Simpson jury asks for test tube photo
Jonathan T. Lovitt ; Richard Price
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Jurors in the O.J. Simpson civil trial chalked up
their eighth hour of deliberations Wednesday, more than doubling the time it
took the jury to reach a verdict in Simpson's criminal case 16 months ago.
The seven women and five men are to resume deliberations today at 8:30 a.m.
Working in a windowless room measuring 15 feet by 25 feet, their only contact
with court authorities Wednesday was a noon-hour request for a magnifying
glass and a picture of a test tube like one used by police to store Simpson's
Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki provided the magnifying glass. But he reminded jurors
that a test tube was among the 700 pieces of evidence stored in cabinets in their
The test tube was significant during the trial because Simpson's defense argued
that blood from the tube was planted at the crime scene by police.
A magnifying lens like the one jurors requested was used during the trial to
examine photographs of Simpson wearing size-12 Bruno Magli shoes. He had
denied ever wearing or owning such shoes, which matched those that left bloody
footprints at the scene where Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson died.
The only other courtroom development Wednesday was a hearing in Fujisaki's
chambers. The plaintiffs -- the families of the victims -- argued that Simpson had
failed to meet a court order to turn over extensive financial documents.
Fujisaki ordered Simpson to produce the material.
The jurors must vote on eight questions, including whether Simpson caused the
death of Goldman and ``committed battery'' against Nicole Simpson. If they hold
Simpson liable, they also must set compensatory damages.
Only nine votes are needed for a verdict. The same nine jurors needn't agree on
Jurors are not sequestered. They work 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with 90-minute
lunch breaks and 15-minute coffee breaks at their discretion.
Their furnishings consist of two rectangular tables, 12 padded blue chairs, filing
cabinets and a green chalkboard. No reference materials are allowed in the room.
Lunch is catered. The four remaining alternate jurors, who spend most of their
time in a sealed-off lounge, join the regular panel for lunch, but no talk of the
case is allowed. If a juror has to be replaced, deliberations will start over.
When jurors have a request of the judge, they buzz him once. If and when they
reach a verdict, they'll buzz him twice.
The same system was used at the criminal trial, where jurors shocked the world
by buzzing the judge less than four hours after they took the case.