March 9, 2017 2:56 pm
Updated: March 9, 2017 10:11 pm

O.J. Simpson could secure early release from prison

O.J. Simpson during an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court on May 17, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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It looks like O.J. Simpson could be getting out of prison early if all goes well at his parole hearing, which is scheduled for July of this year.

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Simpson, 69, is currently serving a 9-to-33-year sentence for the armed robbery of sports memorabilia in a Las Vegas hotel in 2007, and was found guilty of 10 charges, including conspiracy to commit kidnapping and robbery with use of a deadly weapon. Simpson claims that he was merely trying to “retrieve” his own property from the hotel room, not steal it.

Should the former football and movie star’s parole hearing go well, Simpson could be out as early as Oct. 1, 2017.

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The Nevada parole board scores inmates on multiple factors, and the lower the score, the lower the risk in releasing them. (With a score of 0 – 5 points, inmates are low risk; 6 – 11 signals a medium risk and any score 12 or above is considered high risk.) Rolling Stone reports that Simpson has historically scored low in previous parole hearings.

Four of seven parole commissioners will also have to vote in favour of Simpson’s release for him to get out of prison.

Working against Simpson are the multiple points he’s accumulated — two for the 2007 property crime conviction, two for his history in the “drug/alcohol use/abuse” category, and one strictly for being male (recidivism by men is statistically higher) — and of course, his storied history in the courts. With a score of five, Simpson is right on the cusp of low-to-medium risk, so it will come down to the commissioners’ votes.

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According to Nevada defense attorney Dan Hill, Simpson has been a “model prisoner,” and his age also works in his favour.

“Simpson’s age, the fact that he was given parole on the first sentencing batch, weigh in his favour,” Hill said to CNN. “So does the fact that he was by all accounts a model prisoner, as does any acceptance of responsibility for his actions.”

Simpson was acquitted in 1995 for the killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, but was later found liable for the deaths in a civil case. Multiple TV specials and movies over the past year, including The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and ESPN‘s Oscar-winning O.J.: Made in America, have upped the public’s interest in Simpson’s fate.

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Goldman’s father, Fred, is upset at the prospect of Simpson ever gaining his freedom.

“Simpson has proven over and over again, throughout his life, he has absolutely no concern for the law or authority,” he said.

Simpson will continue to be held at the medium-security Lovelock Correctional Facility, where he has been imprisoned since 2008.

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