The Impact of Mark Fuhrman & Race On the Jurors’ Verdict

"OJ Simpson: Fact or Fiction?" Episode 5

Is the narrative that the acquittal of O.J. Simpson was payback for Rodney King valid?  Were race and the Mark Fuhrman Tapes significant factors in the jurors’ not guilty verdict?  The fifth episode of O.J. Simpson: Fact or Fiction? reveals the facts about race & the verdict.

OJ Made In America ESPN

Bill Hodgman Prosecutor Los Angeles District Attorney
Absentee Prosecutor Bill Hodgman

In the opening minutes of fifth part of Ezra Edelman’s Academy Award winning documentary, O.J.: Made in America, immediately after absentee prosecutor Bill Hodgman’s ignorant, racial bloviating about the jurors, the viewer sees 74 year old Carrie Bess picking her teeth as Edelman asks the former Simpson juror “Do you think that there were members of the jury that voted to acquit O.J. because of Rodney King?”

OJ Simpson Juror Carrie Bess
74 Year Old Simpson Juror Carrie Bess

Bess’ affirmative response to Edelman has served to fuel a narrative that was hatched prior any of the jurors had commented on the case: Race and the Fuhrman Tapes are the reason that the jurors acquitted O.J. Simpson.

  • Is this narrative valid?
  • Do the comments made by one, elderly former juror in 2016 mesh with the comments of the other 11 men and women who served on the jury?
  • Does Carrie Bess’ replies to Edelman’s questions in 2016 mesh with her previous statements?

The fifth episode of O.J. Simpson: Fact or Fiction, a weekly episodic series of mini-documentaries which focuses on one element of the O.J. Simpson saga per episode, examines the impact that race and Mark Fuhrman had on the jurors decision to acquit Mr. Simpson.

The Birth of a False Narrative

Immediately after the verdict was read and long before a single juror discussed the case or deliberations with the media, a cavalcade of so-called “experts” were declaring that the jurors acquitted Mr. Simpson because of race and the Fuhrman Tapes.

Despite the fact that no one who actually participated in deliberations had shared their experience, on every channel there were multiple “experts” explaining how and why the verdict was reached.

In episode five you will hear the “experts” explain how and why Mr. Simpson was acquitted and you will hear eleven of the twelve jurors explain, in their own words, how and why they arrived at their decision.

Curiously, in the years since Mr. Simpson acquittal, the media has chosen to push one and completely ignore the other.  Can you guess whose truth has been ignored?

Find out the actual truth in O.J. Simpson: Fact or Fiction? Episode Five: Impact of Mark Fuhrman & Race On the Jurors’ Verdict

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Stay tuned to as well as our YouTube and Vimeo channels for upcoming episodes of O.J. Simpson: Fact or Fiction?

Previous Episodes of O.J. Simpson Fact or Fiction?:

Episode 1: The Shadowy Figure

Episode 2: The Three Thumps

Episode 3: The Recital

Episode 4: The Cut Finger

Questions, comments? 
We welcome your feedback.  Feel free to email the author or connect with us on social media.  Follow Brian Heiss on Twitter: @BrianHeiss