F. Lee Bailey was no stranger to high-profile cases, and the O.J. Simpson trial was one of the most high-profile cases in history, bringing nationwide attention to a murder case like never before, and the trial was followed extremely closely by tens of millions of people, and the verdict was a sharp lightning rod for racial tension in the country. O.J. Simpson had been a famous movie star and NFL football player, and his case was tried with a lot of racial overtones and considerations. This was one of the most pop culturally significant cases in American history, and F. Lee Bailey played a part in it, on the defense. He was part of a defense lawyer team. F. Lee Bailey ultimately could put this case in his win column because O.J. Simpson was given a not guilty verdict.
F. Lee Bailey jointed the defense team prior to the preliminary hearing. He held several press conferences to talk about the progress in the case. In a press conference preceding his cross-examining of Mark Fuhrman, he said that any lawyer with common sense would definitely be looking forward to cross-examining him. He had a particularly famous cross-examination of Mark Furhman, and many people consider it to be the death knell that overturned what would have been a guilty verdict. It was the crux of O.J. Simpson getting an acquittal, many people believe. In front of a jury that was made up mostly of black people, Bailey got the detective to state that he had never used the word “nigger” to talk about blacks at any time in the former 10 years, a claim that the defense team readily discovered evidence against. Finally, the statement that Bailey got from the detective forced him to plead the fifth amendment in his next appearance, and this undermined his credibility with jury members, and the damning evidence which he found too. Bailey also got a little attention for having a silver flask on the defense table, which a fellow defense attorney said only had coffee in it.
F. Lee Bailey was already a highly accomplished lawyer before he defended O.J. Simpson at his trial. He had defended several high-profile clients. The week before O.J. Simpson’s trial, Bailey was reached by his friend, Robert Shapiro, and he asked him for his help in Simpson’s defense. The two defense lawyers were very close. Bailey was even the godfather of Shapiro’s son. Bailey had also defended Shapiro in a DWI case about 12 years before. Alcohol was one of Bailey’s main weaknesses, and he said that heavy trials made him want to drink. People wonder whether the flask on the defense table was really full of alcohol or coffee. He couldn’t cut back on his alcohol use, despite his friends urging him to do so, and he said it was his fuel.
Bailey was a notorious media hound, and his craving for the limelight made the trial a lot more interesting. There was already a lot of fascination in the case, and F. Lee Bailey drew a lot more attention to it. He was already a celebrity in his own right. He held lots of press conferences during the trial.
F. Lee Bailey was an expert at cross-examination. He was craving the opportunity to get rid of Detective Fuhrman on cross-examination, and he said in a press conference that he was extremely excited about cross-examining him.
At the same time of the trial, F. Lee Bailey and his friend, Robert Shapiro, were defending one of the most high-profile marijuana dealers in the country. He was responsible for drug smuggling. This was the case that would entangle Bailey in a quagmire that would ultimately make him lose his law license. Amongst the assets that the government tried to collect from the drug dealer were $6 million in stock, and it increased to $20 million from the time of the plea deal to the time they were going to collect it. The lead government witness, Shapiro, said that he thought the government had a right to the stock which had appreciated in value. When Bailey didn’t come up with the equivalent in cash or the stock, he got thrown in jail. He spent 44 days in prison, and he offered up his claim to the stock. He thought Bailey’s actions were like a kind of betrayal, and he vowed never to work with Shapiro ever again.
F. Lee Bailey said that if the glove didn’t fit, then the jury had to acquit. Even after the trial, F. Lee Bailey posted a document on his website with additional evidence that said would finally get rid of all doubt about O.J. Simpson’s innocence.
Bailey said that Simpson wasn’t the type of guy to use seething violence to solve his problems. O.J. had no history to angry violence to take care of his emotional problems. Even a psychiatrist had agreed that the football star had not once been psychotic. Simpson never showed any motive or demeanor to kill his wife, Bailey wrote.
Simpson even had a suicide attempt, which was because he was so saddened by the death of his loved one.
Bailey even went on to say that Simpson attempted to give statements to the police after Nicole’s death, but they refused. He was also very friendly to the stewardesses and a pilot of a flight he was on just hours after the killings. The pilot said that Simpson didn’t have any bruises, cuts, or strange markings on his body. He seemed friendly, affable, and warm.
F. Lee Bailey basically argued that Simpson was not the kind of guy to do these murders, and the jury agreed with him the first time. However, he lost a civil case after the criminal case, and he was forced to pay millions to the family of Nicole. F. Lee Bailey argued that Simpson was still innocent, and he listed a lot of facts on his website afterward that contested that he was ever guilty, as the civil case found.