The following year he told Comb that this case would mark his last criminal case. Send an Email. Johnnie Lee Cochran Jr.[1] (/ˈkɒkrən/; October 2, 1937 – March 29, 2005) was an American lawyer and civil activist best known for his leadership role in the defense and criminal acquittal of O.J. Simpson who was charged of double murder. Yet more controversy followed the lawyer when items from his personal life were publicly revealed. His father, Johnnie Cochran Sr. (1916-2018), was an insurance salesman, and his mother sold Avon products. After a couple of years, Cochran started private practice with Gerald Lenoir and eventually launched his own firm in Los Angeles, ‘Cochran, Atkins & Evans’. He was an actor and producer, known for Showtime (2002), Arli$$ (1996) and Morning Breath (2002). He himself often uttered that he worked "not only for the OJs, but also the No Js". free".[44]. [25], In 2001, Sean (P. Diddy) Combs was indicted on bribery and stolen weapons charges. [1], In 1978, Cochran returned to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office in the leadership position of First Assistant District Attorney. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1959 and a Juris Doctor from the Loyola Law School in 1962., Celebrities Who Look Beautiful Even Without Makeup. In the early 1970s, Cochran also went to court in defense of Geronimo Pratt, a former Black Panther accused of murder. [21], Before the Simpson case, Cochran had achieved a reputation as a "go-to" lawyer for the rich, as well as a successful advocate for minorities in police brutality and civil rights cases. He took retirement after this and returned other criminal cases including that of Allen Iverson and R. Kelly. "[15], Cochran's well-honed rhetoric[5] and flamboyance[20] in the courtroom has been described as theatrical. © 2020 Biography and the Biography logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! In the series, Cochran is depicted as initially reluctant to take part in the case, believing that Simpson will be found guilty, and later allying with civil rights activists to threaten more riots across the country if the Fuhrman tapes are not released for the jury to hear and Simpson is convicted. The court ruled 7–2 that in light of Cochran's death, an injunction limiting the demonstrations of Ulysses Tory "amounts to an overly broad prior restraint upon speech." He defended his client with rhymes like "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit! Johnnie L Cochran, Jr. was a well-known American lawyer renowned for dealing high profile as well as highly publicised police brutality cases associated with the African-American community. Cochran represented the case and won US$760,000 for Settles’ family. Cochran is mentioned in the 2011 musical comedy The Book of Mormon, where he is depicted as being in hell alongside Genghis Khan, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Adolf Hitler for "getting O. J. Johnnie Cochran defended 17-year old Stanley Tookie Williams in a robbery trial in the early 1970s. Upon passing the bar, Cochran worked as a deputy criminal prosecutor in Los Angeles. Simpson. Simpson, who was charged with murdering her and a friend at her L.A. home on June 12, 1994. On two occasions, Cochran fills the role of Gerald Uelman, who was omitted from the series: after Fuhrman's perjury is exposed, Cochran is the one who calls Fuhrman back to the stand and notably asks him if he planted the glove to frame Simpson, and Cochran coins the phrase "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit" by himself. Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. was born on October 2, 1937 in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA. Cochran did not represent Simpson in the subsequent civil trial, and Simpson was found liable for the deaths. [19] According to Rev. Two justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, said that Cochran's death made it unnecessary for the court to rule. Actor Phil Morris played attorney Jackie Chiles, a character parody of Cochran, in several episodes of Seinfeld. Upon Simpson trying on bloodied gloves that prosecutors alleged were used during the murder, Cochran came up with a phrase that would become famous: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Under the auspices of Bailey, who had a private investigator background, the team also discovered that detective Mark Fuhrman had made racist, highly incendiary remarks about African-American citizens. Imminent neurosurgeon Keith Black who treated Cochran headed the research center. He died from a brain tumor on March 29, 2005, at the age of 67. One of television's best-known personalities, Johnny Carson hosted 'The Tonight Show' for 30 years. Cochran filed a civil suit on behalf of Deadwyler's family; though he lost, the attorney was nonetheless inspired to take on police abuse cases over the ensuing years. Cochran retired after the trial. In his pursuit to join the government, he went for a pay cut and became the first black assistant district attorney in the office of County District Attorney in Los Angeles in 1978. In contrast to his early loss in the Deadwyler case, Cochran won US$760,000 for the family of Ron Settles, a black college football player who, his family claimed, was murdered by the police. Attorney Robert Shapiro is known for representing many high-profile clients, most notably O.J. Jelly Roll Morton was an American pianist and songwriter best known for influencing the formation of modern day jazz during the 1920s.
On April 6, 2005, a memorial service was held at Los Angeles’ ‘West Angeles Church of God in Christ’ and then his remains were buried in ‘Inglewood Park Cemetery’ in Inglewood, California. The most remarkable case of his career that brought him international spotlight was perhaps that of former American footballer O.J.

