Former O.J. prosecutor Christopher Darden has received the backing of retired Judge Lance Ito in his run for a seat on the L.A. County Superior Court, Darden’s campaign announced today.
Darden and Ito are well known for their roles in the televised 1994 O.J. Simpson murder trial, but they have a longer history. Previously, Darden and Ito worked together as prosecutors in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in what was then known as the Hardcore Gang Division.
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Darden, 67, has been an attorney for more than 40 years, and worked as a county prosecutor for 15 years. He is best known for serving as a lead prosecutor in the Simpson case, which was presided over by Ito.
That case was not only a mainstay of ’90s news programming, it was also fodder for a pair of award-winning 2016 screen projects: the Oscar-winning documentary O.J.: Made In America, in which Darden declined to participate, and the Emmy-winning The People v. O.J. Simpson, in which he was portrayed by Sterling K. Brown, who won an Emmy for his performance.
The election is March 5.
“I have always had tremendous respect for Judge Lance Ito,” Darden said in a statement. “As a prosecutor, a judge and retired jurist, Judge Ito has always conducted himself with the utmost professionalism and sets the standard for fairness on the bench. I am so honored to have his support as I now seek a seat on the Superior Court.”
After leaving the District Attorney’s office, Darden’s first case back in court — as a criminal defense attorney — happened to be in front of Ito in downtown Los Angeles. Ito retired in 2015.
Darden has also been a legal commentator for CNBC, Court TV, NBC and CNN, and a law professor at Southwestern University School of Law.
As a deputy district attorney, Darden also spent time with the Special Investigation Division, where he investigated criminal activity and corruption by public officials, including law enforcement personnel.
For the past 27 years, he has been in private practice. He has also been teaching for more than a decade, serving as an adjunct professor of law, law professor and assistant professor of law.
Since 1995, he has specialized in defending white-collar crimes, narcotics, gang cases and homicides.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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