The Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners has granted O.J. Simpson some leniency for his good behavior in prison.  But the former Heisman Trophy winner still faces at least 4 more years in prison on sentences that were ordered to run consecutively when he was sentenced after his 2008 convictions for kidnapping and armed robbery.  The Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners noted in its decision Simpson’s “positive institutional record” and his participation in addressing his “behavior that led to incarceration.”  Last Thursday, Simpson appeared before a panel to plead for compassion.  During the 20-minute hearing, Simpson told the panel that he regrets his actions and he’s tried to be a model inmate.  The Nevada incident came about, according to Simpson, because he was trying to reclaim his stolen property and originally called his actions part of a sting designed to recover valuable mementos.

Simpson is currently awaiting a ruling by Clark County District Judge Bell on whether or not he is entitled to a new trial based upon ineffective assistance of counsel.  The parole board’s decision is not supposed to influence Bell’s ruling.

“I don’t expect this is the kind of thing [that] will affect Judge Bell’s decision,” Patricia Palm, Simpson’s attorney, told the Los Angeles Times. “Her ruling has to be based on what was presented in court. But it does mean something to Mr. Simpson.”

“He’s very pleased,” she said. “He’s very grateful he was treated fairly. There’s really no reason it should have gone any other way…there is no reason not to grant him parole. I’m glad they did what they should have done.”  Palm said Simpson called from prison to let her know of the board’s decision.

O.J. Simpson’s parole is effective October 2nd.  Then, the 66-year-old ex-football player will begin serving his minimum term on four weapons enhancement sentences for using a weapon during the robbery, which run concurrent to one another.  He will have a parole hearing in one year on those charges.

After that, he has two more consecutive terms for assault with a deadly weapon.  Simpson was sentenced to 9 to 33 years with a chance at parole on a variety of charges.  The board noted Simpson had no previous criminal convictions and still has consecutive sentences to serve.  Lovelock Correctional Center officials say he’s had no disciplinary actions against him.

During last week’s parole hearing, Simpson told Parole Commissioner Susan Jackson and retired Nevada prison warden (hearing officer) Robin Bates, “I just wish I never went to that room.”  He added he has made amends.  While in prison, Simpson got a job in the prison gym earning pennies per hour sanitizing equipment, umpiring, and coaching games.  He said he made a promise to the warden when he arrived at Lovelock that he would be the “best person” they ever had at the facility. He added, “I think for the most part I’ve kept my word on that.”  He has also acted as a jail counselor to other inmates.

If Judge Bell decides that Simpson deserves a new trial, prosecutors have a decision between retrying him or offering him a plea deal or simply letting him free.

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Comments
  1. Lon Spector says:

    Finally, a little rationality in the O.J. case.
    In our system we DO NOT get any “do overs” except FOR the defendants benefit.
    The “pound of flesh” motivations for the second O.J. prosecution were without merit.
    Let’s just hope that the same chorus of voices crying for Zimmerman’s continued prosecution
    will be denied.

    Like

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