OtherPapers.com - Other Term Papers and Free Essays

The O.J. Simpson Trial - Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence

Essay by   •  August 6, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,312 Words (6 Pages)  •  3,663 Views

Essay Preview: The O.J. Simpson Trial - Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

The O.J. Simpson Trial

Absence of Evidence is Not Evidence of Absence

Marcia Havens


The O.J. Simpson case and trial were perfect instances of a worst case scenario from beginning to end. This artifact will focus on the investigative mistakes made by the police at the crime scenes. This will include the collection, handling, and processing of the evidence for the case. Then it will cover briefly what went wrong at trial that would give this man an acquittal.

From the onset of this investigation in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, one thing was fundamentally wrong. There were too many people at the crime scene. By the time the lead detectives for the crime arrived at the scene, eighteen others had already signed into the crime scene and none were crime scene technicians or coroners. What was the purpose of having all those people at the scene? When detective Vannater and Lange arrived, the only people that needed to be there were the first officers who arrived and secured the scene, the crime scene technicians, and finally, Detective Furman and Phillips, who ultimately replaced Vannater and Lange as lead detectives. There was no viable reason for all the others to be there.

Another error was when police failed to protect Nicole's body from the paparazzi and to protect the evidence on the body. When they finally covered Nicole's body, it was with a blanket from inside the house. You should never use a blanket, sheet or other object from the crime scene to cover any evidence because there can be a transfer of trace evidence. Because of this we will never know what trace evidence the blanket picked up from the body. The street was not included inside the crime scene tape and any tire tracks on the pavement were compromised. Widening the crime scene would have not only protected the integrity of the crime scene, it also would have lessened any concern about the media.

It is always important to have departmental orders be clear with regard to who is in charge of the crime scene, what are each person's responsibilities, what procedures to follow, and most importantly, who has access to the crime scene. In this incident, there was no one detective in charge of the crime scene throughout the investigation. How many detectives does it take to do a notification, a simple task; apparently four in this investigation. There was no reason for all of them to do a notification and leave the crime scene in the hands of a now fifth party. After Lange had established himself as the lead detective, he once again left the crime scene to interview Simpson (even though he was not needed) with no one replacing him. This led to blood evidence not being collected from the back gate. This resulted in the questioning of why the blood was not collected until July 3rd, several weeks after the crime scene had been released and others had access to it. This would ultimately lead to the defense's theory of planted blood, which they had a field day with.

There was the question of how much blood was actually taken from Simpson (for analysis) when he went for his interview at the police station. There was a question as to where the 1.5cc's are that were unaccounted for at the lab. There was a question regarding the sock that was alleged to be planted at the foot of Simpson's bed. This arose out of a videographer failing to check the time on the video camera before taping the scene. The socks were collected prior to the filming and logged into evidence with time it was collected. The time written down indicated that the sock was collected after the time the video camera indicated that there were no socks on the bed. Again, evidence is compromised, this time due to the cameraman's



Download as:   txt (7.5 Kb)   pdf (103.4 Kb)   docx (11.8 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on OtherPapers.com
Citation Generator

(2011, 08). The O.J. Simpson Trial - Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence. OtherPapers.com. Retrieved 08, 2011, from https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/The-OJ-Simpson-Trial-Absence-of-Evidence/8622.html

"The O.J. Simpson Trial - Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence" OtherPapers.com. 08 2011. 2011. 08 2011 <https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/The-OJ-Simpson-Trial-Absence-of-Evidence/8622.html>.

"The O.J. Simpson Trial - Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence." OtherPapers.com. OtherPapers.com, 08 2011. Web. 08 2011. <https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/The-OJ-Simpson-Trial-Absence-of-Evidence/8622.html>.

"The O.J. Simpson Trial - Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence." OtherPapers.com. 08, 2011. Accessed 08, 2011. https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/The-OJ-Simpson-Trial-Absence-of-Evidence/8622.html.