O.J. Simpson Parole Hearing: What to Watch For

O.J. Simpson Parole Hearing: What to Watch For

O. J. Simpson will go before a Nevada parole board on Thursday to appeal for his freedom after almost nine years in a state prison. A decision is expected by day’s end. This article will be updated through the day.

• Mr. Simpson, 70, was convicted in 2008 of several felonies, including kidnapping and robbery at a Las Vegas hotel. He was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison.

• This is Mr. Simpson’s first chance to gain release from prison, because he is approaching the low end of his sentencing range.

• Four members of the state’s seven-person Board of Parole Commissioners will meet in Carson City, Nev., at 10 a.m. Pacific time. Mr. Simpson will participate by video link from the Lovelock Correctional Center, a medium-security prison about 100 miles to the northeast. A live stream will be available here.

Mr. Simpson’s felony convictions came 13 years to the day after a Los Angeles jury found him not guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, following one of the longest and most-watched criminal cases in history.

In 1997, in a civil trial, another jury found that Mr. Simpson was responsible for their deaths, and awarded their families tens of millions of dollars in damages; he has paid a tiny fraction of that amount.

If Mr. Simpson is released, the board could require him to go to a halfway house, or impose other terms on him. If he violates those terms, he could return to prison and serve up to the full 33-year sentence, minus time credited for good conduct.

If the board denies Mr. Simpson parole, it will decide how long he must wait until his next hearing, but it cannot be more than five years. An inmate of Mr. Simpson’s age, and with his status as a model prisoner, would typically win release.

The four-member panel must be unanimous to make a decision. If they are divided, the other commissioners are polled, and then a simple majority can rule.

After years of slowly fading into obscurity, Mr. Simpson was shoved back into the spotlight last year by two high-profile television projects. ESPN’s “O. J.: Made in America,” a multipart, nearly eight-hour documentary that won an Academy Award, spanned his life story: poor child in San Francisco, sports star in college and the N.F.L., charming pitchman and actor, abusive husband, California defendant and, finally, Nevada convict.

FX’s “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” a mini-series dramatizing the murder investigation and trial, won several Emmy Awards.

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