The Lowdown on O.J. Simpson's Parole Hearing

Associated Press
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From Town & Country

Nevada parole officials have set a July 20 date to decide whether O.J. Simpson should be paroled after serving the mandatory minimum of a nine-to-33 year sentence for an armed robbery involving two sports collectibles dealers in Las Vegas in 2007.

Here's a look at how the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners says the parole hearing is expected to proceed.

The Inmate

Orenthal James Simpson, inmate No. 1027820, will have his lawyer, Malcolm LaVergne, with him in a small room at the medium-security Lovelock Correctional Center where he has been serving his sentence since 2008.

Others in the room can be victims in the case, Simpson family members, prison employees and law enforcement officers, a state photographer, a TV cameraman for live streaming and a press pool reporter.

Testimony is limited to the former football star, LaVergne, victims of the crime and one Simpson family member or supporter.

LaVergne says he expects family members will attend. He hasn't said who, or whether he or she will be in Lovelock, about 90 miles east of Reno, or in Carson City.

The Hearing

Simpson will answer questions by video conference from four of seven parole commissioners, who will be in a meeting room at the parole board office in Carson City, the state capital.

That venue is open to the public, with space also reserved for a board lawyer and employees, Parole and Probation and prison officials, the judge or a prosecutor involved in the case and other media pool representatives.

Connie Bisbee, a former Nevada prisons administrator and parole board member since 2003, will chair the hearing with board members Tony Corda, Adam Endel and Susan Jackson.

One of the two collectibles sellers died in 2015. The other, Bruce Fromong, says he'll be at one of the locations.

Fromong says Simpson has apologized and he forgave him. Fromong hasn't said what he'll tell the parole board.

Under Consideration

Simpson was convicted in 2008 of 12 charges including armed robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy, coercion, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon. He has served sentences for most charges.

The board is considering parole on the remaining armed robbery and assault with a weapon sentences totaling four to 18 years.

It will hear testimonials and consider Simpson's behavior behind bars, prison program participation, credit for time served and his risk to reoffend.

Simpson, who turned 70 years old on July 9, will be asked what he'll do and where he plans to live if he's released. LaVergne has declined to comment on his client's plans.

A Previous Hearing

In a July 2013 parole board hearing, Simpson said he regretted the encounter with Fromong and Beardsley and had apologized to them. He said he was counseling other inmates when they came to him with issues.

The board said Simpson had no disciplinary actions, was low risk for repeat offenses, and granted him parole on some convictions.

Simpson has always maintained he was trying to retrieve family items stolen following his 1995 acquittal in the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles.

A judge 1997 found him liable for the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million to the Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson estates.

The Decision

Deliberations will be private. A decision is expected the same day.

A unanimous decision for parole by the four commissioners in the room would constitute a majority of the seven-member board.

The imprisoned former football star and TV pitchman would be released on or after Oct. 1.

A split decision would bring in other board members for deliberations until there are four votes to either grant or deny release.

If parole is denied, another hearing date will be set, generally within one to three years.

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