A Nevada parole board has granted O.J. Simpson parole from prison after he served nearly nine years following a conviction on armed robbery and other charges.
On Thursday, the four-person panel unanimously voted to grant parole. The parole board said that Oct. 1 is the earliest the former NFL star is eligible for release.
NPR’s Ina Jaffe walked us through the incident that led to his conviction:
“[H]e was convicted of a botched 2007 burglary in a cheap Las Vegas hotel. Along with a handful of accomplices, the former star broke into the room of a couple of sports memorabilia dealers. They had some items that Simpson believed belonged to him and that he wanted back. A couple of guys with Simpson brought guns.
“Simpson was later convicted on 12 criminal counts including armed robbery, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to nine to 33 years.”
Speaking to the parole board, Simpson stressed that he has been a model inmate during his time at the Lovelock Correctional Center. He says he took a course on nonviolence and has routinely stepped in to mediate conflicts between inmates.
“I’ve spent nine years making no excuses about anything,” he said. “I’m sorry things that things turned out the way they did. I had no intent to commit a crime.” He said he promised the warden when he arrived at the prison that he would be “no problem, and I think I kept my word.” He added: “I don’t think any inmate has ever represented [the prison] better than I.”
Simpson’s daughter Arnelle and a victim of the robbery Bruce Fromong spoke in favor of his parole.
Fromong said that during the trial, he recommended that Simpson serve one to three years and described the sentence he received as “way too long.” Fromong says he has been friends with Simpson for almost 20 years. He added: “It’s time to give him a second chance. It’s time for him to go home to his family and friends.”
O.J. Simpson was acquitted in 1995 in the stabbing deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. As Ina reported, “opinions on the verdict broke down largely along racial lines. Many African-Americans believed that the verdict was fair, but most whites thought he’d gotten away with murder.”