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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Framed or a Murderer? O.J. Jury Begins Deliberations

LOS ANGELES -- Asked by the judge to forget "the world is watching,'' jurors Monday began considering O.J. Simpson's fate in the climax to one of the most sensational trials in U.S. history.


Even before the 12-member jury began deliberations, lead prosecutor Marcia Clark expressed fear they would follow the defense's emotional appeal and acquit the U.S. football hero to send a message about police racism and misconduct.


In this case, the verdict could be quick. Otherwise, it may take some time for jurors in the yearlong trial to weigh 50,000 pages of transcripts, 857 pieces of evidence and testimony from more than 100 witnesses.


The jurors already have proved they can work quickly. On Friday, seats in the jury box were still warm when panelists sounded a buzzer three times to signal that they had selected a foreman. The identity of the foreman will be revealed at the first open court session for jury questions or testimony readbacks.


Simpson has asked to be present for all such court sessions. But in the meantime, he will remain by himself in his cell for what could be the first lengthy stretches of solitary confinement since the trial began.


Simpson, 48, faces a maximum term of life in prison without parole if convicted of the June 12, 1994, knife murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, 35, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, 25.


Hammering home the defense's view that Simpson was framed, attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. urged jurors to be "the consciences of the community," implying that they should turn their attention away from Simpson to the racist views and possible misconduct of Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman and others.