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OJ Simpson expected to walk free following Nevada parole board hearing

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

OJ Simpson, the former NFL star famously acquitted of murder but later jailed for a doomed bid to retrieve sports memorabilia that he said belonged to him, is expected be a free man soon.

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. The disgraced gridiron hero, with the help of several other accomplices, broke into a Las Vegas hotel room on 13 September 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 in a hearing scheduled for 10am PT. Simpson will participate by video conference from about 100 miles away at Lovelock correctional center, 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%.

The four other men who accompanied Simpson, including two who testified that they carried guns, accepted plea deals in the heist and received probation.

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

The lengthy trial, which ended in Simpsons acquittal, drew international publicity and has been regarded as the birth of the 24-hour news cycle. The case has continued to capture the imagination of American society two decades on. Just last year, it inspired OJ: Made in America, a 467-minute documentary that won the Academy award for best documentary feature, and The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, a 10-episode television series that won nine primetime Emmy awards.

A civil jury in 1997 ordered Simpson to pay $33.5m to the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman. While the former NFL star has steadfastly denied his role in the murders, Simpson has been forthright about his role in the 2008 robbery a contrition that legal analysts say will serve him well in Thursdays hearing.

Simpsons advanced age, clean record of behavior in prison and lack of prior criminal record align in his favor. The board members personal feelings, specifically regarding his acquittal in the 1994 murders, will have no impact in Thursdays ruling.

The release of the septuagenarian celebrity would no doubt kick off a renewed media frenzy thats been suggested in the days leading up to Thursdays hearing, which will be broadcast live nationally on ESPN. Offshore betting websites, 5Dimes.com and Bovada.lv are both offering odds on whether the disgraced football star will be released.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/19/oj-simpson-prison-release-parole-hearing-nevada

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