Former professional football star and actor OJ Simpson is about to come up for a parole hearing on his 2008 conviction for armed robbery, kidnapping, and other charges. As the date draws closer, he is concerned that the ensuing media circus may well jeopardize his chances of being set free. Does he stand a chance?
Jeffrey Felix worked as a prison guard at Lovelock Correctional Center where OJ Simpson has been serving a nine to thirty three year sentence for his 2008 conviction on charges of kidnapping, armed robbery, and associated offenses. He has also written a book about the NFL great and former actor.
Felix has been in communication with Simpson and says “The Juice is sweating it over the parole hearing. He’s been told there will be media tents outside, pool reporters in his room and the Carson City hearing room, and cameras sending a live feed to the media outside. He is asking why they are fostering a circus-like environment for his hearing. O.J. thinks he deserves his parole. He’s been clean for nine years, hasn’t had any write-ups, took all the programs and classes they told him to take, but he thinks all this media hype is going to screw with the parole board and put pressure on them to keep him locked up. The media still portrays him in a negative light because he was acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.”
Seventy year old OJ Simpson will come up before a parole board on July 20, when it will be decided whether or not he should continue to live behind bars. The hearing will be conducted via video conference, with the parole board being seated in Carson City, Nevada.
Brooke Keast, spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Corrections, says “We must make the hearing public. The only way we could safely do this is to have it streamed live. We have two media sources in the room handling a pool shoot that day. Our local affiliate of ABC and our local reporter from AP.”
Even though there is significant public desire to see Simpson serve his entire sentence as penance for other crimes for which he was never convicted, he may actually be granted parole this week. If so, he would be able to leave prison on October 1.
David Roger, who served as Clark County District Attorney and prosecuted Simpson in 2008, feels that he has been in prison long enough and says “The guy did a lot of time on a robbery charge, I expect he’ll probably be paroled. Assuming he didn’t do anything bad on the inside, I think nine years is a pretty good stay for his charges. Obviously he’d be on parole and would have to toe the line with parole officers. But I don’t know if granting him parole would be out of line here.”
In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in the 1994 double homicide of his ex wife, Nicole Brown, and her boyfriend, Ron Goldman. During a lengthy trial, the prosecution presented a number of pieces of evidence and testimony that demonstrated a concerted effort to frame Simpson by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Is eight years a long enough sentence for robbery? Does it make a difference that the convict is OJ Simpson? Please share your thoughts with us here.