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Without a Doubt

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The most recognized female attorney in America opens up about life during -- and after -- the trial of the centuryWithout a Doubt is not just a book about a trial. It's a book about a woman. Marcia Clark takes us inside her head and her heart with a story that is both sweeping and deeply personal -- and shocking in its honesty. Her voice is raw, disarming, unmistakable. She tells us how a woman, when caught up in an event that galvanized an entire country, rose to that occasion with singular integrity, drive, honesty, and grace.

How did she do it, day after day? What was it like, orchestrating the most controversial case of her career in the face of the media's relentless klieg lights? How did she fight her personal battles -- those of a working mother balancing a crushing workload and a painful, very public divorce? Who stood by her and who abandoned her? As Clark shares the secrets of her own life, we understand for the first time why she identified so closely with Nicole Brown Simpson, in a way no man ever could.

Sparing no one in this unflinching account -- least of all herself -- Clark speaks frankly about the mesmerizing and controversial personalities in the Simpson case: Lance Ito, Kato Kaelin, Johnnie Cochran, Mark Fuhrman, and Christopher Darden, among others. She also takes on her critics, the "armchair warriors" who scapegoated her after the verdict, and tells us why they were wrong. In a case that tore America apart, and that continues to haunt us as few events in our recent history have, Marcia Clark emerges as the one true heroine, because she stood for justice, fought the good fight, and fought it well.

"A mesmerizing account of the trial and of her complicatedlife before she entered O. J. Hell". -- The Boston Globe

"Clark provides one of the liveliest and often most humorous versions of the case to date". -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Without a Doubt pulses with life and conviction". -- Los Angeles Times

469 pages, Paperback

First published May 1, 1997

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About the author

Marcia Clark

20 books1,187 followers
Marcia Clark is a former LA, California deputy district attorney, who was the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder case. She wrote a bestselling nonfiction book about the trial, Without a Doubt, and is a frequent media commentator and columnist on legal issues. She lives in Los Angeles.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 424 reviews
Profile Image for Matt.
3,821 reviews12.8k followers
November 29, 2015
After her (in)famous time in the headlines and being beamed across televisions the world over, Clark took the time to put together this short piece to give her side of the story, a refreshing look at things for the interested reader. While she pulled no punches and tossed many key players in the OJ Simpson murder trial under the proverbial bus, Clark supported her arguments with first-hand knowledge that might significantly shape the views of readers who may remember the circus that inundated the airwaves in 1994 and 1995. Taking the reader along the chronological happenings from the discovery of the bodies to her role in the trial, Clark offered up a succinct and heartfelt look into the case. When her opposition began waltzing into the courtroom, Clark editorialised on these bumbling fools more interested in the spotlight than arguing for justice. She also repeatedly showed how Lance Ito was one of the worst people ever to don a judge's robe and how out of his league the Honourable gentleman might have been. Even the Fuhrman testimony blunders, which some say cost the prosecution the case, are dissected and their role placed in the larger context of the case. Clark effectively showed how she fought tooth and nail for justice, but got only a major shaft from Ito and the clowns opposite her, with rulings, motions, and objections that could not have been concocted for a Hollywood script. In the end, it was a miscarriage of justice, plain and simple, though I am sure no reader who picked up this book thought otherwise before sinking their teeth into the prose before them.

I have much admiration for Marcia Clark in her new-found career as a legal thriller writer. I find her work as blunt and succinct as this piece ended up being. While some may feel that it is a collection of soapbox comments marinaded in sour grapes, I could not disagree any stronger. I remember the trial, the circus, and the shock of the verdict. I was firmly convinced that Simpson was giving the world a gigantic 'screw you' through his Hollywood 'Dream Team' who were anything but effective legal scholars, trumped only in their ineptness by Ito, who was a dunderhead of the highest order. It is these, the true legal trials that saw money trump justice, that get to me; where the spotlight overtakes the law of the land. Clark showed all the major gaffes before she offers an explanation (if she can) and lets the reader determine if justice might have been set aside. It is a refreshing (albeit brief) look into the Trial of the '90s and the soap opera of the century, which even a simultaneous return from the dead of both Victor Newman and Stefano DiMera could not have trumped. Written in such a way not to dwell on the numerous issues, Clark narrated effectively, giving highlights where needed and segueing from point to point with relative ease

Kudos, Madam Clark for this wonderful piece of insight. I do love your fictional work, which I hope you pepper with your real-life cases.

Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:
Profile Image for Alisa.
1,801 reviews182 followers
May 10, 2016
I'm dnf-ing this book at 60% but not because of the way it's written. (Although it did get go off track in places) This is going to be a bit of an emotional, rambling review so be forewarned if you continue on.

I can't read another minute of this because it's just too depressing. I lived in Los Angeles during the murders and then the trial and it was an every day part of our lives. I was young while this was going on and I, as many others, focused more on the racial aspects of the case than anything. We were still reeling from the Rodney King case and that combined with the media frenzy really consumed everything. I'm not sure why I decided to read this. Much of it I remember. But what stood out to me now that I'm older (and hopefully wiser) was the horrible misogyny that was such a giant part but never addressed. In reading this I was horrified at the abuse Nicole Brown suffered at the hands of this man. She was repeatedly beaten and raped and NO ONE did anything to help her. Not her family, not her friends and most sadly not the police. Officers went on domestic violence calls and ended up joking around with OJ and then got his autograph and left her there to be beaten again. As I read this I couldn't imagine how terrifying that must felt. When OJ is arrested for the murders you read parts of the interview police did with him and it made me sick to my stomach. It's a fricking double murder and the male officers are laughing and joking around with him and he makes "you know how women can be" jokes. No real interviewing was done. No hard questions were asked. As the book goes on you see over and over again how almost no one involved in this case really cared about the victims. Everyone had their own agendas.

I also didn't realize how badly Marcia Clark was treated at the time. I mean I saw all the reports that focused on her hair or her clothes and the topless photes instead of the case but I didn't recognize this for what it was at the time. I do now and it sickens me. None of the men were treated this way. The judge did nothing to stop this. The DA's office did nothing to stop this. No one said this isn't ok. And the women jurors who had no problem letting him go despite all of the evidence blow my mind.

I remember at the time feeling bad for Ronald Goldman's parents but I didn't have children then. I do now. I have sons. And I could not get my head around how horrible this must have been for this family. Not only did they lose their son, but they lost him due to a situation that never should have happened. They then had to sit through the nightmare that was this trial and still had no justice in the end. My heart broke for them.

I was so disgusted with people as a whole while reading this that I just couldn't finish it. (Do you know people order glasses of OJ and send them to her table while she's eating out?? Cuz you know, domestic violence and double homicide is SO funny).

