O.J. Simpson was granted parole on Thursday after serving nearly nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery in Las Vegas.
The 70-year-old Simpson could be released as early as October 1. By then, he will have served the minimum of his nine-to-33-year sentence for a bungled attempt to snatch sports memorabilia he claimed had been stolen from him.
During the more than hourlong hearing on live TV, Simpson was, by turns, remorseful, jovial and defensive, heatedly insisting the items taken in the armed robbery were “my stuff.”
At one point, the murder defendant in the 1995 “Trial of the Century” set off a storm of sarcasm and incredulity on social media when he said, “I’ve basically spent a conflict-free life, you know.”
All four parole commissioners who conducted the hearing voted for his release after a half-hour of deliberations. They cited, among other things, the low risk he might commit another crime, his community support and his release plans, which include moving to Florida.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Simpson said quietly as he buried his head on his chest with relief. As he rose from his seat to return to his prison cell, he exhaled deeply. “I’ve spent nine years making no excuses about anything. I am sorry that things turned out the way they did,” Simpson said in his closing remarks during the hearing. “I had no intent to commit a crime. … I’ve done my time. I’d just like to get back to my family and friends — believe it or not, I do have some real friends — and I tried to be helpful to everybody.”
The hearing was chaired by Connie Bisbee, with Tony Corda, Adam Endel and Susan Jackson also in attendance via video conferencing from Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners headquarters in Carson City, Nevada. They voted 4-0 to grant his early release.
Simpson’s sentence had been scheduled to end Sept. 29, 2022.
Had a unanimous vote not been reached, Parole commissioners Ed Gray and Michael Keeler, who were monitoring proceedings from Las Vegas, would have weighed in.