*OJ Simpson is finally getting a break from the legal system (other than his acquittal for killing two white people in 95’).
After five years behind bars, as we reported, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners approved Simpson’s parole request on five concurrent sentences imposed in 2008 following his conviction for kidnapping and armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel room. But he still has more time to serve for other sentences ordered to run consecutively.
Simpson faces at least four more years — and three more parole hearings — unless Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell throws out his conviction and grants him a new trial. Bell presided over a week-long hearing in May, during which Simpson’s current lawyers Patricia Palm and Ozzie Fumo argued that his trial attorney, Yale Galanter, fudged Simpson’s defense and had a conflict of interest in the case. Simpson is still awaiting Bell’s decision, but if she rules in his favor, prosecutors will have to decide wither to retry him, offer a plea deal, or set him free with credit for time served. In Wednesday’s order granting parole, commissioners cited Simpson’s “positive institutional record” and his participation in programs addressing “behavior that led to incarceration.” The board also noted that Simpson had no previous criminal convictions and still has consecutive sentences to serve in the Las Vegas case.
In Los Angeles, Simpson was tried for murder and acquitted in the 1994 deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.
In a statement Wednesday to The Associated Press, Goldman’s father and sister, Fred and Kim Goldman, said they respect the legal process but now feel a “sense of vulnerability.”
“This is not our personal case against Simpson but since he’s been incarcerated there has been a reprieve and calm for us,” they said. “It is unsettling for our family to know that the person we believe responsible for Ron and Nicole’s murder could soon have his freedom.”