So.......the book is fairly well written. As I mentioned before it goes off track in some places and she weaves some of her personal life into the story and while I see the point she's making I didn't like the way in was interspersed into the case. She was pretty candid about things that went on and how she felt about other people involved in it. For me though it was just so depressing. Two people lost their lives here. One who was tortured for years previously and one who was barely acknowledged in any of this because he wasn't part of the circus. And there were two small children (ages 5 & 8) who would've discovered their mother nearly decapitated and a horrific bloody scene if the dog wouldn't have gotten out. And seriously, no one really cared, except Ron Goldman's parents and a few members of the prosecution. Everyone else was out for prestige or money or tv time or whatever. The book is just page after page of this and I just couldn't push myself into reading another minute of it.
Profile Image for Beth Bedee.
282 reviews59 followers
July 6, 2011
This book was fascinating. She begins the book with stating how painful it still is to her to remember the O.J. trial. Ironically, the day I'm writing this review is the very day that Casey Anthony was found not guilty (O.J. Trial part 2). I can only imagine how completely empty Marcia Clark felt when her verdict was read, and they had enough forensic evidence to convict O.J. 5 times over. I know how disgusted I feel right now (and how disgusted I felt back in 1995), and I'm just an "armchair warrior" as Marcia says. She put her blood, sweat, and tears into that case.

This book made me so angry so many times, not because of the writing but because of how much of a circus it was allowed to become. Everything that could have gone against the prosecution, did. I watched the O.J. trial on TV. I don't remember it all vividly, but I think a lot of us remember where we were when that verdict was read.

I've become very interested in the workings of the law after this Casey Anthony trial. I liked going behind the scenes with Marcia in this trial. I learned a lot.

I'd suggest this to anyone interested in either the O.J. trial or law in general.
July 22, 2020
Disclaimer: I am an African American woman stating unequivocally that the travesty that was the O J Simpson trial was due, in part, to a need to exact revenge for a previous travesty of a trial.

As far as I’m concerned, both cases culminated in a rage-inducing display of bigotry and moral cowardice.


Interesting insights but nothing I didn’t already guess.

Rampant fanboying/Girling + gross incompetence + misogyny + racial overcorrection= one of the worst miscarriages of justice of the 20th century.

On the heels of the Rodney King acquittal, prosecuting a black man for the murders of two white people was an unenviable task, to be sure.

Doing so while female would have sent my head through the wall.

I remember sitting through the televised trial at nine years old (my sitter was glued to her television) and coming to the horrifying realization that slashers were real.

This wasn’t Jason, Michael Meyers or Freddy but an actual person who lived not 30 minutes from where we did.

I knew even then that Simpson was a monster, a jealous, controlling, egotistical attention whore who cared more about preserving his masculinity than co-parenting and giving his children the childhood they deserved.

He lifted Nichole offer feet, slammed her onto the ground, knocking her unconscious.
He then proceeded to stab her multiple times, completing the attack with a blow that nearly decapitated her.

It takes a special kind of sociopathy to comfort your children with the same arms and hands you used to brutalize their mother.

Did he imagine he would live happily ever after in his Mansion, joyfully raising them with his side piece?

I’m glad to know that the last 26 years have been a perpetual nightmare for him; I wish him nothing but abject regret and isolation for what remains of his pitiful existence.

Overall, Clark does a decent job of transporting readers back to an era fraught with social injustice, rage, and politics.

Still, I could have gotten the same from Wikipedia and YouTube documentaries. Three-stars.
Profile Image for Caroline.
64 reviews22 followers
May 9, 2016
Since the FX series, The People Vs OJ Simpson blew my mind - I have been unable to stop thinking about this case, in particular about Marcia Clark. This book is compelling and enraging all at the same time. Obviously Clark is of the opinion that Simpson was guilty and having seen the mountain of evidence laid out in this book, I defy anyone to think otherwise. This was one of the most disgusting miscarriages of justice ever carried out.

Clark's recollection of this time is highly charged stuff. She decisively captures the atmosphere of tension in a post-race riot LA, but she refuses to let the reader forget that this case was about the brutal killing of two people - one of whom was a woman who was terrorised by the man she married. Clark forces the reader to do what the jury wouldn't do and that's look the issue of domestic violence head on.

Clark's treatment at the hands of the media and by the American public was nothing short of disgraceful. The column inches given over to her hair, dress sense and whether or not she was a 'bitch' would never have been written about any of her male colleagues. Without delving into self pity, Clark fiercely calls this out as wrong. This case brought many issues to the forefront but perhaps the one that has remained buried in the mountain of analysis since has been the issue of feminism. Clark is an unassuming feminist hero in her refusal to accept the treatment she received and her vociferous advocacy for a woman who was no longer able to speak for herself, Nicole Brown-Simpson.

This book captures a moment when things went so horribly wrong, looks at the reasons why and asks for change. A book about the cult of celebrity, what wealth can buy and two people who were utterly failed by the American justice system.
108 reviews2 followers
March 22, 2009
It brought back the whole context of the Simpson trial to me. At the time, I paid little attention to it because I knew from the beginning that he would get off, and it was too painful, so I minimized my exposure. One of my friends at work used to vent about it to me, so I began using our daily newspaper in a creative manner. I'd find the picture of OJ in the paper, and lay it down every morning for our elderly poodle to pee on. I'd tell her every day, "Linda, Spunky peed on OJ today," and that seemed to make her happy.

This book was really good. I don't think I would have read it, though, if OJ wasn't in jail right now. This book really brings home just what a big deal it was that so many respectable people (Barry Scheck, Alan Dershowitz, for example) jumped on the flimsiest pretexts to prostitute themselves for him.

Anyway, it cost me a buck, so if you can find a copy for that kind of money, then go for it. Read it in small doses, though, because it's depressing to see the overwhelming evidence and know what the outcome was going to be. I note that none of OJ's attorneys have come out with books with this kind of detail - perhaps because they really couldn't find anything to exonerate him.

Thank goodness he's in jail and I hope he stays there the rest of his life. I hope he's really, really miserable. Still, that's small comfort for the two families of the victims.

