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Barry Scheck
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Attorney
    (September 19, 1949- )
    Born in Queens, New York
    Member of the O.J. Simpson 'Dream Team' defense
    Co-founder of the Innocence Project (1992)
    His suits never seemed to fit quite right.
    Slate referred to his 'trademark sneering speeches [and] windmilling arms.'
    He helped O.J. get away with murder.
    He constantly talked about the LAPD storing blood samples in conditions that would allow the DNA to degrade, while ignoring the fact that DNA as it degrades doesn't change its identity (such as, magically transforming from the real killer's DNA pattern to OJ's).
    During the O.J. trial, he got into a debate with Hank Goldberg of the prosecution team over whether 'meshugah' or 'meshuganah' was the Yiddish word for 'crazy.' (Answer: either form of the word is correct.)
    He complained, 'Court TV, when Steve Bril began it, was an extraordinarily serious enterprise..... The Simpson case began to change all that.... Now we are in the era of Nancy Grace.'
    Slate called him 'probably the smartest' and 'certainly the hardest-working' member of O.J.'s defense team.
    His eight-day cross-examination of LAPD criminologist Dennis Fung was called 'the greatest cross-examination since the Scopes trial.'
    He said, 'The only silver lining I see in the Simpson case is that it changed the entire way law enforcement approached the gathering of evidence for purposes of DNA testing and for forensic testing generally.'
    He was surprisingly even-handed in covering O.J.'s civil trial for NBC.
    He said, 'Fame is a good thing to have sometimes if you can put it to good use. The Innocence Project benefited from that.'
    The Innocence Project exonerated over 300 wrongfully convicted people, including 18 who were on death row.

Credit: C. Fishel


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