Many people feel that O.J. Simpson was given a Get Out of Jail Free card in 1995. Well, he will likely get a Get Out of Jail Early card in 2017.
Simpson, who has been incarcerated in a Nevada correctional center since 2008, could be released this year after serving just eight years of a 33-year-sentence.
“Basically, he has already been granted parole for some of the charges,” Sports Illustrated legal expert Michael McCann said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “That was back in 2013. There are 11 factors under Nevada law where, basically, if you’re an inmate and you’re up for parole, the parole board looks at 11 factors and they have a scoring sheet. He did really well under this system because, for instance, he’s old. Being old is a factor in the sense that you’re less likely to commit another crime if you’re already relatively old.”
Simpson, who turns 70 in July, was also 46 at the time of his first arrest.
“That’s considered a good thing,” McCann said. “Being a male is considered a bad thing. You get a point for being a male, whereas if you’re female, you don’t. That was actually one of the factors against him. (It was) something that he couldn’t control. So he did really well under this test. He’s avoided any problems in prison. He’s been a referee for sports games, jail-yard sports. He’s been, you could say, the model prisoner based on everything we know. He’ll have another hearing this summer where, if he’s granted parole this time around, it’s for the remaining charges, and he would be able to leave prison as early as October.”
McCann believes that Simpson will likely get out.
“Unless he has a screw-up between now and the summer, it would seem he has an excellent case for being let out,” McCann said. “It goes back to these 11 factors. He does really well under the scoring system. A lot of people say, ‘What about the fact that he was found liable for wrongful death for Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman? What about the fact that everyone thinks he murdered those two people?’ That’s not a factor. That’s not part of the rubric. That’s probably frustrating for some who think that he’s a murderer that that’s not part of the analysis.”
Simpson was acquitted of murder charges on Oct. 3, 1995. Exactly 13 years to the day later, he was sentenced to 33 years in prison following a 2007 incident in a Las Vegas hotel room in which he was found guilty of burglary, robbery, kidnapping, and assault with a deadly weapon, among other charges.
“Basically, he and some other guys tried to raid a hotel room where two collectors were staying,” McCann said. “O.J. believed his stuff was there, stuff that was wrongfully taken from him. The collectors said no. Whose stuff it was is irrelevant for purposes of the law because he went in there with other guys, they had guns, they basically held up the two guys in the hotel room (under) the threat of force. It was also captured on camera. Like in any hotel, it’s not exactly a smart place to try to get something because the cameras (are) everywhere. And then some of the other guys that he was with talked to police. They all basically pinned it on O.J. So he got over 30 years in prison for kind of a foolish robbery. . . . It was a pretty harsh penalty.”
And one that, in a matter of months, could be over.
It’s safe to say that the legal-justice system has never seen anyone quite like Simpson.
“This is a pretty unusual scenario where he’s in prison for something that people don’t really care about,” McCann said. “Everyone cares about him for something he’s not in prison for.”