O.J. Simpson quickly became a pariah after being acquitted on double murder charges in 1995.
Despite being found not guilty, conventional wisdom was that he got away with murder. When Simpson was sentenced to 33 years on robbery charges in 2007, many felt he got his come-uppance.
But now “The Juice” could be set loose very soon.
Simpson has a hearing coming up, and he’s expected to be granted parole.
From the New York Daily News:
O.J. Simpson, 70, will have a parole hearing on Thursday and, if all goes well at the televised event, he could walk out of a Nevada prison on Oct. 1.
“It’s based on his behavior in prison and that certainly hasn’t changed,” his ex-lawyer Yale Galanter told the Daily News on Sunday.
“He’s been a model inmate. He’s had no write-ups, no disciplinary issues. By all accounts, he’s totally abided by the rules.”
Galanter repped Simpson after his 2007 arrest for barging into a Las Vegas hotel room with guns to steal sports memorabilia he claimed belonged to him.
The gridiron great was convicted at trial of 12 counts, including armed robbery and kidnapping, and was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison. He has been incarcerated at Lovelock Correctional Center since December 2008.
Galanter said that at a 2013 hearing, Simpson received parole for some of his charges, including the armed robbery conviction. The parole hearing on Thursday covers Simpson’s other counts.
Galanter said nothing has changed since the last hearing — except Simpson has served four more years.
The state parole board bases its decisions on points an inmate has accumulated for behavior in prison.
“Here, if you’re a model prisoner, you behave yourself, you’re not a flight risk, you get paroled,” Galanter said.
The murders of Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown-Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman have cast a shadow over Simpson for the past two decades.
But the board will not take that into consideration since a jury acquitted Simpson of those charges in 1995 in what has been called “The Trial of the Century.”
Just like his murder trial, Simpson’s parole hearing will likely dominate the airwaves.
The Nevada Department of Corrections has issued more than 240 media credentials for the hearing, according to USA Today.
Four members of the parole commission will decide his fate, although Galanter said most of that deliberating happens before the hearing. They already know his record as a prisoner.
“The parole hearing is really more for Mr. Simpson to give a statement like he did the first time around,” Galanter said.
The Board of Parole Commissioners said in a statement to USA Today that its members will issue a decision on the day of this week’s hearing to minimize the media circus that Simpson creates.
The prosecutor who locked up Simpson agrees that he’s likely to be set free.
The prosecutor who put O.J. Simpson behind bars thinks Simpson is about to get out.
David Roger, the prosecutor who won the conviction of Simpson, said he believes the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners is likely to let Simpson out.
“The guy did a lot of time on a robbery charge, I expect he’ll probably be paroled,” Roger told the New York Post.
If Simpson is paroled, he could be released as soon as October 1, which would be a total of nine years in prison. Roger said he offered Simpson and his attorneys a plea deal that would have seen Simpson serve just two and a half years, but Simpson turned it down.
“He had plenty of opportunity to enter a plea to do far less time,” Roger said. “He thought he was invincible. He wanted to roll the dice.”
It seems like O.J. will be a free man as early as this fall. With a target on his back, he would be foolish to engage in any criminal activity.
However, that’s what people said before the incident in Las Vegas, but his ego and temper still got the best of him.
If Simpson missteps again, he likely won’t get another chance at freedom.