AMERICAN CRIME STORY: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON 104 100 Percent Not Guilty Recap
American Crime Story continued with this week’s episode “100 Percent Not Guilty,” which dove right into the courtroom drama that occurred after O.J. was officially charged. In addition, we are introduced to Judge Lance Ito, who became famous in his own right after being assigned to the O.J. trial.
The episode kicks off a bit different than the ones prior. O.J. is seen drinking, dancing and having the time of his life while at a club with his best friend, Rob Kardashian. However, this is soon revealed to be merely a flashback, as O.J. is still sitting in jail eating questionable looking food.
Following this, we see both sides of the trial preparing for the preliminary hearing. Shapiro is busy instructing Johnnie and the rest of the dream team to do whatever it takes to interrupt the prosecution’s accusations. Shapiro suggests tactics such as objecting or claiming hearsay, even if neither legal term is relevant.
Fast forward to the preliminary hearing, where lead prosecutor Marcia Clark requests that O.J. gives 100 strands of his hair for investigators to run various tests. However, Johnnie jumps right in and makes Shapiro evidently proud, as he claims that taking 100 hairs off his client is far too extreme, as well as unnecessary. While Marcia is rightfully in shock to hear the defense being so ridiculous about 100 hairs, the preliminary judge ends up granting the defense another hearing solely devoted to the matter of hair collection.
Johnnie continues to work his magic, as he pays O.J. a visit in jail. Here, he gives his client a much needed and very effective pep talk. Subsequently, O.J.’s spirit perks up drastically as he repeats out loud, “I am an inspiration.”
Meanwhile, Judge Lance Ito is busy bragging to his police officer wife, Margaret York, about being assigned to the huge case. He proceeds to get her to sign a “Spousal Conflict” form (which states “I have no recollection of any interaction, incidental or spontaneous, with the following individuals”). Her signature on this form ended up becoming a big issue in the case, as it turned out she did, in fact, know one of the people involved in the case (Detective Mark Fuhrman).
Next, we are fully introduced to Connie Britton’s portrayal of Nicole’s friend Faye Resnick. She is seen gushing to two men who work at the publishing company that eventually release her tell-all book. Faye is incredibly open, as she reveals she was just 3 days into her cocaine rehab treatment when she found out about her friend’s death. She then goes on to talk about some of the more scandalous things that Nicole had done while alive. Inevitably the publishers are thrilled with all of the insight they are getting from Faye and one of them slyly tells her, “We are going to sell a lot of books – in a very non-exploitive way, of course.”
Next, the show features a more unique scene that gives audiences yet another perspective to consider when recounting the controversial trial. Victim Ron Goldman’s family pays a visit to Marcia Clark at her office. Rightfully so, Ron’s father Fred is enraged with how his son’s murder has become a “footnote” to the whole case. He complains that everything is about Nicole and O.J., yet he is still left without his son. I think that it is hard for people not to simply focus on Nicole and, of course, O.J. when recounting the crime and subsequent trial. However, this scene was incredibly emotional, and I think a powerful reminder of the impact Ron’s death had on countless people as well. In addition, it also makes you think of how hard it must have been for Ron’s family to see the prosecution team basically exerting all of their time, money and effort on Nicole’s murder and basically ignoring that there was another innocent life lost.
Following her encounter with Ron’s family, Marcia continues to get the prosecution’s case ready and prepare for jury selection. Her team convinces her to accept external help for determining what type of jury members they should be trying to secure. After a series of focus groups and experiments, the outside consultant advises the prosecutors to “limit the number of African-American women” on the jury. Not surprisingly, on the other side of town, the defense team is being told that their jury focus groups determined that they should be seeking out black women as jurors. The jury consultant for the defense claims that this particular group sees O.J. as a “handsome, masculine and charming” man, which undoubtedly will play in his favor when they are asked to voice whether they believe he killed Brown-Simpson and Goldman.
Later on, the jury selection gets underway, and hundreds of people turn up in hopes of landing a spot. However, after the first round of filtering down the potential jurors, the defense realizes that the prosecution is excusing a notable portion of the black candidates. This prompts them to share their observations and associated concerns to the press, which inevitably becomes a big scandal for the prosecutors. Shortly after, Marcia invites black lawyer Christopher Darden to join the prosecution team, as she realizes that this case will be revolving around race whether she likes it or not.
Unfortunately, things go haywire when Faye’s book is released. In it, Faye tells candid stories about Nicole, which scares the prosecution team. They are all scared that the book could potentially affect how jurors viewed the victim – especially since Faye and her didn’t engage in the most wholesome of activities together. Meanwhile, the defense is also concerned about the book, as Rob Kardashian claims that it was filled with lies that paint O.J. in an unfavorable light (including Faye stating that Nicole got numerous abortions so that she didn’t have to have another kid with O.J.).
As the jury selection continues, both sides can’t help but focus on the race of the jurors. In contrast to her counterparts, Marcia feels that the evidence they have against the defendant is so strong that even those in groups deemed unfavorable – i.e. African American women – would be smart enough to find O.J. guilty. Therefore, the prosecutors end up not using all of their challenges – meaning they were able to excuse more jurors without any justification, but choose not to.
Shortly after, the defense team is seen discussing their strategy with O.J. Here, Shapiro takes an unexpected turn and tries to convince O.J. to plead guilty of manslaughter. Immediately this prompts Rob Kardashian to advise his best friend to name Johnnie as his head lawyer. Rob explains that Johnnie is determined to get O.J. acquitted and does not want him to simply give up like Shapiro. In the end, O.J. obliges and breaks the news to Shapiro that Johnnie is now officially his head attorney.
The last scene is of the defense team strolling into the courtroom. Suddenly all of their faces go stone cold as they see Christopher Darden sitting alongside Marcia and the other prosecutors. O.J. bluntly asks Johnnie, “Where did they get a black guy?”
Evidently, the prosecution team is not letting the defense be the only ones to play the “race card.”
You can catch the next episode of American Crime Story when it airs on FX next Tuesday, March 1.
Next Week on American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson:
Chris Darden goes up against Johnnie Cochran, as the trial begins getting underway. In addition, the jury visits the crime scene.