O.J. Simpson granted parole on July 17, 2017. /Courtesy photo
O.J. Simpson granted parole on July 17, 2017. /Courtesy photo

O.J. Simpson will be a free man on Oct 1.
A Nevada parole board unanimously voted on Thursday to grant the fallen gridiron star parole on his 2008 conviction on armed robbery and kidnapping charges.
“Thank you,” Simpson, 70, said, dropping his head in relief.
Appearing much thinner than the 225 pounds he weighed when entering prison, Simpson, wearing prison-issued blue pants and a blue top, told the four-member board that he had missed as many as 36 of his children’s birthdays while incarcerated.
He said he started and led Baptist ceremonies in prison and has “basically spent a conflict-free life.”
When the board asked about his participation in the armed robbery that took place in a Las Vegas hotel room, Simpson said he was unaware that any of the men were carrying a gun.
During the hour-and-15-minute hearing, Commissioner Tony Corda asked Simpson, “What were you thinking?”
Simpson said he was simply trying to retrieve items that belonged to him, including personal photos of his children, ex-wife and mother.
“I’ve done my time,” he said. “I’d just like to get back to my family and friends. I’m sorry it happened. I’ve said I’m sorry to Nevada. I thought I was glad to get my stuff back.”
Board members held up thousands of letters they said were both in support and against Simpson’s parole. They said they would not consider any letters that asked them to take into account the brutal 1994 slayings of Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman.
While Simpson was famously acquitted of those murders, a civil jury found him responsible and ordered the football legend to pay more than $33 million to the families of Brown and Goldman.
Arnelle Simpson, Simpson’s oldest child, was one of two people to testify at the hearing. No one spoke in opposition of his parole.
Arnelle Simpson fought back tears as she described her father as being her rock.
“We just want him to come home so we can move forward for us, quietly,” she said.
One of Simpson’s robbery victims, Bruce Fromong, also spoke, telling the board he felt Simpson’s 33-year prison term was too long and the nearly nine years he’d already served exceeded justice for the crime committed.
He said he and Simpson had been friends for more than 20 years and, at one point, turned to Simpson to reiterate his support of the one-time Heisman Trophy winner.
“O.J., if you called to tell me that you were getting out tomorrow, Juice, I’d be here to pick you up,” Fromong said. “I mean that man,” he said.
The board took about 30 minutes before rendering its decision that was televised live on several news outlets and ESPN.
Simpson’s attorney said, with the permission of probation, he’ll return to Florida and lead a quiet life.

Did you like this story?
Would you like to receive articles like this in your inbox? Free!

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *