News Release ~ 10/03/1995

Verdict Highlights 'Our Precious Jury System'

Jury Finds O.J. Not Guilty

Washington, DC (October 3, 1995) -- "The 'not guilty' verdict in the O.J. Simpson case highlights the importance of America's precious constitutional system of justice," declared Robert Fogelnest, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, reacting to today's verdict in the trial of O.J. Simpson.

"This defendant had the resources to meet the government on a level playing field, and our system accorded him every opportunity to counter the prosecution's case. The jury heard the critical arguments, theories, and evidence, and in the end determined what was valid and what was not. The jurors fulfilled their responsibility to hold the government to its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Any lesser standard would imperil us all, guilty and innocent alike."

 "Whether you believe the evidence pointed to innocence or guilt, the lawyers, judge, and jurors labored under conditions more difficult than any that have ever existed before. They are all to be commended for their sense of public duty and their dedication," he noted.

 "The American justice system, with its presumption of innocence and trial by jury, is the envy of the world. Wholesale change is the last thing we need. The result in the O.J. Simpson case is 'Exhibit One' against the knee-jerk calls some have made for undoing our system and the more than two centuries of collective wisdom and justice that underlie it," Fogelnest pointed out.

 "To paraphrase Mark Twain, 'Rumors of the jury system's demise have been greatly exaggerated,'" he said.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 9,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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