Even if you aren't a regular television viewer, odds are if you were alive in the 1990's you are following the new OJ Simpson mini series on FX, and you probably know where you were when the media followed that white Bronco.
This time, perhaps you will find you might have a different view of Marcia Clark. Call it maturity. Call it reason.
The series on FX does a great job of portraying the peripheral issues Marcia faced in her family life during the trial . For those who have ever been embroiled in a divorce with custody issues, it is hard to imagine anyone having to endure that process while prosecuting OJ Simpson in the " trial of the century ", as it was known.
Ironically, today the story of OJ played out to where many believe he now sits exactly where he belongs and just where Marcia should have put him years ago. But not for lack of trying, neither Marcia Clark , nor any prosecutor, would have been able to win the race war that began with Rodney King and ended with OJ Simpson's exoneration. Sadly, the pinning was on Marcia and by default , white career oriented women . Marking the " other " war in our society.
The OJ trial gave us Judge Ito, who may have provided the first insight into what a biased judge just might look like in a criminal case.
Judge Ito's daughter has reportedly shown up as a Commissioner in custody issues in Southern California and may be demonstrating what a biased trier of fact can do in a family law matter. Is she an apple from the Ito tree , or is she fighting the same battle as Marcia had to 25 years earlier?
After all was said and done, Marcia Clark ended up just where most single parents seem to ; having some regrets over lost time with her kids, struggling with the choices made while balancing career and kids and facing the reality of public scrutiny when one tried to break new career barriers. It really doesn't look much different today, as Cheryl Sandburg has aptly pointed out.
Not much has changed for women in our family courts during the past 25 years. In 1994, about the time of the OJ trial , the Supreme Court of the United States said:
"Women ... face greater financial obstacles than men in gaining access to the courts because they lack funds to retain appropriate legal and expert counsel. The Nevada task force reported that a divorcing woman must 'beg [the court], piecemeal, for a few dollars which she must prove is "needed" to prosecute her action or defense' whereas 'the husband spend[s] freely from community funds for his own legal needs' ...." (See Schafran, Gender Bias in Family Courts (Aug. 1994) 17 Family Advocate, No. 1, p. 26.).
Good for the Supreme Court, but not much has changed. And good for the Nevada Task Force, but like the Elkins Task Force ....So What Now?
And as we think about Marcia's plight during that infamous trial , let us not forget what may have driven Marcia's conviction; Nicole Brown. Too many Nicoles still need the help of a good Marcia. And too many family courts have to stop increasing the burdens of parents to balane child raising with career choices, for both men and women.