Marcia Clark / Getty
/ By Yoel Bermant /
Everyone has their moment in history, and Marcia Clark’s came as joint prosecutor for the State of California in the high profile trial of O.J. Simpson in 1995. A trial in which Simpson was found not guilty – a result that was to go to change Ms. Clark’s life forever.
Before the O.J. Simpson trial Marcia Clark looked to have an unlimited promising future as a special trial prosecutor in Los Angeles. , To begin with Marcia was the first woman to be appointed as a prosecutor for the State of California, had hundreds of defendants, and come out on top in 19 of the 20 murder trials that she had been a prosecutor including the high profile Christian Brando case. Brando, son of famous film actor Marlon Brando, was charged with the fatal shooting of his sister Cheyenne’s boyfriend.
Despite Marlon making a tearful plea for mercy from the dock, Marcia Clark succeeded in winning a homicide prosecution and Christian Brando was sent to prison for 10 years.
And then along came the OJ Simpson case, with Marcia Clark acting as pro-prosecutor in the highest profile trial that America had witnessed for many years. Simpson was charged with the double murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and a young man by the name of Ronald Goldman, who had been with her on the night.
From the moment that Simpson appeared on television meaning chased by police on live television in the now internationally famous white Ford Bronco SUV, with 95 million Americans looking on, the OJ Simpson trial, when it eventually came along, was always going to be a media circus.
And that is certainly was, running for a total of 372 days, generating close to 50, 000 pages of court transcript, with Clark pitting her formidable skills against a very strong defense team that Simpson had put together, sparing no expense to protect his freedom. The dream team as they soon became known was headed up by Johnnie Cochran and among the other members were F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz and Robert Kardashian.
Despite having been together fairly convincing evidence to prove Simpson’s guilt, including the famous bloody glove found at the crime scene, matching another found at Simpson’s house, along with a trail of blood leading to the house, and matching blood smears in the car that he had been driving on the night of the double murder.
However Ms. Clark found it difficult to compete against the power of the Dream Team, he argued every point in and managed to home in on the racial aspect, in the form of LA, detective Mark Fuhrman known for his history of racism, enough to succeed to plant a thought in the minds of the jury that Fuhrman was capable of tampering with evidence.
Eventually thanks to his lawyers OJ Simpson was found not guilty, and walked away from the trial a free man. Clark also left the courtroom with major question marks hanging over her handling of the case, enough to see her walk away from her career as a court prosecutor, admitting shortly after that she had been “burnt out by the entire experience.”
In the years following the trial, Marcia Clark took some time out to re- discover herself , taking her first steps as a writer producing scripts for a little-known television drama featuring the Los Angeles DA’s office.
Having decided that writing would be her future, Marcia threw herself into her new career with typical gusto. Her first novel was always going to be relating her account of the Simpson trial. Released in 1997 under the title of “Without a Doubt”, Clark was reportedly paid $4.2 million to provide her revelations and insights not only on the trial but on her life in general. In her novel, Ms, Clark revealed that having the verdict go against her left her feeling “such guilt. I felt like I’d let everyone down. The Goldman and Brown families, as well as the other members of prosecution team. ”
While she was honing her writing skills, Clark became something of a television celebrity making made numerous appearances, either as a “special correspondent” for Entertainment Tonight, covering of high profile trials as well as taking the role of guest attorney on the short-lived television show Power of Attorney. Recently Ms. Clark was strongly featured in CNN’s coverage of the George Zimmerman murder trial in Florida.
Despite her fairly busy TV schedule, Marcia Clark has also expanded her talents as a writer by producing some fairly powerful legal thrillers. Where the lead character strangely enough is a tough and tenacious DA named Rachel Knight.
The first Rachel Knight legal thriller, “Guilt by Association, ” hit the bookshops late in 2011 and her second, “Guilt by Degrees, ” in the early summer of last year, with apparently more in the pipeline. .
Now Marcia Clark’s new found media carrier will take another turn when she hits the television screens, in a cameo role as Attorney Sidney Barnes in the crime series pretty Little Liars.
Marcia Rachel Clark was born and raised in Berkeley, California, graduated from UCLA in 1976 with a degree in Political Science, then earned a Juris Doctor at Southwestern University School of Law. She was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1979.