"No one enters suit justly, no one goes to court honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity" (The Bible, Isaiah 59: 4). The events of the trial for Stanilas Urek, a character in Sol Stein's novel The Magician, are parallel in many ways to the events of the O.J. Simpson trial. Both Urek and O. J. had extremely talented lawyers working in their defense, both defense teams effectively made evidence provided by the prosecution to seem biased or unreliable, and both accused criminals are acquited despite the vast mounds of evidence presented against the defendant. These trials make apparent a significant flaw in the American justice system.
Both O. J. Simpson and Stanilas Urek had extremely talented lawyers who were able to efficiently persuade the jury in the favor of their client. In the novel, Ed Japhet, Urek's victim, is portrayed as a talented young magician, and his mother is surprised when he announces that he plans on giving his tricks to the Salvation Army.
She asks him to think it over, to which Ed replies "I have, mom. Don't look like that. Magic is nothing compared to what we saw today" (Stein, 1971, p. 246). By this Ed means that his means of tricking an audience by using magic tricks are nothing compared to the way Thomassy, the defense lawyer for Urek, fooled the people and more importantly the jury in the courtroom. In the same discussion with his family Ed elaborates off of his previous comment:
"I thought Thomassy was the real star of this thing. I kind of admire the way he works. The only thing I really worry about is what happens if Urek gets off. You'll have to hire a bodyguard for me, Dad" (Stein,