Prosecutor's Lapel Pin Deemed 'Inappropriate' by Judge
Feb. 08, 1995
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The latest attorney brawl in the O.J. Simpson trial was over a tiny angel with outspread wings.
A three-quarter-inch lapel pin worn by prosecutor Marcia Clark prompted a complaint Tuesday from defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. Nicole Brown Simpson's family has adopted the angel as a symbol for the murder victims.
Judge Lance Ito put off until Wednesday a ruling on whether Clark can continue to wear the item in court but told her the pin was inappropriate.
``If the family members are going to further testify and wear these things in court, then I agree with you that it is very subtle and small,'' he said, ``but I don't believe it's appropriate for counsel to wear one of these.''
Cochran had complained that the gold pin violated Ito's order forbidding the attorneys to wear any symbols linked to the case.
``How would it be if we came into court and I wore a big No. 32 and go walking around here with this jury?'' an agitated Cochran told Ito after the jury had been dismissed for the day. Simpson wore No. 32 during his football-playing days.
Clark acknowledged the pin was a symbol of sympathy for Ms. Simpson and Ronald Goldman but said it was subtle and too small to be seen in detail by the jury.
Then she blasted Cochran for wearing a small cross on his lapel and for his nightly remarks to reporters on the courthouse steps.
The angel pin isn't ``nearly so prejudicial as the remarks he makes constantly to the press,'' Clark said. She added: ``If anyone should come forward and make this argument it should be someone with clean hands.''
Ms. Simpson's sister Denise Brown wore angel earrings when she testified.