A Study in Officer Testimony

The O. J. Simpson trial brought to light the importance of police officers’ testimony in establishing not only the validity of the indictment but also the credibility of criminal justice process. In court, officers are perceived to have custodianship of evidence and as such, there is an expectation that they will maintain the authenticity, reliability and authenticity of the records and evidence. Fuhrman’s testimony during the inquiry of the prosecution indicates his knowledge of the rules of evidence, admissibility and his own role in the court proceedings.

However, his cross-examination diminished his credibility as an officer and the value of the evidence. It should be noted that the efforts to weaken evidence and discrediting Fuhrman’s testimony for the prosecution and his integrity as a witness is a common objective for the defense. Therefore, there is a need for witnesses to be able to maintain the confidence of the jury not only in their testimony but also in their persona in court.

The popular drama series Law & Order points out that the public is represented by both the police and the prosecution and therefore, they must not only be consistent with each other but serve to reinforce and empower the other. As a response to the case, there has been greater call for the effective training of officers psychologically to respond effectively in court settings. This also further reinforced the role of police officers in the criminal justice process and custodians of evidence and procedures.

It has also emphasized the need for pre-trial proceedings to support or be consistent with court testimonies: inconsistencies in the deposition can be construed by the defense as deficiency of evidence but may also use it to impugn the investigation or the credibility of witnesses. In the case of Fuhrman’s testimony under cross-examination, he raised doubts regarding his professionalism and the investigation he undertook to bring about the case against Simpson.

Though it maybe considered only of indirect consequence to the facts of the case, it gave sufficient doubt on the guilt of the defendant.

References

Belrad, Bryan (2008). Mark Fuhrman and the Simpson Murder Trial: A Study in Officer Testimony. Associated Content, February 8. Retrieved May 18, 2008, from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/586865/mark_fuhrman_and_the_simpson_murder. html Court TV (1995). Fuhrman’s Testimony. O. J.

Simpson Murder Case. Retrieved May 18, 2008, from http://www. courttv. com/casefiles/simpson/new_docs/fuhrman_testimony. html Court TV (2007). O. J. Simpson Murder Case. Retrieved May 18, 2008, from http://www. courttv. com/casefiles/simpson/ Mcguire, Mark (2000). Jury asks to hear officers’ testimony again. New York Times Union, February 24. Retrieved May 18, 2008, from http://timesunion. com/specialreports/diallo/stories/0224story4lede. asp