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Johnnie Cochran's Biography

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Who was Johnnie Cochran?

Johnnie Cochran Jr was born on October 2, 1937 in Shreveport in the USA. He died on 29 March 2005.

In 1959, Johnnie Cochran graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, and in 1962 he graduated from law school at Loyola University.

Cochran became a prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and was a key figure behind establishing a unit to investigate police shootings.

It was, however, for his cases in private practice for which Johnnie Cochran became most famous, and, in particular, the defence of O.J. Simpson.

Cochran and his colleagues surprised many by securing a not guilty verdict. In the case, Cochran effectively undermined the credibility of police detective, Mark Fuhrman in the eyes of the jury, exposing him as a racist.

Johnnie Cochran told the jury, "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit," demonstrating that the bloody glove found at Simpson's house did not fit O.J.

In 2001 Cochran was using verse to good effect again when he defended Sean "Puffy" Combs on weapons charges. This time he told the jury: "If it don't make sense, you should find for the defence." Which is what they did.

Other notable clients of Cochran were Tupac Shakur, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, formerly of the Black Panthers.

Although his major fame came from the O.J. Simpson trial, Johnnie Cochran fought a number of trials on behalf of the poor and under-privileged claiming, "the clients I've cared about the most are the No Js, the ones who nobody knows."

Johnnie Cochran had a complex personal life. During divorce proceedings from his first wife, it came out that Cochran had a second family.


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