Why A Pair Of Gloves Caused So Much Controversy In O.J. Simpson's Murder Trial

O.J. Simpson's 1995 trial for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her close friend, Ronald Goldman, was destined to become a media circus the moment the former Buffalo Bills player sent the police on a 50-mile car chase in his infamous white Ford Bronco mere days after their murders. However, it was what happened inside the courtroom that cemented the trial as one of the most unforgettable of all time and helped it to effortlessly retain that position for decades onward. On June 15, 1995, Simpson tried on the previously bloody gloves found at the scene of Nicole and Goldman's murders in a desperate attempt to prove that he couldn't have been the killer. 

In a theatrical display, Simpson struggled to fit the murder gloves over the latex gloves he was wearing. He also modeled the gloves in front of the jury and attempted to pick up a marker at the judge's urging. And while he managed to do so, it was clear they were a tight fit. Later, Simpson's head attorney, Johnnie Cochran, would use Simpson's inability to comfortably fit the gloves as proof that he was innocent of the grisly crimes he'd been charged with. During his closing arguments on September 28, 1995, Cochran famously said, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." The line undoubtedly helped Simpson score a not-guilty verdict for both counts of murder. 

However, many people don't believe that the gloves proved Simpson's innocence. 

The gloves contained O.J. Simpson's DNA evidence

O.J. Simpson's ill-fitting gloves proved to be crucial to his defense team arguing his innocence to the jurors, who ultimately delivered a not-guilty verdict in the controversial trial. But for those who still question the outcome of the trial, even in the wake of Simpson's death at the age of 76, the gloves were more proof that he actually carried out the murders. For starters, Simpson's DNA was purportedly found in the gloves. While one glove was found near Ron Goldman's lifeless body, the other was found inside Simpson's home. Ultimately, Simpson's legal teams accused the Los Angeles police of attempting to frame Simpson for the murders because of racially motivated interests.

However, that wasn't the only DNA evidence present at the crime scene. Simpson's DNA profile was found on Ron Goldman's body, while fibers like those from Goldman's shirt were found on the bloody gloves. The California Department of Justice DNA laboratory concluded that Simpson's, Goldman's, and Nicole Brown's blood DNA were consistent with those found inside Simpson's Ford Bronco, which they believed to have been his getaway car. The trio's blood was also found throughout the crime scene near Simpson's home. Not even Simpson's former attorney and friend, Robert Kardashian Sr, was unswayed by the evidence, which he later revealed to Barbara Walters, caused him to question whether or not Simpson was actually the murderer.

Where the infamous gloves are now

Although it's been nearly 30 years since O.J. Simpson stood trial and was ultimately acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, the public has continued to hold interest in the case. And while Simpson lost a 1997 wrongful death civil lawsuit brought forth by the victims' families, the courts technically never located their killer. This means that key evidence from Simpson's murder trial remains stored if the case ever resurfaces. When the outlet requested to view the evidence, they were turned down by the Los Angeles District Attorney to keep the evidence in optimal shape.

The passage of time has also introduced new accounts about the infamous gloves. In 2016, Gil Garcetti, who served as the Los Angeles District Attorney at the time of the trial, spoke with "GMA" and revealed a surprising tactic Simpson employed during the trial, of which he wasn't initially aware. "What we didn't know until I saw it on this film was that O.J. Simpson was taking arthritic medication for his hands and he was told if you stop taking this arthritic medication, your hands will swell," Garcetti said after watching a documentary about the trial (via Los Angeles Times). "Your joints will stiffen. My God." He continued, "Did it tick me off — and I would use a different word? Yes, it did. But I can't say it's really crossing the line." Mind-blowing!

Why so many doubts in O.J. Simpson's trial persists

The gloves from O.J. Simpson's case may have helped to guarantee his freedom, but they didn't do him any favors after the trial concluded, mainly because he wasn't much of a sympathetic figure. While the former football star never admitted to killing Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson under oath, his actions didn't always match his not-guilty plea. For example, Simpson hypothetically confessed to the crimes during a 2006 interview with publisher Judith Reagan, which was supposed to air on Fox News. However, the network decided not to air the interview because of the pushback from the public at the time.

In 2018, prosecutor Christopher Darden, who, along with Masha Clark, prosecuted Simpson's murder trial, revealed that he believed that Simpson's hypothetical recollection amounted to a confession. "I think he's confessed to murder," said Darden during "O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession," according to NBC News. He continued, "If I'd known he said this in 2006 I would not have objected to the release of this video. I don't think there's any question of his involvement and that he is the person who is wielding the knife." There's also the fact that Simpson has periodically made light of the murders, including the time he used a banana to simulate stabbing Ruby Wax during a 1998 on-camera interview.