O.J. Simpson To Be Released From Prison
The infamous football star has been granted parole after serving nearly 9 years of his 33-year sentence.
A Nevada Parole Board has ruled that O.J. Simpson will be released from prison after serving close to nine years of his 33-year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas nearly a decade ago.
“You are getting the same hearing that everybody else does,” Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners chairman Connie Bisbee assured the 70-year-old former football star at the beginning of the hearing. Simpson was present via video conference from two hours away at Lovelock Correctional Center, and appeared before this same panel — made up in part by an FBI National Academy Graduate and a United States Air Force veteran — in 2013.
“I’ve done my time. As well and as respectfully as I think anybody can,” Simpson told the panel. “I believe in the jury system. I’ve honored their verdict. I’ve not complained for nine years. All I’ve done is try to be helpful and encourage the guys around me…I want to get back to my kids and my family.”
Arnelle Simpson, Simpson’s oldest daughter, spoke briefly in front of the panel, saying: “My experience with him is that he is like my best friend and my rock…we just want him to come home.”
Bruce Fromong, one of the victims in the robbery, also spoke, saying that he had forgiven Simpson. “O.J. is my friend…we all make mistakes.” Simpson became emotional after Fromong turned to him and said he’d give him a ride home if he were granted parole. “Juice, I’ll be here tomorrow for you,” Fromong said.
The panel considered Simpson’s risk assessment before making the ruling, which included in part his participation in “significant” programming while in prison, no prior conviction history, stable release plans, and good behavior. NBC News reports Simpson spent his time in prison mopping the gym floor and serving as a sports coach to fellow inmates.
But in the hearing, Simpson sometimes came across as flippant and even combative at times with panel members. When asked about whether or not he had addressed his alcohol problem, he insisted that he did not have one, despite reassuring the panel that he would attend AA meetings during his last hearing. At another point, he said he’d “basically lived a conflict-free life.”
Simpson was infamously acquitted during the 1995 “Trial of the Century,” in which he was charged with the killings of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. He was found liable for the double murders in a 1997 civil case, NBC News reports, and owes a $33 million civil judgment that he will still face upon his release. But the panel made it clear that, despite receiving significant input from the public regarding his parole, the 1995 case would not be considered when making a decision about Simpson’s parole.
In his closing statements, Simpson reiterated his apologies, saying: “I’ve spent nine year making no excuses about anything. I am sorry that things turned out the way they did…I’m a convict…I told the warden when I got here that I would be no problem.
I’ve done my time. I’d like to get back to my family and friends.”
Simpson was emotional as the panel granted him parole. He could be released as early as October 1, 2017, or as late as September 29, 2022.
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