If a city could have a beating heart, and if that beating heart could hold a special place within its walls, that city would be mine and its special place would hold one particular man; Johnnie Cochran.
If you are over the age of twenty and live in the USA, you know who this man is. And if you don't, you must live under a rock. Johnnie Cochran was one of the most loved, most respected lawyers of our land. He is best known for defending OJ Simpson during his trial for murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, back in the early nineties. His famous saying, "If it doesn't fit, (the glove) you must acquit." kept Simpson out of prison, at least for that crime.
Most of the lawyers who worked on the OJ case suffered professionally from this trial. We all knew the man was guilty and it didn't sit well for most of us when he walked out of the courtroom, immediately went to his mansion and held a huge garden party for the jurors. This was like a big slap in Lady Justice's face. And we all felt its sting.
But Cochran did not lose face because of this trial. He was just too well liked, and too respected by his fellow citizens.
Well, Johnnie had firms all over the country, including one here, in Dothan Alabama. It is commonly known as The Cochran Firm.
Johnnie was good to his employees. His gifts to them are legendary in these parts and he loved to take them and their families on cruises. Christmas time was especially noteworthy, from what I've heard, and large bonuses reportedly stretched into the tens of thousands of dollars. But more than that, he was a gentleman. He was a good man. He was kind and caring and folks around these parts have a deep affection for him. He had a home in Dothan and his wife became friends with quite a few folks here.
Not too long ago, I was talking with someone affiliated with the Cochran Firm, someone who knew the Cochran family quite well. For privacy reasons, I will refer to this person as, well, This Person. That's all the info I'll give. We were talking about Mr. Cochran and I hesitated before leaning forward and asking what I've always wanted to ask but never dared to do so until then:
"Did Johnnie Cochran believe OJ Simpson killed his wife?"
This Person began to hem and haw and looked rather uncomfortable.
"I'm not really at liberty to tell you anything about that, "answered This Person.
"I won't tell anyone."
There was a slight hesitation before This Person leaned closer to me and whispered:
"Johnnie KNEW Mr. Simpson killed Nicole Simpson."
A chill ran up my spine. It's there even now.
Week Three Summary
3 years ago