Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

ESPN to televise OJ Simpson parole hearing

ESPN to televise OJ Simpson parole hearing

While the details of O.J.'s alleged murders and subsequent criminal trial are well known at this point (and, if you don't know, there's definitely no shortage of info out there) the four-person parole board that will conduct Thursday's hearing will weigh whether or not to grant Simpson's release from a 2008 conviction of armed robbery and kidnapping, following an incident with memorabilia dealers the year before.

Despite the notoriety that came from the murder trial, as well as being the 1968 Heisman Trophy victor and Hall of Fame running back for the Bills, two former chairs of the Nevada parole board told NBC News Simpson will be treated simply as "Inmate #1027820".

The 70-year-old former National Football League player was sentenced to a minimum of nine years and a maximum of 33 years in prison, for kidnapping and burglary in 2008. He is now in prison serving a maximum 33-year sentence after being convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery charges back in 2008.

Those parole board commissioners must decide whether one of the most infamous men in the nation, imprisoned almost a decade ago for a bungled Las Vegas robbery, walks out of prison.

The men also told ABC's Deborah Roberts that if Simpson was a "regular guy" he could possibly be set free, but his circumstances change things.

Simpson, with the help of several other men, broke into a Las Vegas hotel room on September 13, 2007, and stole at gunpoint sports memorabilia that he said belonged to him. In 1995, an estimated 100 million viewers watched on television as the onetime athlete was acquitted in the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

Walter Alexander avoided jail time by testifying against Simpson. If the board votes against him, Simpson could stay in prison until 2022. A fifth accused accomplice, Clarence "C.J". He will appear via video conference from Lovelock Correctional Center, a medium-security prison northeast of Reno.

The hearing will be held before a panel of four parole commissioners sitting in Carson City, Nev.

If granted a release O.J. will be free to walk out of the prison on October 1. (Nevada holds parole hearings roughly three months ahead of time.) His release would likely come with numerous conditions, and he would nearly certainly be required to check in regularly with a parole officer.

"You have to do what you think is right and not really worry about public opinion", said Salling.

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