Marcia Clark Discussed the O.J. Trial on Dateline: ‘I Don’t Know Whether He Would Be Convicted Today’

For a woman whose livelihood consisted of prosecuting murderers, it’s a testament to the impact of the O.J. Simpson case on Marcia Clark that she describes the trial as being “a nightmare for me every single day.” As part of a Dateline special that also featured Simpson’s defense attorney Carl Douglas and juror Lon Cryer, the former L.A. County prosecutor looked back at the case thrust once again into the limelight by FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson. Recalling the infamous white Bronco chase, Clark remembers, ”I thought, Oh my god, this is not good. … He has murdered two innocent people, slaughtered them, and you’re cheering his escape? It gave me a full view of what we were up against.” 

Feeling that the prosecution had “enough solid evidence without taking risks” like putting Kris Jenner on the stand to testify to O.J.’s domestic abuse or submitting O.J.’s presumed suicide note into evidence, Clark conceded that her closing argument was weak (“I was tired; I was demoralized”) and that co-prosecutor Christopher Darden should not have asked O.J. to try on the glove during the trial. However, Clark feels that no amount of physical evidence would have been sufficient for a conviction due to racial bias. “At the end of the day, the evidence didn’t wind up mattering because there was a fundamental large issue standing in the way of seeing the evidence,” Clark said. “You had this enormous mistrust of everything LAPD, everything officer-related.” Clark even goes as far as to blame the trial’s black jurors for O.J.’s acquittal, claiming, “They didn’t care whether he was guilty or innocent. They were going to use this case for payback.” Her takeaway from their verdict? “You can’t make someone believe something they don’t want to believe.”

To that point, Clark isn’t sure they would be able to convict Simpson, if the trial were held today. “Honestly, I don’t know whether he would be convicted today,” Clark told Dateline. “Because in the wake of all these police shootings and all the racial mistrust that has been exposed, probably what would result, in my opinion, is a hung jury.” When asked if O.J.’s current incarceration for robbery and kidnapping offered her some solace, Clark said, “Yes and no.” According to Clark, “I think he’s someone who is a danger to society. He was getting into one scrape after another after he was acquitted.” Noted Clark, “He did not wind up in prison for the murders, which he should’ve.”

Marcia Clark Talks O.J. Simpson Case ‘Nightmare’