February 27, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

The Yo! Venice Campaign 2024 Interview: Christopher Darden for L.A. County Judge

Former OJ Simpson Prosecutor Sets His Sights on a Seat on L.A.’s Judicial Bench

By Nick Antonicello

When one mentions the name Christopher Darden, one naturally thinks of his association with the trial of the century, the prosecution of former USC great & Heisman Trophy winner Orenthal James Simpson, the first 2,000 yard rusher with the Buffalo Bills who ended his career with the San Francisco Forty-Niner’s and would go on to become a color analyst on ABC’s Monday Night Football and actor who would appear in the popular Naked Gun film series.

He was handsome, clean-cut and an iconic celebrity that transcended his playing days in the NFL as a Hall of Fame running back and Hertz pitch man.

And then came June 17, 1994.

It was one of the most watched and most notorious live events in United States TV history as O.J. Simpson’s low-speed, LAPD pursuit two days after the brutal murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman saw the reconstruction of this superstar celebrity into an accused murderer and  high profile defendant in the most watched trial ever,  ending in a “not guilty” verdict that left most Americans stunned.

Now some thirty years later, accomplished attorney, best-selling author and law professor Christopher Darden is a candidate for LA County Judge.

For the candidate was gracious with his time as we spoke for over an hour talking about his past, the time since the trial and his judicial future as he rounds out and completes this circle of public service with a run for a seat on the bench.

I tried to remove the 600lb gorilla in the conversation by speaking to this historical event first and getting his take on the trial some three decades later.

Darden was insightful in retrospect believing that what was initially a negative, turned out to be a “net positive” for America and the justice system.

Darden believes the impact on the issue of domestic violence and abuse was immeasurable, and the millions of women over the years who benefited on it being brought to light as the shame was cast aside for truth.

In 1998 Darden received the Crystal Heart award from Loved Ones of Homicide Victims, an organization dedicated to aiding families that have suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of violence.

In 2000 he was named “Humanitarian of the year” by Eli Horne, a shelter for abused women and children.

While there is a dark cloud of regret in the trial’s outcome, the friends that were made and the overall struggle for change that occurred cannot be emphasized enough.

While Darden is clearly not a politician, he was proud to see his candidacy receive the endorsement of victim’s right advocate Kim Goldman, former LA County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, and Faye Resnick, an author and friend of the murder victim, Nicole Brown Simpson.

Darden also has picked up the endorsement of retired LA Judge Lance Ito, who presided over the controversial criminal trial.

Darden described Ito as “a good man, you don’t meet many men like him.”

Describing himself as an individual raised in the 1960’s, he stated he still “believes in the people.”

“I don’t answer to politics. My debt is to my conscience, community and the law.”

What kind of character makes for a good judge was my next observation.

“Patience, knowledge, a sense of community and people, honesty and following and interpreting the law. Execute and apply the law fairly and equitably regardless of race or religion,” offered the candidate.

For Darden believes his time as a prosecutor, criminal attorney and law professor makes him uniquely qualified and suited to serve the people of Los Angeles once again.

“While the system can seem to be flawed and dysfunctional, we must stay true to the Constitution and judges must follow the law.”

I asked the candidate what effect did COVID-19 have on the system and no doubt a back log was created when the courts were eventually closed and in that time period he only managed about a dozen or so cases in his private practice.

While Darden is etched in time as a young man, he now spends much of his days in the classroom as a law professor who is now entering his 44th year as a member of the bar.

Teaching at Santa Monica College twice a week, he offers a course in Crime Scene Investigations as he continues to touch another generation of potential lawyers and others pursuing a career in criminal justice.

The candidate acknowledged that he’ll need to raise several hundred thousand dollars to be competitive in this race he intends to win.

The term of office would be six years and if need be, he’ll donate to his own candidacy because he sees this race as part of an overall journey in his career in public service.

I asked Darden what his impression was of a all-volunteer jury pool and he believed the process needed to be random, and did not want to see those participants coming from the same demographic or economic status of individuals.

For Darden was philosophical on how the legal system impact’s the lives of ordinary people.

“No matter how big or small, the impact on people’s lives that enter a courtroom is enormous, be it financially or otherwise. My goal is to treat all with dignity and respect. Victims must be heard. The rights of defendants honored.”

And Darden believes the system is at a crossroads.

