Johnnie Cochran Dies!
Date: Tuesday, March 29 @ 21:32:59 MST
Topic: Black Habits Articles
LOS ANGELES - Johnnie Cochran, the lawyer who became a celebrity when he helped win O.J. Simpson's acquittal on murder charges, has died at age 67.
Cochran coined the memorable phrase "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit" to remind jurors that Simpson seemed to have trouble pulling on bloodstained gloves that police said were worn by the killer. Some legal experts thought it marked a turning point in the trial.
Not much later, the jurors found the football star not guilty of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994.
Cochran's family said he died of an inoperable brain tumour at his Los Angeles home on Tuesday afternoon.
"Certainly, Johnnie's career will be noted as one marked by 'celebrity' cases and clientele," his family said in a statement. "But he and his family were most proud of the work he did on behalf of those in the community."
The Simpson trial helped catapult Cochran, a colourful figure with a gift for courtroom oratory, into the pantheon of the most famous lawyers in U.S. history.
Cochran regarded Simpson's acquittal as his proudest achievement, but he had racked up a long string of successes.
He was black and he often championed the causes of black defendants – some famous but the majority unknown.
"The clients I've cared about the most are the No Js, the ones who nobody knows," Cochran once said.
"People in New York and Los Angeles, especially mothers in the African-American community, are more afraid of the police injuring or killing their children than they are of muggers on the corner."
In his office, he displayed copies of million-dollar settlements he won for ordinary people who said they were abused by police.