Cochran thus made controversial closing statements in which he compared the detective’s philosophy to that of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Cochran felt his career was a calling, a double opportunity to work for what he considered to be right and to challenge what he considered wrong; he could make a difference by practicing law. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and the fraternity's 45th Laurel Wreath laureate.[9][10].
In most of his cases Cochran represented plaintiffs in tort actions, and he opposed tort reform. Tuesday's episode references another aspect of their acrimonious divorce — did Johnnie Cochran really have a second family? [28], Cochran did not represent Williams at his multiple murder trials in the 1980s. [17] The Cochran Firm has grown to have regional offices located in fifteen states. Simpson and Michael Jackson. He attracted famous clients like Michael Jackson and led O. J. Simpson's defense team in the 1995 murder trial. In 2004, Cochran’s associates revealed that he was suffering from an undisclosed illness. The ‘Johnnie L Cochran Jr. [3], In December 2003, Cochran was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Of all his cases, Cochran considered winning freedom of Geronimo Pratt in 1997, who was arrested on charges of kidnapping and murder of elementary school teacher Caroline Olsenz and who served 27 years in prison, was the most gratifying moment of his legal career. His family like millions of other African-American families shifted to the West Coast at the time of the second phase of the ‘Great Migration’ and in 1949 they settled in Los Angeles. But what Deadwyler confirmed for me was that this issue of police abuse really galvanized the minority community. Copy. [40][41] He was satirized in the animated sitcom South Park, in which he appears using a confusing legal strategy called "the Chewbacca defense",[42] a direct parody of his closing argument when defending O.J.

In 1994, Cochran joined Alan Dershowitz, F. Lee Bailey, Robert Shapiro, Barry Scheck and Robert Kardashian to form the core of the so-called “dream team” of lawyers hired to defend athlete/actor O.J.

Pratt was released, with Cochran also overseeing a wrongful imprisonment suit.) [26], In 2002, Cochran told Combs that this would be his last criminal case. He took to legal practice after getting inspired by Thurgood Marshall and the latter’s historic win in the ‘Brown v. Board of Education’ case. He graduated from Central … [23] During the trial, Cochran successfully convinced the jury that the prosecution did not prove Simpson was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the police planted evidence against Simpson. A memorial service was held at West Angeles Church of God in Christ, in Los Angeles, on April 6, 2005. Cochran, J. Attorney Johnnie Cochran took on highly publicized police brutality cases and defended such celebrity clients as Michael Jackson and O. J. Simpson. In 1966, a Black motorist named Leonard Deadwyler, while attempting to get his pregnant wife to a hospital, was killed by police officer Jerold Bova. The “trial of the century,” as it was dubbed, began in January 1995 and was among the most publicized in history, followed by millions around the world.

[citation needed] His remains were interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. Simpson during his 1995 trial for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. He set up the ‘Johnnie L. Cochran, Sr. scholarship’ at University of California, Los Angeles for African-American men. The ‘Johnnie L Cochran, Jr. He became part of the core defence team of Simpson in 1994 with Robert Kardashian, Barry Scheck, Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey and Alan Dershowitz. His casket was kept at ‘Angelus Funeral Home’ on April 4 and at ‘Second Baptist Church’, in Los Angeles on April 5 for public viewing. Louima was awarded an $8.75 million settlement, the largest police brutality settlement in New York City. Pratt was convicted and imprisoned, while Cochran maintained that the activist was railroaded by authorities, pushing for a retrial.

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