O.J. Simpson trial good for privacy?

Despite its ill effects on race relations, media behavior, and respect for the jury system, the O.J. Simpson criminal trial had some positive effects on privacy in America, believe it or not. In 1993-94, the wiretappinest state judge in California was none other than Simpson case star Lance Ito. Ito approved eight different taps that intercepted over 24,000 calls at a cost of over $1.3 million. These taps resulted in only 16 arrests and only three convictions. The cases all involved narcotics.

During the 1994-95 reporting period--according to Wiretap Report, published by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts--Judge Ito, busy with the Simpson case, approved not a single tap.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties