O.J. Simpson’s Attorney: ‘They Blew It’
O.J. Simpson’s Attorney: ‘They Blew It’, Pugnacious lawyer Alan Dershowitz details mistakes the prosecution made in the infamous case. Legal System Treats Celebs Differently, Dershowitz Says, Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor and pugnacious lawyer who gained fame representing high-profile defendants, from Claus von Bulow to O.J. Simpson, says it is true: The legal system treats celebrities differently from average folks.
But for the celebrities, he adds, that’s not always a good thing.
“Every celebrity case I’ve been involved in – I’ve been involved in a great many – the one thing you can be sure of is they don’t get the same justice as everybody else,” Dershowitz says.
“It could be worse, it could be better, it’s never the same,” he tells Chris Cuomo, in an interview for the ABC News/Yahoo series, “Newsmakers.”
If you’re in serious legal trouble, being a bold-faced name can only help, he says.
“A, You get a much better lawyer. B, it’s not going to get lost. Everybody is going to be watching everything,” he says.
“The judges will be on their best behavior. Jurors will be thinking about how many books they can write after they get out of the jury room. Everybody is going to see this as a career maker and in the end I think the defendant generally will benefit,” he says. “Now it depends; every case is different. If the defendant is guilty, and guilty as could be, maybe not.”
But can it be worse if you’re a celebrity?
“Oh, of course,” Dershowitz tells Cuomo.
“You get somebody who commits a relatively minor offense that under normal circumstances wouldn’t even attract the attention of the police, and it becomes a big story. (There is) pressure on the prosecutor not to treat them differently, so they end up treating them differently — and so some famous people get treated unfairly the other way.”
The acquittal of O.J. Simpson on charges of murdering his wife is often put front and center as the most egregious example of celebrity justice. But Dershowitz, the appellate adviser for Simpson’s defense team, says he doesn’t think so.