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In Contempt

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  678 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Offers a personal perspective on the O.J. Simpson trial and shares the author's observations on legal strategy, racial issues, and the principal lawyers, officials, and witnesses involved in the case.
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published March 19th 1996 by ReganBooks (first published January 1st 1996)
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Apr 05, 2008 Rae rated it liked it
Darden was one of the prosecutors (black, no less) in the O.J. Simpson trial and he gives overwhelming evidence, at least for me, that O.J. was guilty as sin.
Apr 25, 2008 John rated it really liked it
This was a bargain bin pickup. A castoff at the Singapore American Club library sale ... a hardback for $3 Sing (about USD2.20). I head read OJ books .. Faye Resnick, Vincent Bugliosi, OJ's own "I Want to Tell You", Jeffrey Toobin plus Dominick Dunne articles in Vanity Fair. This space is saturated with knockoff books by lawyers, jurors, cops and peripheral players ... I figured I would read it in about 10 years when I needed to get nostalgic in my retirement. But .. this is a seriously good boo ...more
Dec 03, 2013 Lois rated it really liked it
From another prosecutor's viewpoint than the lead prosecutor, Marcia Clark, this book shows the trial from a black man's perspective. Chris Darden seems to be a shy person, but committed to justice. He writes with humor, candor, and appropriate sarcasm. I have less respect for Judge Ito and Johnny Cochrane than I did before reading this. I tried to keep an open mind, but I'm even more convinced that OJ is guilty, Lance Ito was star struck and inept, and Johnny Cochrane is heartless and selfish. ...more
Marilyn White
Aug 10, 2015 Marilyn White rated it really liked it
This book was written by the only black prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case. He proved that Simpson was guilty through so much DNA evidence but that was dismissed by jurors who were more concerned with the issue of race and celebrity. This book is about domestic violence and how a wealthy celebrity got away with murder by buying his freedom with the help of The Dream Team. Johnny Cochrane turned the whole trial into a circus by throwing the race card on the table and fabricating many distraction ...more
Karen Malena
Nov 05, 2012 Karen Malena rated it it was amazing
I'd read this book years ago being a huge fan of Mr. Darden's and also a big follower of all things O.J. Re-read it since the mini-series came out and found many parallels from this novel and the show. Christopher Darden is in my opinion, a very intelligent man with a big heart who got a terrible rap mixed up in the Trial of the Century. A great book not only for those who follow the O.J. story, but also of Christopher Darden's upbringing and how he became the good, good man that he is.
Juva Poindexter
Apr 25, 2016 Juva Poindexter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My jaw dropped, again and again.

Mr Darden brought me back in time, into the courtroom. Once again I was astonished and disgusted at the treatment of this prosecution team who were trying to do a very thankless job.
I knew there was a lot of evidence, but never to what extent. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn the truth and why some of us no longer have much faith in our legal system.
May 14, 2010 chucklesthescot rated it did not like it
I expected more from this book, I really did. I wanted to see what the prosecution's side of the story was as I already had a book written by the defence. Instead of a good, intriguing read about the evidence against OJ, this was more of a rant against everyone he didn't like on the case with numerous wavings of the racism card which got boring very fast for me. I barely even got to the court case before I was fed up being lectured to.
Jul 14, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it
Fascinating book about what went wrong in the OJ Simpson trail. Interesting information about the history of racial tension in LA, and how that played a role in the bias and ultimate downfall of this case. Very sad what a debacle this case was, and how it turned into a circus.
Jan 28, 2008 Patti is currently reading it
I learned that I am completely clueless about racism and prejudice.
Tom Kammerer
Aug 29, 2016 Tom Kammerer rated it really liked it
Have read quite a few books on this trial and this one stands out as unique, sensible, and powerful
Pat Empson
Mar 19, 2017 Pat Empson rated it it was amazing
I have a great deal of admiration for Mr. Darden. In spite of his race, he knew that O.J. was guilty of murder and never backed down from that. His beliefs were based solely on the facts of the case. His early life was not easy because of racism yet he went on to become a successful attorney and about half the book is about his life before O.J. The trial was a terrible miscarriage of justice. The defense focused strictly on race and did everything to point out to the jury that O.J. could not hav ...more
May 07, 2017 Tony rated it it was amazing
Makes me wish I would've gotten a J.D. as well, to fight against injustice in all it's forms.
Apr 02, 2016 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed
This is a powerful book and truly explores the specter of racism that raises its ugly head in our nation, but especially in Los Angeles. The first part of the book speaks of Darden's rise from a poor family to law school and finally to the prosecutor's office in Los Angeles. He describes his childhood and his family and the formation of his own code of honor. Finally, he is found in the prosecutor's office in Los Angeles and prosecutes bad cops, gangbangers, and murderers.

