LOVELOCK, Nev. – After nearly nine years behind bars, the Nevada State Parole Board has ruled O.J. Simpson will be allowed to leave his prison cell.
The panel granted his parole after hearing from Simpson, his daughter and one of the victims from his 2007 armed robbery in Las Vegas.
Channel 2's legal analyst Brian Wice broke down Thursday’s proceedings.
O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing in Nevada was supposed to last fifteen minutes, but lasted about an hour and 15 minutes.
At first, Simpson was combative and essentially tried to retry his case before the parole board.
His tone eventually changed and KPRC legal analyst Brian Wice said Simpson finished off strong and that helped seal the deal for his release.
Wice said the odds were already in Simpson’s favor, even before the parole hearing got underway.
He’d been a model inmate, no one was opposing his release and even the robbery victim went to bat for him.
Then there’s his age.
“Prosecutors are fond of telling people the only cure for crime is old age. He's 70, not a threat,” Wice said.
Wice added public sentiment had worked against Simpson for so long.
From his 1995 acquittal in the deaths of his wife, Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, where people thought he literally got away with murder, to being charged and sentenced to prison for the 2007 aggravated robbery, Wice said the vibe inside the parole hearing room was a clear indicator that the tide against him had shifted.
“I think now the system has recognized that O.J. has paid his price and it was about time for him to get a second chance,” Wice said.
Simpson expressed regret and remorse and his closing statements apologized.
When the panel granted his parole, Simpson breathed a sigh of relief and bowed his head.
“It’s a heck of a thing to say that going to prison saved someone's life. Maybe in O.J.’s case it did,” Wice said.
Oct. 1 is the earliest he could be released. Simpson has informed the parole board he plans to live in Florida.