11 reviews
November 12, 2012
Riveting book. After almost 20 years, the fascinating cast of characters remains: Kato Kaelan, the Brown sisters, the howling of the bloodied dog, the racist cop, the bumbling blood experts, etc. The author's ghost writer does an exceptional job of keeping the narrative moving. Marcia Clark is a 41-year-old Jewish girl, raped when young, two broken marriages behind her, living in a dump with two young children to raise when suddenly she gets the Simpson case. The stress often threatens to overwhelm her. She and her staff are up against an array of the legal profession's highest paid practitioners, the client is rich, and the judge is afraid to offend and tries too often to play it down the middle. In addition, the defense has stripped the jury pool of the bright and educated, leaving as jurors the least bright and predominantly black middle aged women who don't want to see one of their race's superstars humbled in court and convicted. Plus, still within recent memory at the time the Simpson trial took place, a white jury unconscionably let the policemen who beat Rodney King free. The Simpson jury's middle aged black women aim to 'right the balance. Clark introduces evidence of Simpson beating his wife constantly, parades witness before the jury that in Clark's words just stares back with hatred. She produces hair, blood and clothing with Simpson's and his victims' blood intertwined. Clark and the other public servants do their best against insurmountable odds, knowing in advance that they will lose. A sad story, in many ways, that highlights the racial divide that lives within us and how hard it is for decently paid but not rich public servants to convict and rich and powerful man.
Profile Image for Greg.
1,866 reviews18 followers
February 12, 2017
"Sausage Party Vs. Clark" would have been a fine title for this work: our heroine is surrounded by testosterone fueled barrages: even her change of hairstyle drew inexplicable ire from the media circus and obvious visual ridicule inside the court. Even Judge Ito seemed to join in on the overt sexism leading me to the aforesaid alternative title. I watched the trial and the media coverage relentlessly (I worked out of my home at the time) and Marcia was literally raked over the coals for every move she made, every word she said. And even though the 'Sausage Party' won, Marcia Clark stood tall, hard, and firm (along with Darden): she walked into that courtroom everyday with her head held high, her heroism a true inspiration. Congratulations to Marcia Clark! And now, she has put it all behind (I hope) and has become a successful writer. It's so true: revenge is a dish best served cold and Clark is now relishing her new life. Of all the books I read of the 'Trial of the Century' this is my favorite. I am a lifetime fan of this amazing person.
Profile Image for Jarrod.
413 reviews15 followers
December 15, 2016
What an absolute stunning book and must read for anyone interested in the case. It is heartbreaking, infuriating, sad and confusing at times. There is little joy in the book and the theme is quite morose. Yet, the book is very well written. She holds nothing back, the wins, the losses and the raw emotions and relationships. She gets a bit personal at time and though some of it isn't necessary, it wasn't in 94-95 either and I think that's part of the lesson. The media never should have pried as they did. It's shameful.

What continues to baffle me is the ability of the defense to live with themselves knowing what they know about the hard irrefutable evidence of the crime and yet serve for the almighty dollar. It's baffling to this day.

The conclusions from this book are easily drawn and anyone with the ability to read and dissect evidence can easily come to the correct conclusion that jury nullification occurred here. There are many terms used that will require research, but everything in the book points in the same direction that anyone that has objectively studied the evidence points. No only did he do it, but he flaunted about getting off doing it. The greatest injustice we all have done as a society is to gloss over the abuse the women in this case have suffered to "right a wrong" and "send a message" because of the alleged racism. The racism never occurred. Never. The fault in the case is easy to see as well, it rests with the LAPD, the criminalists being sloppy, the incompetent judge (and the people that continued to allow him to serve) and the immoral defense attorneys. Furthermore, the jury is at fault. They ignored and cast off the irrefutable evidence given in the case because they would not be able to go back to their houses in downtown LA and face their neighbors with a guilty verdict. In fact, they would be fearful of their lives. I almost feel sorry for them, but as a person, you do the right thing regardless of consequences. The right thing is justice and in this case it was not served at any level.
1,073 reviews
August 29, 2019
Profile Image for Glenda.
364 reviews16 followers
January 26, 2020
I had read several books after the OJ trial, all of which only reinforced the ridiculousness of his acquittal in the face of all of the evidence but this is by far one of the best that really lays out the case, the evidence, and of course with an extremely intimate view given Marcia Clark's role as prosecutor.

Her story is one that is difficult to put down. You get a clear picture of Los Angeles at the time - the tension with the race riots following Rodney King, the deference of the police to the celebrity of OJ, and probably more of the story that wasn't told or told enough about the 66 or so times that Nicole Brown Simpson was assaulted in some way by her husband before he murdered her. Clark explains why the domestic violence angle was downplayed in the trial, as well as the challenges they faced with Lance Ito as a judge who seemed willing to take guidance from the "dream team" of OJ's defense attornies. Or at the very least, not take a stronger stand on areas of law where he should have.

Clark also reminds us that this was not about race, it was about brutal murder of two people - however, the defense played the card early on and Mark Furhman quickly became the focus and it became a case ABOUT race.

I also thought she did a nice job of bringing forth her observations about her treatment by the media - the obvious sexism without coming across as defensive or self-pitying. It's disgraceful really, and unfortunately, not enough has changed in this regard with respect to women in positions of power. (They still receive comments on their appearance that you'd never see for a man).

It's still unbelievable that OJ Simpson was not found guilty in the face of so much evidence. Clark says that perhaps the trial was lost months before the closing arguments were presented, the jury wanting to find the celebrity of OJ innocent, of wanting to use the trial as Johnnie Cochran suggested to "make a statement" against racism. It's unfortunate that it was a career-ending case for her, as clearly the judicial system needs the kind of insight and experience she can bring to the table.
Profile Image for Lois.
346 reviews2 followers
January 25, 2014
Without a doubt (pun intended) Marcia Clark is a woman with fortitude, perseverance and a lot of pluck. For many of us who were bombarded with the murder trial of OJ Simpson, and likewise blindsided by the acquittal, the lead prosecutor shares insight and detail into the trial that was never revealed by the news media of the 90's. I actually read this book shortly after it was published, and I wanted to re-read it now, nearly 20 years later.

Her analysis of how so much incriminating evidence against the defendant resulted instead in a verdict of "not guilty" reflects more on society as a whole. I think she portrayed it accurately and fairly. (I don't want to give too much away!) The judge, the defense "dream team", race relations and celebrity status all worked against justice for the murder victims, plus mistakes made by the LAPD.

If you like true crime stories, this is one you will have to read. If you like to read about working women and their fight for equality in a male-dominated work environment, read this book. I truly admired Marcia Clark's strength and determination to do the job she had been assigned in the midst of personal tribulations. Some day it would be cool to meet her. I would tell her face to face, "Well done!"
Profile Image for Riva Sciuto.
223 reviews51 followers
March 22, 2017
As a kid, I idolized Marcia Clark for her talent and conviction in the courtroom. As an adult, with a renewed interest in the OJ Simpson trial, I am even more inspired by the strength and principle with which she prosecuted the "trial of the century."

She writes with breathtaking honesty -- about the challenges presented in the case, the defense's baseless claims, the avoidable missteps made by her own team, the condescension of Judge Ito, her inability to connect with the jury, the pain of being in the national spotlight, and the shock of losing a case despite the unimpeachable evidence against its defendant.