Gradually, we see Dard
Greg Z
Feb 12, 2017 Greg Z rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, non-fiction
This is the fourth book I read about the 'Trial of the Century.' Darden's view is certainly as interesting as Bugliosi's, Furhman's and Clark's, but all in all, it is Marcia Clark's story that shines, saddens, and rises above them all. (Admittedly, I didn't read any books from the "other side" because the DNA evidence, as presented in the televised trial and as printed in various news sources at the time, convinced me that any non-celebrity in the world would have been convicted of the murders. ...more
Dec 28, 2008 Sherri rated it it was amazing
Watching the OJ trial back in the 1980's was quite an experience. I remember being ecstatic when the jury came out and announced "not guilty". I was adamant that a man that I had admired and loved so much could not have done something like that. When the verdict was read I was at work and we were all huddled around a small TV. There were only three of us who believed OJ, everyone else swore he was guilty. Of course I was working in Portland, ME which has a population that is about 97% ...more
Mar 05, 2013 Charlotte rated it really liked it
Is Christopher Darden a traitor?

The OJ Simpson trial is one of the first major news stories I remember as a child. We watched the verdict in my mostly white 5th grade classroom in the south. I can vividly remember hearing the verdict, then my teacher gasp and rush across the room to shut off the TV. I can remember thinking, why is she so upset that that man didn't do the crime?

This book provides the facinating social and political details that I didn't quite understand as a child. My curiostiy a
May 26, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
Well, I'm just about through reading the batch of books I got about the O.J. Simpson murder trial after watching the recent miniseries which piqued my interest again. I have read about 7 books lately that I either hadn't read when they came out in 1996 or 1997, or didn't remember them. I'm pretty sure I owned this book before, but now that I've just finished it, it seems like a whole new book to me-- I didn't remember a thing.

It's well written and Darden's viewpoint is decidedly different from t
Hugh Henry
Dec 06, 2007 Hugh Henry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of court thrillers
Shelves: political
This autobiography of the prosecutor who pointed the finger of blame at O.J. Simpson is among the best books of its kind that I have read. Chris Darden was the black prosecutor whom millions of people saw break down in the press conference after the "not guilty" verdict of a brutal murderer. Darden's descriptions of his earlier life also shed a fascinating light on life in California for a black man who pursued justice with determination. His decision to prosecute police brutality cases served a ...more
Aviva Diva
Jun 04, 2013 Aviva Diva rated it liked it
I got through the majority of the book and I'm pretty much convinced that OJ did it for the simple fact that statistically speaking a husband (ex or otherwise) is the most likely suspect when a wife is killed; Nicole Brown Simpson was rich and white too, so how many enemies could she have? At any rate, the book was interesting. I will say, however, Darden does a lot of finger pointing about the outcome of the case and it seems he's caught a little case of "sour grapes", and in hindsight he blame ...more
Bill Flanigin
Feb 13, 2017 Bill Flanigin rated it really liked it
If this case fascinates you, then you have to read this book. He offers a point of view that
Is truly unique..and he was right there through it all. Amazing man.
May 27, 2016 Ed rated it it was ok
The title "In Contempt" expresses my feelings for the O.J. Simpson trial, the justice system, the judge and the prosecutors. It would express my feelings for the defense team except that the US justice system has perverted the notion of justice to be an adversarial contest wherein truth is Immaterial. With his finger pointing, author Darden comes across as a crybaby.

