Gil Garcetti Reacts to New OJ Simpson Documentary

The former Los Angeles district attorney tells "GMA" he learned details about the case from ESPN's "O.J.: Made in America."
7:11 | 06/09/16

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Transcript for Gil Garcetti Reacts to New OJ Simpson Documentary
We begin with that new ESPN documentary about the ride and fall of O.J. Simpson including new and revealing interviews with his childhood friends and others at the center of the case. You may think you know everything you can know about O.J. Simpson and his murder trial back in 1995 when he was found not guilty in the killings of his ex-wife Nicole brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman but this documentary is truly a revelation. More than 20 years after the divisive verdict -- Not guilty of the crime of murder. Reporter: -- America's interest in O.J. Simpson has been reborn. This spring millions watched the FX mini series "The people versus O.J. Simpson." If I don't talk it looks like I have something to hide. Reporter: Now there is a brand-new documentary from ESPN, "O.J. Made in America" telling what may be the definitive story from the lawyer, jurors, friend, all a part of it beginning with omg's meteoric rise to fame as football star and pitchman. He's plucked out of the black community, out of black consciousness and he's submerged in an all white university. Reporter: The film chronicle S the rise and fall of the hall of famer, that initial shock of his arrest. It was quite surprising. Your ex-husband is always a suspect in a case. Reporter: And delves into the LAPD and race relations and how that was used by the defense like when the jury was brought to see his house. We could call his white friends down and all of these black people out, pictures he probably had never seen before. Because that's what we were told the jury would identify with. Reportethe defense team's job would tell you is to use all the arrows in their quiver. If we had a Latin jury we would have had a picture of a sombrero. There would have been a mariachi band out front. We would have had a pinata at the upper staircase. Reporter: In the end, what does the film's director think? Did O.J. Do it? The last thing I want to do is take away from the greater message of the film which is honestly trying to hear from all sides and to understand why all this stuff happened. Both the crime itself potentially but also sort of why everyone lost their minds in the case in 1994/'95 and why the verdict was what it was. It premieres this Saturday on ABC and then continues Tuesday night on ESPN and, George, I know you have even more. Very special guest here. The former Los Angeles district Gil garcetti is here with us. Thanks for joining us. Thank you. You have not been speaking out on the case for years. For two decades. I know it took a lot of convincing for you to be part of this documentary. You said no twice? Right. What finally convinced you? My son. Ezra, the director, had contacted me and had a number of conversations with me and I continued to say no as I have for 21 years. But it was my son who said, dad, it's time for you to speak. No one knows the facts that you know and I think you can really trust Ezra to do a professional job. You've said even you learned something about the case from this documentary. I certainly did. It gave me chills. What did you learn? I did learn. I learned a few things. I won't spoil it all for everyone but the one thing I did learn, for example, Chris Darden, Martha Clark were never supposed to ask O.J. To try on the glove. It probably had been working out his hand developing muscles in his hand and we knew it would shrink. It had been in the elements. It's leather. What we didn't know until I saw it on this film was that O.J. Simpson was taking arthritic medication for his hands and he was told if you stop taking this arthritic medication, your hands will swell, your joints will stiffen. My god. You know, lawyers are supposed to do everything to defend their clients. Is that crossing the line? No, no, I don't think it is. Did it tick me off -- I would use a different word. Yes, it did, but I can't say it's really crossing the line. They did everything in their power, they got away with a lot. But we were baited into perhaps even having them try on the glove in the first place. It was never supposed to happen. That's something that shouldn't have happened. You've also been fairly tough on Marcia Clark saying she wasn't your choice. Marsha is a fab lawyer but I picked bill Hodgman as lead prosecutor. He had all the talent characteristics I felt necessary for this particular case. And when you look back at all that, I think you're coming to the realization this was always going to be a tough case and maybe one that was not winnable. Didn't feel that it was not winnable. We knew we'd win the case. Once we had the jury we had, we knew we weren't going to get a guilty verdict in the first case. We expected a hung jury and then the -- what the sympathy towards O.J. Simpson would dissipate and we knew we'd find more evidence specifically the Bruno magli shoes he claimed he never owned. What did you learn about what this said about the state of race relations, not only in los Angeles but in America? That it was much deeper and it had a vibrant chord, especially in the black community than I expected. I don't know if you know the story about me reaching out to president Carter. No. In the middle of the trial I'm trying to figure out, all right, what do I say as a good CEO with the lawyers if, in fact, there is a guilty verdict which we didn't expect. I knew what to say. A hung jury I knew what to say and expected that but I really didn't know what to say if it was a not guilty verdict. Horrible for race relations in the country as a whole. My staff couldn't come up with anything. I convened a group of 30 black ministers and they said, oh, he's guilty, gill, don't worry about it. They'll convict him. They came up with zero. Jimmy Carter was coming into town, habitat for humanity so I reached out to him, Mr. President, can I meet with you about the O.J. Simpson case? Sure. Meet me in this little community call -- city called Linwood. I went out there. He took off his carpenter's belt. We went into a little room by ourselves. He heard my scenarios and he looked at me and, George, it was like getting cold cocked in the stomach. He said, gill, they're coming back not guilty. I react like you react. Boom. He was so sure of this and he said, of course he did it. We all know he did it but he's not a street thug and you and I know he's not a danger now to anyone else and many innocent black men have been convicted. Some executed, this is payback time. Wow. Great story. Gil garcetti, thanks for coming on this morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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