LOS ANGELES >> Prosecutors in O.J. Simpson’s 1994 murder trial didn’t know that he had been taking arthritis medication before trying on the famous ill-fitting bloody glove, former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti said today.
Garcetti, who led the prosecutor’s office during the trial, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he learned about the medication from watching the new ESPN documentary: “O.J.: Made in America.”
“What we didn’t know until I saw it on this film was that O.J. Simpson was taking arthritic medication for his hands and he was told, ‘If you stop taking this arthritic medication, your hands will swell. Your joints will stiffen,’” Garcetti said. “My God.”
Simpson was acquitted of murder charges for the death of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. A key moment came when prosecutors had Simpson try on a bloody glove found at his house and it appeared to be too small.
After that, defense attorney Johnnie Cochran told jurors: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!”
Garcetti said prosecutors Chris Darden and Marcia Clarke were never supposed to ask Simpson to try on the glove.
“He’d probably been working out his hand, developing muscles in his hand, and we knew that the glove would shrink, right?” Garcetti said. “It’d been in the elements. It’s leather.”
The defense may have “baited” prosecutors into the exhibition, Garcetti said.
Garcetti said he had expected to win the case in the end.
“We expected a hung jury and then the sympathy towards O.J. Simpson would dissipate and we knew we’d find more evidence” and win during retrial, he said.
Garcetti said he was stunned when former President Jimmy Carter, who was visiting Southern California, predicted a not-guilty verdict based on racial tensions.
Garcetti recalled Carter telling him: “We all know he did it but he’s not a street thug and you and I know he’s not a danger now to anyone else, and many innocent black men have been convicted, some executed. This is payback time.”
Simpson currently is serving 33 years in Nevada for a 2007 armed robbery at a hotel room.