KCRW’s Warren Olney has launched Olney in L.A., an ongoing exploration of the people and the forces that are shaping Southern California.
The first episode of Olney in L.A., on Feb. 2, 2016, covered The People v. O.J. Simpson, a mini series that the FX channel’s American Crime Story show premiered that night. Olney discussed the 1995 case that riveted the nation with Linda Deutsch, who covered the trial and all the later developments, and interviewed Simpson extensively during her 48-year career as an Associated Press reporter.
Deutsch remembered being on TV daily during the trial, explaining testimony and trial controversies including whether police planted a pair of bloody gloves as evidence against the former football star. Prosecutor Christopher Darden asked Simpson to try on the gloves in front of the jury. They clearly were too small, and Simpson said, “It doesn’t fit,” the only words he uttered during his trial. Defense attorney Johnnie Cochran declared in his closing successful argument, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Deutsch called that “a phrase for the ages.”
Deutsch defended Judge Lance Ito’s decision to have the yearlong trial televised. She said it stemmed from Ito’s fascination with technology. “As it turned out it was the greatest education that America could have had in the procedures of the criminal justice system. It was in effect the first reality television show,” Deutsch said.
You can hear Warren Olney’s weekly take on the city’s key issues on Thursday afternoons during All Things Considered and Friday mornings during Morning Edition.