SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Freedom is coming for OJ Simpson. Nevada parole commissioners voted unanimously to grant Simpson parole, after serving time nearly nine years behind bars for a botched robbery. Thursday’s hearing was being called the parole hearing of the century. Simpson expressed both remorse and relief, learning he’ll soon be a free man.
The four members of OJ Simpson’s parole board said exactly what he wanted to hear, when they granted him parole, Thursday. The decision came after an hour-long hearing. Noticeably grayer and thinner, the 70-year-old former football star recounted his part in the armed robbery and kidnapping of two sports memorabilia dealers in Las Vegas in 2007.
Simpson said, “I’m sorry things turned out this way.”
The parole board noted Simpson has been a model prisoner, and he took it a step further.
“I’m not a guy who’s lived a criminal life. You know, I’m a pretty straight shooter,” said Simpson.
Those comments set off a social media firestorm in light of Simpson’s arrest in 1994 for the brutal double murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman. He was later acquitted.
“I’ve basically had a conflict free life,” said Simpson.
Law professor Laurie Levinson said, “Now a lot of things you might say about O.J. Simpson, and you might even say that acquittal was fair, but to say that he’s led a conflict free life. I don’t think so.”
Just like OJ’s double murder trial, there’s no shortage of opinion about Thursday’s decision.
One woman said, “I think he should stay in there,” while another man said, “He served his time, he’s done well, he looks good. He needs to go play some golf. I’m happy for him.”
Board members also heard from one of Simpson’s victims, who supported his release, along with his daughter, Arnelle who said it’s been a difficult time for his children.
“We just want him to come home.”
Simpson could be released as early as October 1. He told the board he plans to move to Florida to be near family.
Once released, Simpson will be able to live on his NFL pension. Estimates put that at about $25,000 per month. By law, the Brown and Goldman families are unable to touch these funds to settle the judgment against Simpson.