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Featured Memorial Johnnie Cochran Jr. Simpson during a sensational murder trial in which he uttered the famous quote "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit," died Tuesday. Cochran died of a brain tumor at his home in Los Angeles, his family said.
The "if it doesn't fit" phrase would be quoted and parodied for years afterward. It derived from a dramatic moment during which Simpson tried on a pair of bloodstained "murder gloves" to show jurors they did not fit. Some legal experts called it the turning point in the trial. Soon after, jurors found the Hall of Fame football star not guilty of the slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
For Cochran, Simpson's acquittal was the crowning achievement in a career notable for victories, often in cases with racial themes. He was a black man known for championing the causes of black defendants. Some of them, like Simpson, Johnnie cochran famous, but more often than not they were unknowns.
By the time Simpson called, the byword in the black community for defendants facing serious charges was: He also represented former Black Panther Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, who spent 27 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. When Cochran helped Pratt win his freedom in he called the moment "the happiest day of my life practicing law.
Johnnie cochran challenged police claims that Settles hanged himself in jail after a speeding arrest.
The player's body was exhumed, an autopsy performed and it revealed Settles had been choked. His clients also included Haitian immigrant Abner Louima, who was tortured by New York police, and Tyisha Miller, a year-old black woman shot to death by Riverside police who said she reached for a gun on her lap when they broke her car window in an effort to disarm her.
But the attention he received from all of those cases didn't come remotely close to the fame the Si mpson case brought him. After Simpson's acquittal, Cochran appeared on countless TV talk shows, was awarded his own Court TV show, traveled the world over giving speeches, and was endlessly parodied in films and on such TV shows as "Seinfeld" and "South Park.
At times it was a lot of fun," he said of the lampooning he received. I t also left many of those certain of Simpson's guilt furious at Cochran, the leader of a so-called "Dream Team" of expensive celebrity lawyers that included F.
But in legal circles, the verdict represented the pinnacle of success for a respected attorney who had toiled in the Los Angeles legal profession for three decades.
Cochran was born Oct. He came to Los Angeles with his family inand in the s, he became one of two dozen black students integrated into Los Angeles High School. Even as a child, he had loved to argue, and in high school he excelled in debate. He came to idolize Thurgood Marshall, the attorney who persuaded the U.
Supreme Court to outlaw school segregation in the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and who would eventually become the Sup reme Court's first black justice.
He spent two years in the Los Angeles city attorney's office before establishing his own practice. He briefly became a special assistant to the Los Angeles County district attorney in the s, setting up a unit to prosecute domestic violence cases.
After returning to private practice, Cochran built his firm into a personal injury giant with more than lawyers and offices around the country. Flamboyant in public, he kept his private life shrouded in secrecy, and when some of those secrets became public foll owing a divorce, they were startling.
His first marriage, to his college sweetheart, Barbara Berry, produced two daughters, Melodie and Tiffany. During their divorce, it came to light that for 10 years Cochran had secretly maintained a "second family," which included a son. When that relationship soured, his mistress, Patricia Sikora, sued him for palimony and the case was settled privately in Although he frequently took police departments on in court, Cochran denied being anti-police and supported the decision of his only son, Jonathan, to join the California Highway Patrol.Divorce records are documents showing whether a person has been legally divorced.
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Photocopies of these obituaries may be obtained by sending the society the names you wish plus $ (for each name). Tiger Woods Tiger Woods says he’s ‘Cablinasian,’ but the police only saw black. The golfer’s DUI arrest highlights the country’s ‘one-drop’ rule and his complex relationship with. The New York Times quoted Darden as saying that playing the "race card" would shift the focus of the case towards race rather than guilt versus innocence.
Since Darden and Cochran were the only.