"345.0252 O.J.Simpson trial / Autobiography - For more than a year, Christopher Darden argued tirelessly for the prosecution, givin
Ellie Revert
Oct 20, 2008 Ellie Revert rated it liked it
Recommends it for: all interested in justice
This is the last book I expect to read about the Simpson trial. Obviously we have been greatly affected by the loss of a dear friend---whose husband was a juror in the case 13 years ago. This summer, he killed his wife, and then committed suicide, and personally, it seems that he was very greatly affected by this disastrous trial.

This is a good book. Chris Darden paid a great price to be involved with this trial---as did many others---especially our friend, Judy, who paid the ultimate price.

Ted Moisan
The Miscarriage of Justice of the Century was everybody's fault but Chris Darden's. Ito's, Cochran's, the Jury's, the Media's, yours, mine, and of course OJ's. I mean for god's sake look at the picture on the cover; he's pointing a finger at someone else. All kidding aside, Darden has several good arguments to make but I wish he would have taken a more introspective tone and taken some more responsibility, and not just for the obscenely ill-advised glove episode. If you've got the time it's inte ...more
Jan 05, 2016 Dawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Jess Walters is a literary rock star. I'm saying that first.

And the reason that I'm saying that is because he gets the hell out of the way of the story and lets it tell itself, even when it's coming from someone else's mouth. We get to see the flaws as well as the strengths of the subject, and I'm not even sure the subject knew what he was revealing.

The LAPD is not merely notorious or even infamous in its corruption, bigotry and brutality, but legendary. And it certainly deserves a big stick i
Aug 17, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
Very good so far. I really fins him to be a likeable person. I must admit, I skimmed through the first third, which was his life story. but, that is only because it is checked out on my mom's library card here in NC, and I want to finish this week. His tales from his childhood were actually easy reading, and very entertaining.

I am still in pretrial stuff from the OJ case, but I am loving the strategy and lawyer scrambling behind the scenes, that we all missed. He is smart and sympathetic, and to
Michael Linton
Jul 08, 2016 Michael Linton rated it it was amazing
On entertainment value alone, I highly recommend this book if the OJ Simpson trial fascinates you. But this book is more than that. It covers many layers of race that in inherent in the trial. But about a third of the book is about Christopher's life. And it's important to the story as well in terms of understanding what he went through as a black man and a lawyer. The trial seemed to take so much out of him that the tone of the book is very cynical and negative. He does leave the door open a bi ...more
Apr 10, 2016 Regan rated it it was amazing
Published in 1996 more than once I wondered if Christopher Darden tells much more than the story of his role, feelings, experiences and thoughts during the O.J. Simpson trial. From the inside front cover where he talks about the conditions at the time to the very end you see a very complex, intelligent and caring man. His anger at the brutal murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman are felt through his words. And more than once I saw he had prophetic insights about where we are today -- 20 years ...more
Mike Day
Apr 10, 2015 Mike Day rated it really liked it
Darden does an excellent work in showing us how California viewed race and racism leading up to the Simpson trial. He is honest regarding his mistakes and how things could've gone differently had the prosecution taken a different approach in the trial. I walked away from this having sympathy for his plight. Had the trial been in 2015, with what we know regarding DNA evidence, things would have played out differently. My heart goes out to public prosecutors.
Telford Delmoe
Nov 21, 2013 Telford Delmoe rated it it was amazing
Great book. Our justice system stands above all others compared to the rest of the world. There are significant flaws and we can take solace in the fact that even though every once in a while the system fails, when contained therein, are Attorneys who have no Honor, ultimately in the end OJ and his "Dream Team" will get the Justice coming to them. Everyone knows he did it and his dream team will pay for their injustice to Nicole and Ron.
Carol Mckinley
Oct 18, 2010 Carol Mckinley rated it liked it
I was never really "into" OJ's trial, for some reason. That's why I really liked this book. It takes you behind the scenes and explains the racism which went on as well as the logic behind decisions made by the prosecution which may have helped lose the case for them.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading the book from Chris Darden's point of view! He's not the screw-up people have made him out to be.
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Christopher Allen Darden is an American lawyer, writer, lecturer and practicing attorney. He was a 15-year veteran of the Los Angeles County District Attorney, where he was assigned to the prosecution of O. J. Simpson. Darden gained fame during the O. J. Simpson murder case when he asked Simpson to try on the once-blood-soaked gloves.
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