Her reflections provide an intimate account of this case from the perspective of a prosecutor who never wavered in her fight for justice. The book's concluding lines, which she writes to her sons, best encapsulate my takeaway: "This is my story. Your mother was not perfect, but she had conviction. She fought with every ounce of strength for what she thought was right. In the end, that's all we can ever do." In her own way -- with her own words -- her book helps bring justice to Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. ❤️❤️❤️

Profile Image for Amy.
264 reviews1 follower
June 10, 2017
I was interested to hear about the trial from Marcia Clark's point of view (more than any other person involved in the trial). I am so glad I chose to read this. Not only does it talk about what is going on from her perspective, but it waters down difficult forensic terminology so anyone can understand it. It also talks about and debunks theories on what the prosecution should have done differently. It never loses sight of the fact that this case was still about two people being murdered, and not the circus it ended up becoming.
If you are interested in the case from Marcia Clark's point of view I would definitely give this a try.
February 27, 2016
Kept me interested

This is a very comprehensive book written by the one person who was always there. I have long admired Marcia Clark as she was thrust into chaos and maintained her integrity throughout the ordeal.
Profile Image for Wortmagie.
515 reviews78 followers
September 27, 2018

Der Medienrummel in den USA um den Fall O.J. Simpson war gewaltig. Bereits vor Prozessbeginn mutierte die Presse zum 13. Jurymitglied – und manch ein Reporter schwang sich zum Richter und Henker auf. Seriosität und Qualität der Berichterstattung variierten enorm. Die Causa Simpson lockte eine ganze Armee von Schmierfinken aus ihren Löchern, die nicht davor zurückschreckten, Falschinformationen zu verbreiten, Beweismaterial öffentlich zu machen und Zeug_innen stolze Summen für Interviews zu zahlen. Dieser ausufernde Zirkus beeinflusste den Strafprozess maßgeblich. Die Verhandlung wurde live auf dem Fernsehsender Court TV übertragen. Die Juryauswahl wurde durch die flächendeckende Berichterstattung massiv erschwert, weil sich kaum eine Person in Los Angeles finden ließ, die nicht bereits von den Morden an Nicole Brown Simpson und Ronald Goldman gehört oder gelesen hatte. O.J. Simpsons Verteidiger, das „Dreamteam“, nutzten die Presse aktiv, um den Prozess zu ihren Gunsten zu manipulieren. Zeitgleiche, inoffizielle Pressekonferenzen aus dem Stegreif von Robert Shapiro und Johnnie Cochran am Ende eines Prozesstages waren keine Seltenheit.

Die Staatsanwaltschaft musste auf diese Tricks natürlich verzichten. Selbst wenn sie die Medien für sich hätten einspannen wollen – sie durften es nicht. Vielleicht schoss sich die Presse deshalb auf das Team der Anklage ein. Alle Mitglieder sahen sich scharfen Angriffen ausgesetzt, wurden als unerfahren, arrogant und schlicht inkompetent dargestellt. Doch niemand von ihnen erntete so viel Spott, Häme, Bosheit und Kritik wie Marcia Clark.

Marcia Clark war von Anfang an in die Ermittlungen gegen O.J. Simpson involviert. Tage bevor Haftbefehl erlassen wurde, beriet sie die Ermittler, ob die Indizien ausreichten, um eine Hausdurchsuchung zu rechtfertigen. Zu Prozessbeginn war sie 40 Jahre alt (Jahrgang 1953) und arbeitete seit 13 Jahren als Staatsanwältin. Sie konnte eine beinahe perfekte Bilanz in Mordverfahren aufweisen. In 20 Prozessen erwirkte sie 19 Verurteilungen und hatte profunde Kenntnisse der wissenschaftlichen Aspekte von DNA-Analysen von Beweismaterial. Sie galt als ehrgeizig, forsch und bezeichnet sich selbst als Prozessjunkie, hatte sogar eine Beförderung in die Verwaltung aufheben lassen, um wieder im Gerichtssaal stehen zu können. Demzufolge war sie durchaus geeignet, die Staatsanwaltschaft gegen O.J. Simpson zu vertreten. Trotz dessen wollte ihr Boss, Gil Garcetti, sie nicht allein die Leitung des Falls übernehmen lassen, weil es Spannungen mit der Führungsebene des L.A.P.D. gab und er Bedenken hatte, dass Clarks brüske Art diese zusätzlich verschärfen könnte. Außerdem war im Büro der Staatsanwaltschaft bekannt, dass sie gerade die Scheidung ihrer zweiten Ehe erstritt und ihre beiden Söhne allein erzog, was sich selbstverständlich auf ihre zeitliche Verfügbarkeit auswirke. Ihr wurde Bill Hodgman als nominell gleichberechtigter Partner zugeteilt. Später, als Hodgman mit gravierenden gesundheitlichen Problemen zu kämpfen hatte, stieß Christopher Darden hinzu.

Marcia Clark hatte niemals Zweifel an O.J. Simpsons Schuld. Die Beweislage war eindeutig und verdichtete sich mit Fortschreiten des Prozesses kontinuierlich. In Jeffrey Toobins literarischer Dokumentation The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson gewann ich den Eindruck, dass es eben diese überwältigende Beweislast war, die die Staatsanwaltschaft in trügerischer Sicherheit wiegte, sie zu Arroganz verleitete und letztendlich zum Freispruch durch die Jury führte. Obwohl ich verstand, dass Clarks Team es nicht leicht hatte und durch die medienwirksame Strategie der Verteidigung sowie durch fragwürdige Entscheidungen des Richters Lance Ito behindert wurde, sah ich sie definitiv mitverantwortlich für das Scheitern des Prozesses. Ich vertraute Toobins Einschätzung, der Fehler der Anklage live im Gerichtssaal erlebt hatte. Nun, Vertrauen ist gut, Kontrolle ist besser, besonders wenn das Thema dermaßen kontrovers ist und einen gewissen Interpretationsspielraum bietet. Deshalb wollte ich Marcia Clarks eigene Wahrnehmung des Prozesses kennenlernen. Ich wollte wissen, wie sie von ihrer Rolle in der Verhandlung berichtet und ob sie fähig ist, Fehler einzugestehen. Glücklicherweise schrieb Clark – wie so viele Beteiligte des Sensationsprozesses – ein Buch, wodurch ich nicht gezwungen war, mir selbstständig ein Bild ihrer Person zusammenzubasteln. „Without A Doubt“ ist ihr Manifest, für das sie angeblich ein Honorar von über 4 Millionen Dollar einstrich.

Eines habe ich während der Lektüre von „Without A Doubt“ gelernt: Marcia Clark weiß VIEL mehr über das US-amerikanische Rechtssystem als ich. Das ist nun nicht überraschend und war zu erwarten, aber ihre Kompetenz und ihre intimen Kenntnisse der Gesetze und rechtlichen Statuten der USA beeindruckten mich sehr. Sie ist eine intelligente, ehrgeizige Powerfrau, die kein Blatt vor den Mund nimmt und die Dinge beim Namen nennt. Ich fand ihren direkten, ruppigen Charakter erfrischend und kann mir ohne Schwierigkeiten vorstellen, dass sie in der (damals) männerdominierten Staatsanwaltschaft aneckte. Es fühlten sich sicherlich einige Herren auf den Schlips getreten.

Mit diesem Buch macht sie sich vermutlich ebenfalls wenig Freunde, denn sie geizt nicht mit Kritik. Alle kriegen ihr Fett weg: der Richter Lance Ito, die Presse und natürlich die Verteidigung, allen voran Johnnie Cochran. Clark beschreibt eindringlich, dass die Anklage unter nahezu unmenschlichen Bedingungen arbeitete. Das „Dreamteam“ bestand auf ein beschleunigtes Verfahren für O.J. Simpson, wodurch der Staatsanwaltschaft sehr wenig Zeit für die Vorbereitung blieb. Die Fülle des Beweismaterials war Fluch und Segen zugleich, da sie all die Spuren, die am Tatort gesammelt worden waren und Indizienbeweise, wie zum Beispiel der zeitliche Ablauf der Mordnacht oder Simpsons Vorgeschichte von häuslicher Gewalt, nachvollziehbar aufarbeiten mussten, um sie der Jury schlüssig präsentieren zu können. Die Verteidigung funkte immer wieder dazwischen, indem sie jeden ihrer Schritte in Frage stellte. Eine denkwürdige, lächerliche Anhörung beschäftigte sich mit der Frage, wie viele Haare Simpson für eine Analyse abzugeben hatte. Jede Kleinigkeit musste erbittert erkämpft werden.

