Thursday, December 3, 2009

No Repeat of O.J. Trial for BART Cop

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 10:17 AM

It’s widely accepted that the media circus surrounding the 1995 murder trial of O.J. Simpson in Los Angeles intensified when Judge Lance Ito allowed the case to be televised. The conventional wisdom is that the resulting “observer effect,” in which the outcome of an event is changed by the fact that it was observed, affected the judge, the attorneys, and the jury. But that apparently won’t be an issue in the murder trial of ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle, because the Los Angeles judge overseeing the case has banned cameras in his courtroom, the Chron reports.

Judge Robert Perry, a former federal prosecutor known as a no-nonsense judge, doesn’t want to fuel more publicity in the case involving the homicide of BART passenger Oscar Grant last New Year’s. The case was moved to downtown LA after an Alameda County judge ruled that Mehserle couldn’t get a fair trial in the East Bay because of pretrial publicity. According to the Chron, jurors for the case will be drawn from a twenty-mile radius around the courthouse.

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