Is there evidence of jury tampering and martial law in the OJ case?

My brother (who’s in from LA) and I were discussing the Jackson case–BTW, he was on a JetBlue plane when the verdict came in on the satellite TVs and he says the whole cabin exclaimed in disbelief and disgust–when he brought up some “facts” I’d never heard before in ten years about the OJ Simpson case:

  1. That the Bloods and Crips planned major looting sprees “that would dwarf the King riots” if OJ was found guilty (they actually cared about OJ as much as he cared about black folks himself, ie not at all, but they were going to use the conviction as a pretext, and FBI informants planted in the gangs gathered this info);

  2. That subsequently large swaths of LA County were placed under martial law, with all libraries and schools closed down, white and Asian employees told not to report to work, most private businesses boarded up, roads closed by the National Guard and LAPD, riot vehicles prepared and all cops called up, etc.;

  3. That registration of new guns swelled during the trial as the citizenry braced for the riot;

  4. Finally, that either a court officer or lawyer or reporter secretly informed the jury of these facts and that was why OJ was acquitted, and so quickly. Bro says he heard this on talk radio and from our cousin who sells computer software to the court system.

Now, as a Doper, I called BS so fast, especally on 2 and 4, I think I actually hurt his feelings. :frowning: Yes, I was in Boston, but we had a TV on at work in the background all day and I didn’t see a single boarded-up window nor closed library or school or blocked-off road except the one in front of the courthouse (I’d passed by Camp OJ myself a couple of weeks before and it would block the road cops or no cops by verdict time). Bro also says that it’s one of the open secrets that every law officer and Angeleno knows, but denies, so that’s why there were no articles, no mention in the books, etc. and that the jurors have been told the gangs will get them if they speak out too.

I’ve looked at some sites but so far all they’ve shown me is that a) finding an objective site ten years on is virtually impossible and b) the Net can be a scary, scary place. The gun licenses seem the easiest thing to verify so I’ll pursue that, but I’m still skeptical that none of the analysts, reporters, authors, and talking heads have discovered this or that the jurors have kept their mouths shut about it. Anybody have anything solid? If I have to apologize to little bro, I want to be able to show him evidence one way or another.

PS Just wanted to clarify that I have no doubt that there were SOME riot police stationed around the courthouse and the riot squad was prepared for anything, they’d be fools not to be. But the martial law and closed-down roads and city buildings don’t sound plausible.

The jury came back after four hours. No one knew that they would return so quickly after so many months of testimony. So all the schools and libraries were closed and all the Asians and whites were told to not show up for work indefinitely (since the managers and authorities ordering the closures could not know how long the deliberations would last) and nobody in the country noticed despite the legions of reporters hanging around the city?

Okey dokey.

Short of finding a school newspaper or bulletin from around October 5 detailing events on October 2 - 4, I am not sure that you are going to be able to prove to the truly deluded that their story never happened.

(I did not find the story on Snopes. If it gets more play, it may eventually show up there.)

I asked him how they knew which day the jury would come back and he said they were ‘ordered’ to make it the same day they were charged. :dubious:

Found some statistics here at the California AG’s website about concealed-carry permit numbers in the County:

CCW Issuances Reported to California Department of Justice Pursuant to Penal Code Section 12053

COUNTY 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
19 - Los Angeles 613 805 892 1192 1261 856 668

Looks to me there was a spike starting in 1996, when OJ was already combing the golf courses looking for the real killer, but certainly not for '95. Now, I know this is not the sole statistic but it seems like a clear one; there’s an underground gun economy, there’s many different kinds of permits, etc. but I don’t see a huge gun scramble by law-abiding people.

I don’t see how they could have managed the employee thing either:

Black Employee: Hi-- :confused: --where’s Bob and Mary and Ling and Ellen and everybody?
Black Supervisor: Well, we decided it would be best to have them stay home because we’ve heard rumors of gang riots about this OJ thing. No, don’t look for it on the news, we just heard it from this guy who works in the courthouse. Now, about your workload today…
Black Employee: :eek: :mad:

The other thing to consider is that the jury needed no outside assistance to come to the verdict they did. It was, quite simply, not a good case for the prosecution. One can argue about whether that was due to prosecutorial bungling, bad facts, a conspiracy, or what-have-you, but the verdict itself was not a hard one to predict. The state had put on no evidence that was not seriously compromised by the end of the trial.


I lived in Los Angeles county during the time of the trial. The police were prepared for riots. However, this was far from an all white jury . There would have not been the riot “excuse” as after the Simi Valley Rodney King trial.

martial law:

One would think such a profound action would have been picked up by the media. Let us also not forget that martial law means military rule over civilian authorities. You cannot have martial law declared when civilian cops are still on the beat and taking directions from civilian authorities.

WHERE do you live that the black folks are that stupid? I dunno where you live, but around here the black folks have a clue. They’d kick my honky ass if I even sugested such foolishness.

Not to start a great debate, but I think you’re a tad off base. A poor judge, awful prosecutors, and idiot cops all contributed to the miscarriage, but, even with those things, there was no reasonable doubt that OJ committed the murder. Raising a spectre of a vast conspiracy, courtroom theatrics, and playing on the jury’s racial sensibilities is not “compromising evidence”.

I live in the Bronx, where my Irish ass would also be kicked to the curb–but my brother lives in LA and says that the gangs out there are so powerful they can dictate public policy, as they did in this case. I don’t believe it at all but was just trying to find out if there could be anything to it that may have led to this rumor–have any other Angelenos heard it?

Among the many other problems with this theory, is the fact that when martial law is declared, one of the civil services that is suspended is the court system. So if martial law had been declared during the Simpson trial, the trial would have been put on hold and there wouldn’t have been a jury decision.

Report of personal experience only. The day the Simspon verdict came in, I had business at the LA County Department of Public Works offices. I am white. I was not at any time told to take special precautions of any kind.

Never heard the rumor, either. Dammit, am I always the last to know?

I went to a Dodgers-Reds playoff game that evening and I doubt there were any plans to call it off.

Well, during that time I wouldn’t be suprised to see a mild increase in gun sales. Not during the 4 hour gap, no, but during the whole trial period. Not just because of that trial, but for the general feeling of fear in that County.

Planning for riots, sure.

The rest is UL.