Parallel musste das Team der Anklage die Hoffnung auf ein gesundes Privatleben aufgeben. Nicht nur arbeiteten sie Tag und Nacht, um den Unmengen an Beweismaterial Herr zu werden und auf jede neue Perfidität der Verteidigung angemessen reagieren zu können – sie wurden permanent von den Medien verfolgt. Die Presse beobachtete sie mit Argusaugen. Selbst die kleinste Unbedachtheit konnte zu gehässigen, verletzenden Artikeln, wilden, absurden Theorien und Falschinformationen führen, die der Gesellschaft als bare Münze verkauft wurden. Als Chefanklägerin traf es Marcia Clark besonders hart. Ihre Vergangenheit, ihr Familienleben, selbst ihre äußere Erscheinung sezierte die Presse genüsslich bis ins Detail. Sie analysierten ihre Kleidung. Eine Veränderung ihrer Frisur während des Prozesses mutierte beinahe zum Skandal. Man versuchte, anhand der Tiefe ihrer Augenringe Rückschlüsse auf die Fortschritte der Staatsanwaltschaft zu ziehen. Eine Zeitung veröffentlichte sogar alte Fotos von ihr, auf denen sie im Urlaub in Europa oben ohne zu sehen war. Sie konnte nicht einmal mehr unbehelligt über die Straße gehen. Die Medien trieben sie wie die sprichwörtliche Sau durchs Dorf. Es ist bewundernswert, dass sie unter diesem enormen Druck nicht zusammenbrach, obwohl sie mehrfach kurz davorstand.

Unterschwellig spielte in der medialen Berichterstattung über Marcia Clark stets die Tatsache eine Rolle, dass sie eine Frau ist. Sowohl außerhalb als auch innerhalb des Gerichtssaals war Sexismus an der Tagesordnung. Keiner ihrer männlichen Kollegen musste sich für die Wahl seiner Anzüge rechtfertigen und niemand fragte, ob Robert Shapiro ausreichend Zeit für seine Kinder hatte. Scheinbar bereitete es Kopfschmerzen, dass Gil Garcettis bester Mann für den Job „O.J. Simpson“ ein Mädchen war. In der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung wurde Clarks Kompetenz von Anfang an durch ihr Geschlecht in Frage gestellt. Der Aspekt der häuslichen Gewalt, deren Opfer Nicole Brown Simpson durch ihren Ex-Ehemann geworden war, lenkte den Fall in eine ähnliche Richtung, trotz Clarks ursprünglichem Unwillen, diesen in ihre Strategie aufzunehmen. Ich war überrascht, zu erfahren, dass sie anfangs zögerte, diese heikle Thematik zu integrieren und erst von Mitgliedern ihres Teams davon überzeugt wurde. Jeffrey Toobin hatte in The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson vermittelt, Clark sei diejenige gewesen, die die Gewalt zwischen O.J. und Nicole unbedingt als integralen Bestandteil präsentieren wollte, da sie in der Vergangenheit bereits derartige Fälle verhandelt hatte. Laut „Without A Doubt“ ist das nicht wahr. Es stimmt, dass Clark Erfahrung mit dem Vorwurf von häuslicher Gewalt gesammelt hatte, aber ihr war vollkommen bewusst, dass es sich dabei um ein zweischneidiges Schwert handelte, weil viele potentielle Jurymitglieder Gewalt innerhalb einer Ehe nicht als Verbrechen, sondern als Privatsache betrachteten. Sie wusste, dass es schwierig sein würde, sie vom Gegenteil zu überzeugen und anhand der Vorfälle ein Motiv zu suggerieren, ebenso, wie sie wusste, dass O.J. Simpsons Popularität und seine Hautfarbe entscheidend sein würden.

Ich war verblüfft, wie realistisch die Anklage ihre Chancen auf eine Verurteilung einordnete. Vor „Without A Doubt“ dachte ich, sie hätten die exorbitanten Dimensionen des Falls kolossal unterschätzt. Ich dachte, sie seien sich zu sicher gewesen und hätten sich zu sehr auf die physische Beweislage verlassen. Marcia Clarks Ausführungen korrigierten diesen Eindruck. Sie waren sich darüber im Klaren, dass alles gegen sie sprach und ein Freispruch eine reelle Möglichkeit war. Clark wusste von Anfang an, was mir erst durch ihr Buch bewusst wurde. Der Prozess gegen O.J. Simpson touchierte alle drei großen gesellschaftlichen Konflikte, mit denen die Menschheit seit Jahrhunderten weltweit konfrontiert ist: Rasse, Klasse und Geschlecht (bzw. Gender). Ich denke, dass der Fall deshalb dieses außerordentliche öffentliche Interesse erfuhr. Natürlich wurde dieses auch durch Simpsons Prominentenstatus und die grauenvollen Details der Morde ausgelöst, aber meiner Ansicht nach lag der Hauptgrund darin, dass sich jeder Mensch mit mindestens einer Facette des Falls identifizieren konnte und eine eindeutige Meinung dazu hatte. Deshalb war die Zusammenstellung der Jury, für die Marcia Clark und ihr Team scharf kritisiert wurden, so mühsam. Jede einzelne Person, die potentiell für den Geschworenendienst in Frage kam, war bereits lange vor Prozessbeginn voreingenommen, selbst wenn sie das Gegenteil behauptete. Da die Verhandlung in Downtown L.A. stattfand, war die Auswahl begrenzt und führte automatisch zu einer überwiegend afroamerikanischen Gruppe. Zu dem Vorwurf, sie habe gezielt einen hohen Anteil schwarzer Frauen in der Jury akzeptiert, weil sie ihrem Bauchgefühl vertraute, äußert sich Clark allerdings nicht. Sie impliziert lediglich, dass der Bildungsstand der Juror_innen einen größeren Einfluss als das Geschlecht hatte.

