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Nevada Parole Board Determining O.J.'s Fate Next Week

Image: Nevada Parole Board Determining O.J.'s Fate Next Week

In this May 13, 2013, file photo, O.J. Simpson appears at an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, Pool, File)

By    |   Saturday, 15 Jul 2017 12:17 PM

The Nevada Board of Parole will determine next week whether O.J. Simpson will be a free man after nearly a decade in prison, or if he'll continue to serve out more of his sentence following a bungled robbery in Las Vegas.

Simpson's fate will be determined by four board members in Carson City, reports NBC, and they'll treat the 70-year-old inmate just as they would any other prisoner coming up for parole, two former board chairs commented.

"That's really the beauty of the system: It's the same for everyone," said Dorla Salling, a parole board chair from 2000-2009. "It doesn't matter what your name is."

The four members of the six-person panel must reach a unanimous decision, and if they can't, the two remaining members will review the case, from a different location in the state, until the full group reaches a majority vote. If there is a tie, Simpson's parole will be denied for six month and a new hearing would be scheduled.

As Simpson's release eligibility date is not until Oct.1, he will not be released until then if the parole board decides to free him, notes NBC. If the board votes against him, Simpson could stay in prison until 2022.

Simpson, though, likely carries one of the most notorious names in the nation's prison system, following his acquittal in 1995 of the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend,

Ron Goldman. He was found liable during a 1997 civil case for the killings, but his prison time is for the Las Vegas robbery, not for the murders.

His murder trial, dubbed the "Trial of the Century" kept Americans spellbound back in 1995 and then again last year, through an Emmy-winning FX miniseries, "The People V. O.J. Simpson" and through an Oscar-winning ESPN Films documentary, "O.J.: Made in America."

Another former parole board chairman, Thomas Patton, told NBC that the current board will not be swayed "by something that was put out in a media context. They're looking at a particular crime for which he was incarcerated in Nevada."

The five-part ESPN documentary, unlike the FX series, did explore the Las Vegas heist in detail, and how Simpson, a one-time football great who parlayed his success into roles in television, advertising, and movies, robbed two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel room.

Simpson, along with five other men, broke into the room and took back several items he thought belonged to him, including plaques, game balls, and photographs of his children.

Judge Jackie Glass sentenced Simpson in 2008 to 33 years in prison, allowing for the possibility of parole after nine years. He has already been granted parole on some of the charges in 2013.

He was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and 10 other charges.

Four of the men with Simpson, Michael McClinton, Walter Alexander, Charles Ehrlich,  and Charles Cashmore pleaded against him after accepting plea deals, and received probation.

Another accomplice, Clarence C.J. Stewart, went on to trial and was convicted, but his case was overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court after it ruled he was denied a fair trial.

Parole board spokesman David Smith told NBC Simpson will be allowed to speak during his hearing. He will participate through video conference from Lovelock Correctional Center.

The board will look at Simpson's personal and past criminal background, as well as whether he has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, along with the severity of the crime, said Patton. They will also examine Simpson's prison history and ask about his plans for the future, he continued.

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The Nevada Board of Parole will determine next week whether O.J. Simpson will be a free man after nearly a decade in prison, or if he'll continue to serve out more of his sentence following a bungled robbery in Las Vegas.
nevada, parole, oj simpson
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2017-17-15
Saturday, 15 Jul 2017 12:17 PM
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