“Do the people still believe in justice and do they receive justice,” questioned the judicial hopeful.

“It will be a tremendous honor to be picked by the people.”

I asked Darden to close the interview with three things he wanted voters to remember most about his candidacy.

“My deft of experience in the system as both a litigant and prosecutor. My understanding of all aspects of the system, and my time as a teacher and practitioner of the law.”

Darden spoke fondly of his father and told a story once of him taking a second job as a garbage man to make ends meet to provide for his family of which he was the fourth of eight siblings.

“My Dad was a Korean War veteran who had a strong sense of family,” noted Darden who believes his father’s sense of service impacted his own decision to place the principle of service above himself.

His extraordinary courtroom experience, both as a prosecutor and defense attorney coupled with his legal scholarship as a professor, instructor and author has brought citizen Christopher Darden to this place before the electorate as certainly a qualified candidate to wear the robe that defines our system of justice here in America today.

To learn more about his candidacy, visit his website at www.christopherdardenforjudge.com

Nick Antonicello is a thirty-year resident of Venice that covers the governmental agencies and elected officials that impact the neighborhood. He will be covering the races for LA Judge as well as District Attorney and can be reached at nantoni@mindspring.com

in Hard, News
Related Posts

Venice Shorts: “Grom” Day Coming This Sunday

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Registration runs through Wednesday, February 28  By Nick Antonicello  The Venice Surfing Association (VSA) will be hosting it’s annual Grom...

Iconic Venice Beach Sculpture and Landmark to be Removed, Returned to Artist’s Property

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Since the Money, Effort or Desire to Purchase the Piece Appears to Not Be There, the Artist Wants It Back...

Ocean Park Triplex Hits Market Again After 36 Years at $1.6M

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

The property presents an enticing opportunity for owner-users or developers For the first time in over 36 years, this triplex,...

Cher Drops Price of Her Seven-Bedroom Malibu Mansion by $10M

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

The legendary singer bought the parcel for $2.95 million over 30 years ago By Zach Armstrong Music icon Cher has...

Multi-Family Property in Mar Vista Goes for Under a Million

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

Both units are presently tenant-occupied and sold as-is Situated in the sought-after Mar Vista neighborhood, this duplex comprises two distinctive...

Blue Bus Seeks Input on How to Improve Service

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Through Brighter Blue, Big Blue Bus Aims to Develop a Strategic Plan for Implementing System Enhancements Over Five Years Santa...

(Video) This Pianist Dazzles Venice Boardwalk

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Visitors of Venice Boardwalk Can Check Out this Pianist @yovenicenews Check out this pianist on the Venice Boardwalk #venicebeach #venice...

Venice Shorts: Rain, Rain Go Away! But RVs Stay For Another Day

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

RV Situation remains the same up and down Indiana Avenue with new vehicles spilling onto Fourth Avenue.  By Nick Antonicello ...

Popular Coffee & Tea Franchise Opens Another Santa Monica Spot

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

The News Comes Four Months After the Announcement of Its Third Santa Monica Outpost By Zach Armstrong Coffee Bean &...

Culinary Bliss Awaits: Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Debuts in Santa Monica

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Welcomes the Inaugural Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Santa Monica is set to become the birthplace...

Amid Delays, House of Pies Sets New Opening Date for Venice Spot

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

For About a Year, the Development’s Construction Has Seemingly Been Inactive By Zach Armstrong House of Pies, a popular L.A....

“Women in Jazz” Event at the Moss Theater to Benefit College Scholarship Program

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

The Scholarship Trains Students to be Ambassadors for Antiracist Learning and Teaching Los Angeles-based jazz vocalist Amber Weekes, an alumna...

Portraiture Masterclass with Renowned Photographer Coming to Venice Beach

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

Participants will explore the boardwalk alongside Alan, honing their creativity and engaging with the local community. Renowned photographer Alan Shapiro...

Yo! Venice Interviews Renee Rose for Judge of the L.A. Superior Court #48

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

An advocate for the elderly and victims of dependent adult abuse, the longtime Deputy DA views herself as the moderate...

A Sustainable “Air Taxi” Service Will Operate Out of West L.A.

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

Based on Images and Videos, the Aircraft’s Design Mixes a Helicopter With an Airplane By Zach Armstrong Los Angeles is...