O.J. Simpson Prosecutor Writes Legal Thriller

Guilt by Association

By Marcia Clark

Published by Mulholland Books

Review by Elise Cooper

Marcia Clark, the former O.J. Simpson prosecutor, has launched a new career as a fiction author. She writes about crime and prosecutors and uses her experiences to make the plot and characters authentic.

Her debut novel, Guilt by Association, takes the reader through a marathon of crime issues: murder, mayhem, blackmail, child pornography, rape, and street gangs, to name a few. She is able to blend all of these together to create a very interesting, fast-paced plot. Pajamas Media interviewed her about the book.

In the first chapter, a prosecutor in the Special Trials Unit, Rachel Knight, explains why she entered that profession: to give victims a voice. Marcia Clark noted that Rachel (Clark’s middle name) can be viewed as her alter ego:

I started out as a criminal defense attorney. My desire to stand up for the victims and give them a voice made me want to be a prosecutor, which is what made me love the job as much as I did. Rachel is what I would like to be. I am jealous of her exciting lifestyle.

It appears that this book was written so Clark could relive her former life as a prosecutor. Clark did confide that she

missed the world of the DA’s office. The world where there was a mission I could believe in that had great people, a lot of camaraderie. It was a great life being in the Special Trials Unit, and working up the cases with the police, not the Simpson bizarro world, but the world before all the cameras entered into the courtroom.

Does she regret having cameras in the courtroom during the O.J. Simpson trial?

It’s a debate I had. From the standpoint of making sure a trial runs properly, cameras in the courtroom is a disaster. Everyone plays to the camera one way or the other:  the judges, jurors, lawyers, and witnesses. Instead of focusing on the truth, they start focusing on a search for fame. On the other hand, Fred Goldman (father of one of the victims) made the point to me that if cameras were not in the courtroom you would never know the travesty of justice in the Simpson verdict. People would not have been able to see how much evidence we did present.

There are two very interesting quotes in the book. The first: “And, by the way, you can tell everybody that they definitely don’t screw up DNA all the time.”  When asked to explain, Clark laughingly said that she wrote it as an “inside joke with the world.”  The other quote is: “Better you ask forgiveness than permission.” She explained: “If you believe in something go ahead and do it. Rachel believed in justice and fighting a good fight. She does not want office politics or political rules to get in her way.”