Television: Justice in the Blood

The O.J. Simpson saga's genes connect a disturbing mini-series and the DNA-sleuthing flatfoots of CSI

In late 1995, scientist Joseph Bonuso unveiled Solomon, a powerful computer program that could try cases, infallibly, without the need for juries. It ran testimony through polygraph analysis; it crunched legal algorithms on a team of supercomputers. Media from the San Francisco Chronicle to CNN covered Solomon, which had just done what a much criticized jury of humans had not. It had found O.J. Simpson guilty of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

The catch? Solomon was a hoax, perpetrated by serial prankster Joey Skaggs. It's not hard to see the story's appeal. After a socially and racially divisive trial,...

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