OJ Simpson, who walked away a free man after one of America's most sensational murder trials, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a botched attempt to recover sports memorabilia.
Simpson, then 61, and his co-defendant and former golfing buddy, Clarence "CJ" Stewart, were convicted of 12 criminal charges including kidnapping and armed robbery.
The fallen American football star was found guilty of holding up two sports memorabilia dealers in a room at the Palace Station hotel and casino in Las Vegas before stealing from them.
Simpson was eligible for parole after 6 years.
6 years came and went but this week, after 9 years. OJ Simpson was finally granted parole on Thursday and is expected to walk free in October after being jailed nine years ago for a botched robbery attempt.
“I am sorry the things turned out the way they did,” Simpson, now 70, said via video conference with the Nevada board of parole commissioners. “I had no intention to commit a crime.”
Simpson said if released he plans to return to Florida to be near two of his adult children.
"I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don't think you guys want me here," he joked at one point.
"No comment, sir," board chairwoman Connie Bisbee replied.
Authorities must still work out the details of Simpson's release with Florida officials, including where he will live and what rules he must follow.
OJ's daughter, Arnelle Simpson, also spoke on behalf of the family, expressing her opinion that her father has been a perfect inmate and followed all the rules.
She said: "As a family we recognize that he is not a perfect man. But he is clearly a man and a father has done his best and who has always been positive."
A victim of the robbery, Bruce Fromong, then appeared in front of the board and said he thinks it's "time for Simpson to go home".
Four commissioners voted unanimously to grant Simpson’s parole after a nearly 90-minute hearing.
Simpson smiled as the four commissioners announced their ruling one by one; he bowed multiple times after the 4-0 decision was announced.
As he left the courtroom, he thanked the people around him and put his hand to his heart before clasping his hands together while bowing slightly toward the commissioners.
Despite the fact that he was officially granted parole on Thursday, O.J. Simpson is not out of prison quite yet.
The former star NFL running back won't actually be released until October 1st at the earliest, which means he's going to be spending at least two more months in the slammer. As Simpson begins his final 60 days in jail, DOC officials have decided it's best to let him serve out the remainder of his sentence in protective custody. According a spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Corrections, the protective custody move had to me made because Simpson is now a potential target for other inmates. (as if he wasn't before?) "His parole could make him a target here. He only has 2.5 months to go, and we don't want someone trying to make a name for themselves thinking, 'I'm going to go punch O.J. Simpson in the face,'" the official said.
With such a high-profile inmate on their hands, the last thing prison officials want to see is something bad happen to The Juice during his final two months of imprisonment.
"For us, it's important that he leaves the prison safe and healthy, and everything goes smoothly for those next two months," the official went on to say.
Simpson was convicted of hiring a couple of thugs who had guns to retrieve from two sports collectibles sellers some items that he said were really his belongings. It didn’t go as planned and he got arrested. “It’s kind of mind boggling to me that they [California] returned property to me that I’m in jail for,” an unrepentant Simpson told the four parole board members. He said the property included letters from celebrities, family photos, certificates of accomplishment and other personal items. He claims he never pointed a gun at anyone or made any of the threats that put him in prison. Some speculate it was a way to make him finally pay for the murders he committed.
OJ Simpson is, for better or worse, one of the most famous athletes in history. This is mainly due to his super high profile case in the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson in which Simpson was famously acquitted on criminal charges, yet the civil case found him liable for the murder.
Basically, for a murder case you have to provide a significantly greater amount of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. With a civil case, you don't need as much proof.
If you ask me, and the majority of Americans if he is a murderer, you will hear a resounding 'yes'. In my opinion, he is a murderer and should never have seen the light of day.
Unfortunately, he's been paroled and there's a alleged murderer walking among us.