It's my understanding that most trials are over in a week.

Are murder trials typically much longer, or was OJ Simpson's case very unusual (aside from the publicity)?

Do trials essentially last as long as the financial resources of the sides, or was OJ's case particularly complex?

  • 1
    That's just how long each side took. It doesn't have to be one set amount of time.
    – Putvi
    May 20, 2019 at 17:21
  • 6
    Because both sides had lots and lots of lawyers and his were billing by the hour.
    – Richard
    May 20, 2019 at 21:36

2 Answers 2


That is just how long it took for each side to present their evidence. Yes, trials don't normally last that long, but that does not mean that no trial ever will.

If you want to see exactly what happened, you can read the transcripts. https://simpson.walraven.org/

As for the financial part, it does not have to depend solely on that, but obviously, people don't want to spend a lot if they do not have to so they would not drag it on.


While trials don't have a set time, generally the length of a trial is based on its complexity (and to a certain degree, also the gravity of the charge). Simpler cases (e.g. breaking and entering) will generally take less time to hear than more complex cases (e.g. a violation of proper calculation procedure of an SEC mandated income report concerning transfers of capital accrued by partially owned subsidiaries).

For example, last year I was called to jury selection for a drunk driving case that was estimated to last 2 days; this year, I was called for jury selection, which took over a week before I was dismissed as a potential jury, for a murder trial that was estimated to last over a month.

However, I'm sure that OJ's celebrity did play a role in the length of his trial; if nothing else, then it would have lengthened the jury selection and voir dire process significantly.

  • You were called for jury detail twice in a year? I thought jury duty was meant to be really rare May 21, 2019 at 11:02
  • @KyleWardle: No, I was called to jury duty twice in two years. The rarity of jury duty is a function of the eligible population of one's county and the number of jurors needed. Note that jury duty does not equate to serving on a jury; rather it is being in a pool that potential jurors for cases. I have been summoned to jury duty four times: twice I just sat in a room all day, waiting to be called but wasn't, and that was my jury duty. The other two times I was called into a court room for jury selection, but was not chosen to be empaneled on a jury.
    – sharur
    May 21, 2019 at 16:17

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