One of the "basic freedoms" that every American HOPES to have, is the freedom to walk down the street without being murdered...especially by the police. One of Cochran's specialties was cases where people were killed, or beaten, raped, and tortured by the police.
As a result of his decades of efforts to clean up LAPD's act, even critics of the Los Angeles Police admit that the LAPD today is a lesser threat to the community than are the "Bloods" and the "Crips". That was not true for the period from 1950 to 1990 or so, when LAPD was terrorizing the people of Los Angeles.
I've noticed that LOTS of folks don't like lawyers. Then, their brother is falsely accused of a serious crime. Or, they lose custody of their kids during a divorce. Then, the same "lawyer haters" are saying "I sure wish I could get Johnnie Cochran to be MY lawyer".
Johnnie Cochran did something that is rare in the legal community. In the OJ case, he got five "Big Ego" lawyers to work together as a team. Each of those lawyers was well known for being a "star", but also was known for being unable to work well with other lawyers. He got these guys to work together in a very effective manner...an amazing feat.
By the end of hearing the evidence in the OJ case, not ONE member of the jury had any question about whether or not the State had proven its case...the case had totally fallen apart.
Of course, middle class white Americans were outraged by the verdict. Their minds were made up long BEFORE the trial. When the jury that DID hear the evidence found OJ "not guilty", that verdict came as a terrible shock. The OJ case shows why it is a good thing that our legal system requires juries to listen to the evidence and requires juries to ignore the ignorant rantings of "John Q Public". Old "John Q" doesn't want or need to hear any stinkin' evidence before the lynching.
In every profession, in a given generation, there are one or two people who stand above their peers. Among the dwindling number of lawyers tough enough to fight against the abuses of government power, few have been as successful as Johnnie Cochran. A giant, in a profession where giants have become all too rare.
Last edited by alanbikehouston; 03-31-05 at 10:56 PM.