O.J. Simpson wegen zweifachen Mordes ersten Grades anzuklagen, also vorsätzlichen Mordes, wurde gemeinschaftlich von der Staatsanwaltschaft beschlossen. Es war Marcia Clark, die diese Vorgehensweise anstieß. Juristisch betrachtet war diese Entscheidung weit weniger riskant, als es den Anschein hat. Die Staatsanwaltschaft ist zwar verpflichtet, zu beweisen, dass der/die Beschuldigte den Vorsatz hatte, das Opfer zu töten, aber nicht, wann dieser Vorsatz gefasst wurde. Selbst wenn der Täter oder die Täterin nur Sekunden vor dem Mord entscheidet, diesen zu begehen, ist eine Anklage wegen Mord ersten Grades gerechtfertigt. Entscheidend ist die bewusste Absicht, nicht die Zeitspanne zwischen Entschluss und Tat. Leider gehört diese juristische Definition nicht zum Allgemeinwissen, weshalb in der Presse der Eindruck erweckt wurde, Marcia Clark führe einen persönlichen Feldzug gegen O.J. Simpson. Diese Wahrnehmung ist nicht korrekt. Tatsächlich wusste die an Sport desinteressierte Staatsanwältin vor den Morden nicht einmal, wer Simpson ist und hegte demzufolge auch keinen privaten Groll gegen den ehemaligen Footballspieler. Ich fand, dass sie sich in „Without A Doubt“ recht professionell gibt. Ihr Urteil über ihn ist ausschließlich auf den Fall bezogen, zu spekulativen Analysen seiner Persönlichkeit lässt sie sich nicht hinreißen. Sie spricht über ihn als Mörder und gewalttätigen Ehemann und findet ihrer Art entsprechend teilweise harsche Worte für ihn, aber ich konnte keinen Hass darin erkennen. Ich hatte das Gefühl, sie betrachtet ihn mit beruflicher Distanz und empfand während des Prozesses das Gleiche, das sie für alle Angeklagten empfand, die sie für schuldig hielt.

Trotz dessen traut Marcia Clark O.J. Simpson meiner Ansicht nach zu viel zu. Sie glaubt daran, dass er den Mord an Nicole plante und mit dem festen Vorsatz zu ihrem Haus fuhr, sie zu töten. Das glaube ich nicht, besonders nicht nach der Lektüre von If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer. Mir erschien die Tat eher impulsiv. Ich bin nicht überzeugt, dass Simpson die Frage, warum er am Abend des 12. Juni 1994 zu Nicoles Haus fuhr, wahrheitsgetreu beantworten könnte. Ich glaube nicht, dass er es weiß. Ich denke, er hatte das diffuse Bedürfnis, Nicole, den Störfaktor in seinem Leben, zu konfrontieren. Dass ihr Aufeinandertreffen dermaßen eskalieren könnte, erwartete er meiner Meinung nach selbst nicht. Clark hingegen war bereit, alle Indizien zu Simpsons Nachteil zu interpretieren. Sie ließ dadurch in ihrer Strategie vor Gericht sehr wenig Spielraum für alternative Szenarien und schränkte sich selbst ein.

Insgesamt fand ich, dass sich Marcia Clark in „Without A Doubt” kaum hinterfragt. Sie gesteht nur ein einziges Mal wirklich einen Fehler ihrerseits ein: sie hätte Lance Itos Entscheidung, das beleidigende, verletzende und rassistische N-Wort (auch ich möchte es nicht ausschreiben) im Prozess zuzulassen, anfechten müssen. Ich stimme ihr diesbezüglich zu, denn dieses Urteil öffnete der „Rassenkarte“ Tür und Tor, die mit der Frage, ob O.J. Simpson ein Mörder ist, nicht das Geringste zu tun hatte. Vielleicht hätte sie den Freispruch auf diese Weise verhindern können. Es erscheint mir allerdings unwahrscheinlich, dass sie ihr Verhalten im Nachhinein offenbar weitgehend als makellos und fehlerfrei einschätzt. Ich bin fest überzeugt, dass sie damals völlig nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen handelte und ihre Erläuterungen, inwiefern der Staatsanwaltschaft die Hände gebunden waren bzw. wurden, sind durchaus glaubhaft. Doch betrachten wir ihre Situation. Während des Prozesses war sie krank, übermüdet, gestresst und häufig überlastet. Das mörderische Tempo, das die Verteidigung diktierte, forderte seinen Tribut. Sie musste das Arbeitspensum des Falls, die Erziehung ihrer beiden Söhne, ihre Scheidung, die Presse und später sogar einen Sorgerechtsstreit managen. Und bei all diesen Anforderungen will sie nur einen einzigen Fehler gemacht haben?

Ich weiß nicht, ob Marcia Clark im Stillen härter mit sich ins Gericht geht – in ihrem Buch erwähnt sie jedenfalls nur diesen einen Fehler explizit. Dadurch wirkt sie defensiv, trotzig, stur, uneinsichtig, unreflektiert und arrogant. Sie hat einen latent aggressiven Zug an sich, der nicht sehr sympathisch ist. Auch schien sie mir eine gewisse Verbitterung über den Ausgang des Prozesses zu empfinden, speziell angesichts der Verurteilung im späteren Zivilprozess. Ich kann verstehen, dass die Erfahrung, den Jahrhundertprozess zu verlieren, frustrierend für sie war, doch beinahe ausschließlich andere dafür verantwortlich zu machen, ist kindisch und zu einseitig. Ich denke, ihre eigenen Entscheidungen trugen ebenfalls zum Freispruch bei.
Letztendlich kann ich aber natürlich nicht beurteilen, ob die Staatsanwaltschaft irgendetwas hätte anders handhaben können. Meine juristischen Kenntnisse sind maximal rudimentär. Fakt ist, Clark begründet ihr Vorgehen meist nachvollziehbar und autoritär, sodass kaum Zweifel über andere Optionen aufkommen.

Für mich war während der Lektüre vor allem interessant, wie unterschiedlich bestimmte Szenen der Verhandlung von Marcia Clark und Jeffrey Toobin erlebt wurden. Die Juryauswahl, die Affäre Mark Fuhrman, das Verhör der Zeug_innen der Verteidigung und Clarks Festlegung auf ein Zeitfenster für die Morde schildern Journalist und Anwältin gänzlich verschieden. Gemeinsam illustrieren „Without A Doubt“ und The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson daher die unüberbrückbare Diskrepanz zwischen der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung des Mordprozesses und der Wahrnehmung der Anklage hervorragend. Marcia Clarks Erinnerungen boten mir noch einmal eine ganz neue Perspektive auf diesen Fall. Ich empfand die Lektüre definitiv als lohnend und bin ihr dankbar, dass sie sich nicht scheute, Details zu offenbaren, die unter anderem ihr Privatleben betreffen und einen einzigartigen Kontext schufen. Sie vermittelt einen lebhaften, intimen Eindruck dessen, wie schmerzhaft, erschöpfend und frustrierend der Prozess für ihr Team und sie selbst war. Ich vermute, sie wollte mit diesem Buch auch ihr öffentliches Bild korrigieren. Nach all dem Schmutz, mit dem sie beworfen wurde, sei es ihr gegönnt.
Sie kehrte nach dem Prozess nicht mehr zur Staatsanwaltschaft zurück. Sie hängte ihren Job an den Nagel und ist heute Krimi-Autorin.

