O.J. Simpson could be freed from prison on parole this summer as Nevada’s parole board hears his case along with 672 other inmates with hearings that month, officials said Monday.
David Smith, spokesman for the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, said the exact hearing date for Simpson will be determined next month.
Simpson, who turned 70 in July, was convicted for organizing an armed robbery at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in 2007. The target was souvenir collectors who had Simpson-related memorabilia the former NFL star wanted back. Although Simpson was tried in 1995 for the murder of his wife and Ronald Goldman, he was acquitted of those charges.
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Many think Simpson will be freed this summer.
“I’ve known people that have served time with him up there and he has a good reputation for getting along and doing what’s right,” said Gregory Knapp, a former prosecutor in Las Vegas who is now a criminal defense attorney.
“I can’t imagine any possibility of him being denied parole.”
Simpson fits the profile of a state prison inmate who receives parole at the first opportunity, said Nevada defense attorney Dan Hill.
“Simpson’s age, the fact that he was given parole on the first sentencing batch, weigh in his favor,” Hill said. “So does the fact that he was by all accounts a model prisoner, as does any acceptance of responsibility for his actions.”
Members of the parole board “work with the old-fashioned principal of wanting to hear the inmate is remorseful for their crime,” said Gabe Grasso, a Nevada defense attorney who was on the team that represented Simpson when he was convicted.
Bruce Fromong, the memorabilia dealer who was robbed, has indicated he does not oppose parole for Simpson.
“I told the district attorney at the time (of his conviction) that I only thought that O.J. Simpson deserved one to three years in state prison,” Fromong said.
“O.J.’s done his time, he’s been a model inmate,” he said.
If Simpson is not paroled, his sentence would end in 2020.
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