Dershowitz Hired to Defend Simpson
Harvard Professor of Law to Join Football Star's Defense Team of Bailey, Shapiro
Law School Professor Alan M. Dershowitz will be part of the legal team defending football star O.J. Simpson from charges that he murdered his ex-wife and her friend.
Attorney F. Lee Bailey confirmed that he and Dershowitz were joining the Simpson legal team Friday night in an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live."
Dershowitz, reached by the Associated Press at a conference in Israel, declined to comment.
Dershowitz and Bailey will assist lead counsel Robert L. Shapiro.
Simpson, a Heisman Trophy winner and Hall of Fame running back, has been charged in the June 12 Killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman.
Dershowitz has been an outspoken critic of how the case has been handled, questioning whether prosecutors have violated Simpson's rights with excessive pretrial publicity.
Before he was names to the defense team, Dershowitz speculated on what Simpson's strategy might be.
"The likely defense is that he was crazy," Dershowitz told Newsweek in its June 27 edition. "He is involved in the self-destructive acts of an irrational person."
The attorney added that he thought Simpson might be able to beat the rap just because he happened to commit the crime in the right county.
Simpson is "very lucky that this happened in Los Angeles, the home of the weird juries and the weird jury verdicts," Dershowitz told Newsweek.
His office said he will return from Israel on July 1 and proceed directly to Martha's Vineyard. There, the professor will catch up on a "very heavy writing load," according to a woman identifying herself as his secretary.
Dershowitz's previous celebrity clients have included Leona Helmsley, Claus von Bulow and former boxing heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson.
Numerous professors at the law school, including Dean Robert C. Clark refused to comment on the Simpson case or on Dershowitz's decision to help in the football star's defense.