Drei Bücher habe ich nun zum Fall O.J. Simpson gelesen und für euch besprochen. Nach diesen drei Auslegungen der Fakten glaube ich, die Wahrheit liegt irgendwo dazwischen. Für mich ist es mittlerweile nicht mehr wichtig, was genau damals in der Nacht vom 12. Juni 1994 geschah. Ich bin überzeugt, dass O.J. Simpson ein Mörder ist. Das einzige, was zählt, ist, dass Nicole Brown Simpson und Ronald Goldman seinetwegen nicht mehr am Leben sind. Was ihnen angetan wurde, war Unrecht und es ist beschämend, dass die US-amerikanische Justiz im Strafprozess nicht fähig war, Gerechtigkeit für sie zu erwirken. Mir ist egal, wer dafür verantwortlich ist, denn Schuldzuweisungen lindern weder den Schmerz ihrer Familien noch bringen sie diese beiden Leben zurück oder berühren O.J. Simpson. Aus meiner Sicht wird dieser Justizirrtum für immer ein hässlicher Fleck in der Geschichte der USA sein. Ich wünsche mir, dass sich darin zumindest eine Lehre für zukünftige Generationen verbirgt.
Profile Image for Laurel-Rain.
Author 6 books236 followers
September 23, 2019
Marcia Clark takes us inside her head and her heart. Her voice is raw, incisive, disarming, unmistakable. Her story is both sweeping and deeply personal. It is the story of a woman who, when caught up in an event that galvanized an entire country, rose to that occasion with singular integrity, drive, honesty and grace.

In a case that tore America apart, and that continues to haunt us as few events of history have, Marcia Clark emerged as the only true heroine, because she stood for justice, fought the good fight, and fought it well.

My Thoughts: I eagerly approached this book, having seen portions of the trial and the miniseries based on the trial; I have also read Marcia Clark’s mystery fiction, so I already knew that I could connect to her voice.

Her account of the trial and its preparation was presented intelligently and with a touch of personal drama, which gave her story a special appeal to me. Even as I knew how it all turned out, I was eager to watch it unfold through her revelations of the long months leading up to the verdict.

I could feel how personally affected Clark was as the defense Dream Team twisted events, focused on their conspiracy theories, and played the race card over and over. The inability of Judge Lance Ito to take control of the defense attorneys added to the frustration I felt on behalf of the prosecution attorneys. Marcia Clark wrote: “We lost because American justice is distorted by race. We lost because American justice is corrupted by celebrity. Any lawyer willing to exploit those weaknesses can convince a jury predisposed to acquittal of just about anything.” In the OJ case, “a handful of expensive attorneys were allowed to manipulate the system by invoking the wholly irrelevant, yet provocative issue of racism.”

Time has revealed the error of those touting Simpson’s innocence in that his numerous poor choices afterwards have lent credence to the guilt many believed in. A compelling book that earned 5 stars for me.

Profile Image for Laney.
520 reviews
February 5, 2019
3.5 stars. I was in high school during the OJ trial. I remember news clips of him trying on the glove, and I remember word spreading around school of the not guilty verdict on the day it came in. That’s about all I remembered. Interesting to get all this background and hear what went wrong. It’s amazing that with rock solid DNA evidence, no alibi, and a history of domestic violence that he wasn’t convicted.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Stewart.
73 reviews2 followers
March 17, 2023
Absolutely riveting and a trip back in time. I remember exactly where I was during the infamous bronco chase.
I thought OJ was a guilty piece of sh*t then and after reading this book I still do.
Personal feelings aside this was a very well written read.
Profile Image for Jason Schneeberger.
264 reviews8 followers
May 14, 2017
Excellent read for anyone, like me, who is fascinated by all of the complexities of the OJ Simpson case. Marcia gives you her firsthand account of what when on behind the scenes and in front of the camera during the Trial of the Century. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Allen.
358 reviews11 followers
March 14, 2022
What a rough job! Marcia Clark had over a year of intense stress, late nights, a divorce going on, 2 young sons, the flu, an abscessed tooth, you name it, but she hung in there.

This was an excellent telling of her side of the trial. Every page was revealing. It keeps you reading till the end. Yes, Without A Doubt 100% there should of been a Guilty verdict.
1 review
March 17, 2017
I was five when the murder trial of O.J. Simpson started and, being a Brit, heard very little about the case growing up. Everything I had heard indicated that Simpson quite literally got away with murder. As I got older, the case piqued my interest and so I read up a bit about it online. I felt pretty certain that he had committed the murders but there were a few fleeting moments where I wondered if there was any chance he could have been innocent.

The reason I read this book was due to the 2016 documentary, 'O.J. Simpson: Made in America.' Although it's 7.5 hours long, and encompasses much more than the infamous trial, I would definitely recommend it for anyone interested. I was glued. I was more certain of his guilt than ever before. However, call me naive or in denial, but I still couldn't wrap my head around the fact that the jury could have even considered acquitting a guy who'd left practically every scrap of evidence there could possibly be in his wake. I honestly thought I'd somehow missed some crucial part of the documentary that could offer an adequate explanation. With my interest yet again snared, I researched some more and that led me to 'Without a Doubt.'

It is honestly one of the most riveting, unbelievable books I've ever read. It took me a good few days to read (a long time for me) because it was almost too much. Too much pain, too much disbelief, too much anger, too much yearning to somehow turn back the clock and give the judge/the 'dream team' defence/the media/the jury a good shake to find out what the hell they were all thinking.

The families of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman were so severely let down that it is heartbreaking, but Marcia Clark, Chris Darden ... almost the entire prosecution team were let down, too. This book starts right at the very beginning and takes the reader by the hand, showing us again and again how numerous mistakes, lies, and incompetence led to such a result.

The lengths the defence team went to in a somehow successful attempt to circumnavigate the law are both astonishing and disgraceful. The lack of courage, thirst for favourable media coverage and Lance Ito's outright failing to seriously undertake - and adhere to - the responsibilities of his job as a judge is revealed repeatedly and shows, in my opinion, that he might as well have been on the defence's payroll. The jurors, most of whom were still reeling after the Rodney King trial, seem to have refused - pretty much from the offset - to listen to the prosecution and their sound reasoning. The media, far more interested in stalking Marcia (more so than any other member on the prosecution - or defence - team ... sucks to be a woman, huh?) than running with credible stories about the actual case, only fuelled the fire in the utter mess that trial became.

I don't know how Marcia didn't have a full breakdown throughout all of this. The media running stories and debates about her appearance, her temperament, those shamelessly sold topless photographs. Facing misogyny at every level, from the media, to the judge, and far too many people in between. The divorce. The custody battle threatening to take her kids away from her. The criticism she received every day from almost everywhere she turned. Mark bloody Fuhrman. That woman is an inspiration. And my heart aches when I think of how she, Chris, the rest of the team, the families of Nicole and Ron, and the majority of the world must have felt when that verdict came in after only two hours of deliberation by the jury. Over 20 years on, and I feel the same way.

I came to this book expecting Marcia to spell out to me exactly what I'd missed to lead to an acquittal. I came away from this book sad, angry, and feeling somewhat helpless. I didn't miss anything, apparently. There wasn't some piece of huge, jaw-dropping evidence from the defence that proved Simpson's innocence. In fact, there was no evidence whatsoever from the defence, just a complete lack of moral compass and dignity coupled with nonsensical and potentially dangerous claims from a group of fantasists. I honestly don't know how the members of that so-called dream team managed to hold their heads high and sleep at night after that trial.

