O.J. Simpson expected to walk free

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Washington, July 20 (IANS) O.J. Simpson, the former NFL star acquitted of murder but later jailed for a failed bid to retrieve sports memorabilia that he said belonged to him, is expected to walk free following a parole board hearing on Thursday.

On Thursday morning, a Nevada state parole board will hold a hearing for Simpson, 70, who is in the ninth year of a 33-year sentence for armed robbery and assault with a weapon, reports the Guardian.

The disgraced hero, with the help of several other accomplices, broke into a Las Vegas hotel room on September 13, 2007, and held up two memorabilia dealers for collectibles and personal items he claimed were rightfully his. He was found guilty by a jury on all 12 charges and given the maximum sentence.

Four members from the Nevada board of parole commissioners will consider parole for Simpson at the board offices in Carson city. Simpson will participate by video conference from about 100 miles away at Lovelock correctional centre, the Pershing County prison where he has been incarcerated since December 2008.

The same four commissioners already granted Simpson parole on the lesser charges of kidnapping, robbery and burglary in a July 2013 hearing. That ruling left Simpson with four years remaining before reaching the minimum sentence of nine years.

The rate of inmates who are granted parole in discretionary hearings held as they approach their minimum sentence is around 82 per cent, the Guardian reported.

Simpson, who captured the Heisman trophy as college football’s best player in 1968 and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985, was already one of America’s most famous celebrities when he stood trial in the 1994 killings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

The lengthy trial, which ended in Simpson’s acquittal, drew international publicity and has been regarded as the birth of the 24-hour news cycle.

A civil jury in 1997 ordered Simpson to pay $33 million to the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman.

He has maintained his innocence in the murder charges.

–IANS

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