Parole for O.J. Simpson
For the past nine years, O.J. Simpson has been a resident of Nevada medium-security prison called Lovelock Correctional Center. In 2007, he was arrested for robbery, after trying to recover sports memorabilia from a hotel in Las Vegas. In 2008, he was convicted of several charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping, and sent to Lovelock. Despite being such a high-profile inmate, Simpson lived in a general population area of the prison with everyone else.
Simpson is now 70 years old, but remains the center of media attention since his acquittal for the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. On Thursday, July 20th 2017, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners granted Simpson his freedom with a unanimous vote. He has currently served nine years of a nine-to-33-year sentence for the 2007 robbery of sports memorabilia from two Las Vegas collectors.
Appearing before the parole board, Simpson seemed lively and confident, even cracking a joke when one of the board members mistakenly stated his age as 90 instead of 70. Despite being imprisoned for the last nine years, the media has surely not forgotten O.J. Simpson. In 2016, an award-winning documentary was released entitled “O.J.: Made in America”, along with a crime drama called “The People v. O.J. Simpson”.
During the hearing, Simpson expressed his faith in the justice system as well as sorrow for his past actions. Addressing the board, he stated, “I’ve come here and spent nine years making no excuses about anything. I am sorry things turned out the way they did… I tell inmates all the time ‘Don’t complain about your grind. Do your time’… I believe in the jury system. I will honor the decision... I have done my time and I’d like to get back to my friends… I’m sorry it happened.” (Read more here)
Simpson described a conflict-free life in prison, stating that he had taken a course on alternatives to violence as well as one on computers, and often acted as a mediator in situations between inmates. He had also been the commissioner of the prison softball league, often resolving anger among teammates.
After the unanimous vote, Simpson was moved from the general population to protective custody. His lawyer, Malcolm LaVergne, stated “He’s had to move his cell to an area where he is a bit more protected. There’s good reason for that. One of them is for his own safety and basically not to rile things up… There is a legitimate concern about threats.” (Read more here)
Simpson will remain in protective custody until he is officially released on or after October 1st, 2017. As for his future plans, he has stated that he wants to spend time with his friends and family. He has indicated that Florida is a likely place for him to settle down, as two of his children currently reside in the St. Petersburg area.
After all of the media circus for the past twenty years, only time will tell if Simpson will remain trouble free in the Sunshine State.