After all, what more is there to say? Plenty, according to Clark.

In Without a Doubt Clark painstakingly recounts the trial proceedings, from jury selection to final summation, and concludes that nothing could have saved her case, given the prominent role of race in the defense's strategy and the hostile jury who heard it. In Clark's opinion, the prosecution's mountain of evidence should have convicted Simpson 20 times over; that it did not, she says, attests to a judicial system wracked by race and overly impressed by celebrity. Amidst war stories from the trial, Marcia Clark sprinkles plenty of details about her private life before and after O.J., from a teenage rape to her ex-husband's custody suit. Followers of the O.J. case will want to add Without a Doubt to their collection. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

There must be at least a hundred books on the O.J. Simpson case available. Between those written before and during the trial and those written by the major players after, the Simpson case is surely one of the most analyzed cases ever tried. However, one voice had not been heard: that of the lone woman attorney in the courtroom. Clark not only was lead prosecutor for the Simpson case, she also became one of the most recognized people in America. Here Clark talks not only about the Simpson case but about her life before, during, and after trying the "case of the century." She discusses her childhood, much of which was spent following her scientist father around the country from job to job, how she became a lawyer, and her move from the defense to the prosecution. During the analysis of the Simpson case she takes on her critics, telling how she knew she could never win. She does note the errors made by the police and criminalists as well as those made by her cocounsel Chris Darden. She expresses frustration with "The Dream Team," but she is most angry with Judge Lance Ito, whom she says let celebrity get in the way of justice and made it impossible to get a fair hearing. She notes that race did play a role in this case, but celebrity was just as important. Clark lets us see behind the scenes as she dealt with the tabloid stories, the custody fight over her children, and the stress of trying to deal with her own celebrity. She does a fine job reading her story and helps bring it to life. This may be one of the best books on the Simpson case available. For all libraries.?Danna C. Bell-Russel, American Univ. Natl. Equal Justice Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140259775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140259773
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (425 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Any reasonable person who listened to the evidence at the so-called "trial of the century" knows without out a doubt that O. J. Simpson killed his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, the hapless waiter who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Anyone who watched the announcement of the verdict and saw the shock and disbelief on O. J. Simpson's own face, as the not guilty verdict was read, would know that even the defendant knew he was guilty.

The prosecution never had much of a chance, because the presiding judge, Lance Ito, was a bumbling idiot who could not control his courtroom and make sound evidentiary rulings. . Instead, Lance Ito allowed his courtroom to become a three-ring circus. As a career prosecutor, I was appalled at the time at what went on in that courtroom, and Lance Ito's courting of the media was reprehensible. It was also clear that he was awed by and enthralled with the celebrity of the defendant appearing before him. One need only look to the civil trial in the matter to see how an effective judge controlled his courtroom. There, Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki made sound rulings on evidentiary matters and remained in control of his courtroom at all times. Consequently, justice was obtained in the civil case.

This tell all, no holds barred book is a well-written, engaging behind-the-scenes account of the "trial of the century". While Ms. Clark does include some personal information about herself, it is in the context of why she became a prosecutor and makes for a more fully fleshed account of how and why she may have acted as she did under the circumstances.
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Format: Paperback
Marcia Clark was, of course, the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial. In this book she gives us all of the trial details from the first time she heard about the killings until the day the jury brought in the "not guilty" verdict. It's an interesting book in that it gives you insight into how each trial element was handled and the behind-the-scenes planning that has to occur to try someone.
However, Ms. Clark never feels the need to attach any of the blame for losing the case to herself. Her biggest scapegoat is Judge Lance Ito. By all accounts he is a weak judge and let the defense get away with more than they should have been allowed to, however I find it hard to believe that there was nothing that she or the DA's office could have done about it. In the book it always seems that things are about to fall apart until she steps in at the last minute and fixes everything.
This is the third book I've read about the Simpson trial (and it will be the last). I found Ms. Clark's book much more informative about the trial than Christopher Darden's "In Contempt". The Darden book was much more of an autobiography and to be honest I wasn't all that interested in his personal life. Thankfully, Ms. Clark keeps her personal life story to a minimum. So, I'd recommend Ms. Clark's book if you want to get an inside look at the prosecution side of the trial. However, if you want a less biased look at the whole thing read Jeffrey Toobin's book, "The Run of His Life."
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Format: Paperback
Clark's book "Without a Doubt" is a rebuttal to her critics and pundits, most notably - if not mentioned outright - Jeffrey Toobin, author of "The Run of His Life," arguably the definitive book on trial. Like Toobin, Clark leaves no stone unturned to prove that O.J. Simpson was guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend, Ron Goldman.

Clark's "Without a Doubt," gives a detailed view of the case from the prosecutions' perspective and helps readers understand why many of the so-called errors (such as the composition of the jury and selection of witnesses who did and did not testify) actually had solid legal and strategic reasons behind them. Unlike Toobin, she devotes little time to witnesses, discounting many as lazy or liars, clearly separating them into "good" and "bad," discarding those who may have helped bolster their case.

Both agree OJ was guilty - his lawyers knew it and the evidence, overwhelming. Both agree the defense played the race card from the get go. Where they differ is in how - Toobin argues that the case was the prosecution's to lose, which they did, through their incompetence and sheer arrogance. Clark believes the case was doomed from the start by a dream jury unable (or unwilling) to understand the evidence.

Although Clarks book is rich in legal details and evidence for courtroom aficionados, Toobin gives a far more vivid account of the trial through vivid recounting of the murder trial and behind-the-scenes - almost gossipy - look at the lives and testimony of the main participants and witnesses.

Clark's disdain towards Judge Ito on all levels is very evident, always referring to him by his last name except when he does something nice (then she refers to him by first name, "Lance").
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
THE definitive trial book. I am consistently amazed by the emotion this trial still engenders 20 years later. Clark is the ultimate insider and provides a detailed account of the trial of a serial domestic abuser that escalated and ended, sadly, as happens all too often, in the brutal murder of the man's ex wife and a heroic young man doing a good deed who ended up in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Clark provides insights that we didn't want to hear 20 years ago and frankly still don't, but that doesn't make them any less true: race and racial experiences matter, celebrity matters, a frenzied media, electrified by the increase in their own ratings and thus encouraged to report anything and everything, no matter its veracity, simply to keep "the show" a competitive horse race in the eyes of its readers/viewers, matters. We see now that Ito was a nearly incompentent Judge and we see now why that matters. I, like millions of others, was convinced by the case Clark presented. I thought then and still do believe that Simpson was guilty. She convinced me. But she couldn't MAKE a predominantly African-American jury convict him. And nobody wants to hear that. But it's the truth, nobody can MAKE another person do something they are not going to do - it doesn't matter how much evidence you present, how many witnesses you present, how well reasoned your arguments are, it just doesn't. It's frustrating and maddening to accept that simple fact and thus the scapegoating and name calling begin, but why is it so hard to admit - then or now? Clark explained the trial strategies employed and the reasoning behind it all, so I'm a little confused by the nearly hysterical tone of some of the other reviews - did you read the same book I did? Did you really read the book at all? I guess I can't MAKE you see what I did in this book. Huh?
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