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Judge denies media access to graphic pictures of victims' bodies in Simpson murder case

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Judge denies media access to graphic pictures of victims' bodies in Simpson murder case 08/23/1994 CALIFORNIA -- The news media…

Judge denies media access to graphic pictures of victims’ bodies in Simpson murder case

08/23/1994

CALIFORNIA — The news media will be permitted to view crime scene photographs of a bloody glove, a cap, and a shoeprint, shown during the preliminary hearing in the O.J. Simpson murder case, but not graphic pictures of the victims’ bodies, a state trial judge ruled in mid-August.

In late July, several media organizations including Gannett, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, CNN and CBS sought access to photographs used as evidence in the preliminary hearing. Media attorney Kelli Sager said that the media only wanted to look at the photographs, not publish them.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lance Ito said that media descriptions of the victim’s photographs would “inevitably lead to graphic, sensationalistic, lurid and prurient descriptions” that would prejudice the right to a fair trial by both parties.

Ito also said he would release the transcript of a July 8 closed door conference.

Sager also sought to access to transcripts of conferences between the magistrate and defense counsel and a chambers conference, dealing with witness security on July 1. Ito said that these transcripts will remain under seal.

Simpson is charged with the June 12 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

(California v. Orenthal James Simpson; Media Counsel: Kelli Sager, Los Angeles)