The O. J. Simpson Trial

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Lynn Evarts
This installment in the Famous Trials series covers probably the most infamous trial in the collection. Rice offers readers a very brief look at the murders, evidence collection, car chase, and arrest in the first one-third of the book. The rest of the book details the trial and the personalities involved in it. Unfortunately, what could be a good summary of the trial is presented in a very biased way. From the wording and tone, it is obvious to the reader that Rice believes Simpson is guilty. Negative connotations and sarcasm seem to have replaced legal knowledge and unbiased facts. For example, Johnny Cochran is referred to as a "black prosecutor." When presenting a work that "encourages readers to examine trials within a broader historical and social context," the author should present readers with untainted facts and testimony from both sides and allow the reader an opportunity to draw their own conclusions. While snippets of testimony and pieces of evidence are presented, the reader never feels like they were given a chance to do that. While this book could be useful for its brief summary of the crime and its afterword, which deals with the legal and social aftermath of the trial, one could probably find a better, more balanced view of the entire process from another source. Glossary. Index. Photos. Biblio. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 2Q 2P M J (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpRice is sarcastic and biased to the extreme regarding his disillusionment about Simpson's acquittal. One must question why someone with such strong views and so little legal background feels competent to explain a trial and verdict and justify that verdict on the basis of the law to young people. The narrative drips with tabloid-type descriptions. The most sensational of Judge Ito's college and early law-day pranks are discussed and overshadow his credentials and record on the bench. Johnnie Cochran takes hits as well. Although the book contains many quotes, they are often taken out of context and have been chosen to portray the defendant and his lawyers in a negative light. Many of the sidebars that are purported to illuminate points of law don't serve their purpose. Only Alan Dershowitz's comments seem reasonable and based on legalities. Even the appended bibliographies include titles by lay people who have publicly taken one side or the other in this case, most often that of the prosecution. If you want an unbiased book with some legal insight, opt for a different title.Marilyn Fairbanks, East Junior High School, Brockton, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560062714
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 6/28/1996
  • Series: Famous Trials Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.56 (d)

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