In all, this book is interesting, engaging, eye-opening, and a must-read to anyone interested in law, racial tensions, feminism, and/or how a man who was black and a celebrity fought the law ... and miraculously won. The good guys did not come out on top in this story but Marcia Clark has earned my eternal respect.
Profile Image for Danielle Choffrey.
Author 1 book5 followers
September 4, 2014
This book just angered me! Before I started I didn't really know much about Marcia Clark. I had read a book of hers and thought it was okay. So I was indifferent when I started this book, but that changed quickly. She is judgmental, thinks she is absolutely perfect, that no one can compare to her highness. I was disgusted throughout this book.

It's easy for someone to look back on an event and see things that happened and try to clear their themselves of a failure. This is one of those books. She doesn't take back anything she did, but defends it. Within the first 50 pages she places the blame on every single person, but accepts none for herself.

I take extreme offense when prosecutors or defense attorneys blame the jurors for their decisions. They are always called "stupid" by one side or the other. The lawyers feel because they are common people or lower class that they could never understand the depth of DNA evidence. Clark, at the end of her book, specifically states that we need to have smarter, well educated people on juries. I am sorry, but I think this is the worst possible thing to ever say. As an American citizen every person whether they are educated or uneducated have the right to sit in the jury box and serve. Not only that, but they should never be called stupid or told they could never understand evidence because they don't hold a degree in a certain area or field. I hold no degree in science, but I understand DNA evidence. We need to give jurors more credit. We need to respect them.

Marcia points the finger at the jurors, the cops, the judge, the defense attorneys, and even the public. To me that isn't what lost the case for her. It was the reasonable doubt that was presented. The failure to maintain the scene and knowing the problems you had, but ignoring them is what cost the case.

It's funny at the beginning Marcia says she got a call about the crime scene and she specifically asked that the "best" guys were on the scene. She knew she wanted the "best" because sometimes you get guys who skimp on collecting the evidence or don't do it properly.


This was the first thing that you say to someone? Oh by the way make sure to send the best. We are going to need it.


Even when the DNA was going to be tested she said she doubted their capabilities, that had it been up to her she would have sent it elsewhere...

Again right...

All these little statements annoyed me. She was trying to pump herself up. She wants to come out of this disaster looking like an innocent victim.

Even the fact that Marcia didn't want to work with another lawyer was annoying. She didn't like working with others. Not only that but when she worked with Darden she would make these side comments on how he messed up, how he didn't understand premeditation, among a slue of other issues. She didn't want to work with anyone else because she was perfect and she knew what she was doing.

The entire book felt like a slam against every single person she came in contact with. I think at some point you need to step back, admit defeat, and accept responsibility.

I was hoping for a look into the trial and to see what was going through the prosecutions heads, what they thought they did wrong, what they did right, would change. All the things lawyers look back on and see about a trial. Not this book. She goes through the trial and recounts everything she did and there was absolutely nothing she would have changed. She presented the case in the best way and should have won.

Well it wasn't a slam dunk. You didn't win. So wouldn't there be things you look back on and say yeah I might not have done the best here or I wouldn't have done this or that?

I struggled to finish this book. I ended up putting it down for a very long time before wanting to get it off my shelf permanently so I finished it. I just have a hard time when someone attacks others to make themselves look good.
Profile Image for Candie Paulsen.
176 reviews4 followers
May 7, 2016
This book is outstanding. I really appreciate Marcia Clark's 'to the point' delivery in this book. No muss, no fuss. I was 10 or so when the OJ Simpson trial was happening, so it's been interesting to revisit The Trial OfThe Century as an adult. Years later when I was a genetics major in college, the questionable testimonies by "expert witnesses" the defense called came up multiple times in my higher level science courses. While it is difficult to read Marcia's story because of the ultimate verdict as well as all the crap she was put through for being a woman, in the end Marcia has a good message about the importance of diverse juries and the importance of seeing jury duty as a civic duty and not a chore as necessary means to improve the legal system. I appreciated one of her closing thoughts on this topic to the effect of: if a CEO ever complains about the verdict in the OJ Simpson case or the incompetence of the jury members, you should ask the CEO why they won't pay their employees to serve as jurors on long term commitment cases such as The People vs OJ Simpson. As Marcia says, the justice system is as good as the jury you're willing to pay for.
Profile Image for Mike.
156 reviews
March 22, 2011
Being in my earlier ages during the Simpson trial, I've since been intrigued by the case that gripped the nation. Where else can you find such an intimate look inside the case than the prosecuting attorney? Marcia Clark throughout the book is smart, witty, and at her best. Providing a view point really nobody saw and showed feelings the nation neglected it see. We see how the case effected her personally, professionally, and emotionally. Even more important she lays out the truths of the case from racism of the defense to the incompetent, ego-drive Judge Ito.

Not only is this book point on about the case, its entertaining. It turns out that Marcia isn't just a great lawyer, shes an entertaining, thoughtful writer as well. Well the worth the read for anyone who is interested in lawyer novels and cases.
Profile Image for Mark Noonan.
99 reviews1 follower
January 21, 2016
This probably took me longer to read than any other book I've read in awhile. It's not that it wasn't interesting, because it was. There's just so much going on. and legal terms which I didn't understand, and would look up on the computer. (I'm not going to take the time and effort to read a book and just skim over things I don't understand, so I look them up.)
Everyone has an Opinion on O.J. Simpson. I always thought, "guilty". Yet I couldn't help but wonder..."Could he be innocent?" After reading this, "my opinion" is a definite no. There was way too much evidence pointing in the guilty direction.
Marcia Clark's tale of the O.J. trial is interesting and very detailed. I really don't think she left anything out. After taking this book out I discovered she also writes fiction novels which I'm looking forward to checking out.
Profile Image for Sherie Lees.
18 reviews2 followers
October 21, 2016
Growing up I had heard of OJ Simpson and vague references to a trial, having said that I was around 4 or 5 during the murders and trial so I had little knowledge on the subject. After getting the DVD series The people vs OJ, its safe to say I wanted to find out a lot more about the case.

This book was an interesting read for me, from the prosecutions side of the case sharing a lot of things that I think went unreported (to my knowledge!)
I would say this is worth a read if you are interested in the OJ case specifically or how large scale court cases work as a whole.

Favourite quote: Why leave the fate of our nation in the hands of these moon rocks?
Profile Image for Bonnie.
118 reviews2 followers
July 15, 2014
This case, with its unbelievable innocent verdict, has been fascinating for years. At the time of the trial I was stunned at the verdict. Still am, in fact. Ms. Clark's book does a great job of laying out what happened and what went wrong. At times she may not take her share of the blame, but her frustrations are very understandable. How sad that justice could not be properly served by those who, for so many reasons, felt it more important to protect a famous man who happened to have black skin but neither connections or real interest in black people and their issues.
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