What’s Chance of Justice?

I’m reading the Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow. In the chapter on False Positives and Positives Fallacies, he talks about the prosecutor’s fallacy in relation to the O.J. Simpson trial. [If you don’t know about the fallacy: see here.] 

The quote from O.J. Simpson’s defense attorney is disturbing: “the courtroom oath – ‘to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ – is applicable only to witnesses. Defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges don’t take this oath … indeed, it is fair to say the American justice system is built on a foundation of not telling the whole truth.”

According the references, this quote was from a book Dershowitz wrote in 1983. Apparently, he still felt that way over ten years later.