Tuesday, March 29, 2005

OBT: Johnnie Cochran

It is most unfortunate that Johnnie Cochran will be remembered largely for his defense of O.J. Simpson. That's because of the lingering doubt in many people's minds that Simpson got away with murder, and it was Cochran who got him off. Few will remember his brilliant lawyering in that case.

What Cochran should be remembered for are his honesty, his persistence and his sense of charity. He pursued the case of a wrongfully convicted man for over 20 years, he went head on with bureaucracy in cases of racial-profiling, and was often first to jump on the case of poor defendants who could not afford high-profile counseling.

Were there only more Johnnie Cochran's in this world.

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Famed attorney Johnnie Cochran, perhaps best known for his defense of O.J. Simpson, died Tuesday afternoon after suffering from an inoperable brain tumor, his family said. He was 67.

"Johnnie Cochran was a loving, heartful human being who cared about everybody," said William Epps, pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles, which Cochran attended for 18 years.

Cochran died at 12:30 p.m. PT (3:30 p.m. ET) at his home in Los Angeles. His family was by his side and he had been in a hospice, Epps said.

Cochran's family and members of his law firm issued a joint statement saying the "world has lost not only a legendary attorney, but an outstanding humanitarian."

"Johnnie's career will be noted as one marked by celebrity cases and clientele. But he and his family were most proud of the work he did on behalf of those in the community," the statement said.

"As Johnnie always said, 'An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' It was his rallying cry as he worked to right many wrongs, and as he provided a voice to those who needed to be heard. He was deeply committed to helping and inspiring others, especially young people."
Read the rest here at CNN

And a story at The New York Times

From 7 April 2005

The funeral from CNN


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