He's a free man! O.J. Simpson has had his day in court — yet again. The 70-year-old appeared in front of the Nevada Board of Parole today, July 20, and it has been decided unanimously that he is to be granted parole and early release. He is to be released as early as Oct. 1 of this year.
During the hearing, the disgraced appeared to be in good spirits as the court reassured him that the decision was made using a risk assessment — reassuring him that he is to be treated as any other prisoner in the State of Nevada prison system. During the question, he was asked routine questions asked of every prisoner — including if he was older than the age of 24 at the time of his first arrest and whether he was retired at the time of the 2007 robbery.
Based on the assessment — which the court called “pretty darn indicative” — he was scored as a “low risk,” but a high offense severity because of the particulars of his crime. Following the assessment, he spoke highly of an “alternative to violence” course — something he said he felt every inmate should experience — and shared details of his involvement in the religious community. He also insisted that he never pulled a weapon on anyone, saying he’s lived a “conflict-free life,” before adding, “I wish it would’ve never happened.”
When asked why he felt he’d be better off in the streets than behind bars, he explained, “I do have four kids — I missed a lot of time with those kids. I think I’ve been a guy that’s always been a giving guy… My reputation has always been that I’m open to the public, I’m open to everyone. I’m at a point in my life where I just want to spend as much time as I can with my children. I’m not interested in being involved with the media… I’ve done my time as well and as respectfully as I can.”
During the hearing, his oldest daughter Arnelle spoke and called her father her “best friend and [her] rock” while fighting back tears. She explained that he’s “done his best to act in a way that speaks to his character,” insisted that, if he were to be released, he and his family would live an unassuming, private life.
Bruce Fromong — the memorabilia dealer, O.J.’s longtime friend, and one of the victims of the crime in question — appeared before the board, and called his incarcerated friend a “good man” before adding that it’s “time to give him a second chance, it’s time for him to go home to his friends.” He later called the incident a “mistake.”
O.J. has been behind bars since 2008, when he was found guilty on 10 charges related to an armed robbery of a memorabilia dealer. During the incident, The Juice allegedly instructed his accomplices not to allow any of them to leave, which resulted in kidnapping charges. He was found guilty on all charges, including conspiracy to commit a crime, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, two counts of first-degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon, two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and two counts of coercision with a deadly weapon (as alternates to the counts of first-degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon).
On Dec. 3, 2008, he was sentenced and the judge ordered eight of the 10 sentences to run concurrently, with a maximum of 33 years behind bars and the possibility of parole after nine years. Following his release, he plans on returning to Florida — where he lived after his highly publicized double murder trial. During his parole hearing, he joked that Nevada “doesn’t want” him.