Football legend O.J. Simpson was granted parole Wednesday on five criminal counts and will likely be released from prison in 2017.
The Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners granted Simpson parole on five counts of kidnapping, robbery, and burglary charges and all but assured that he will earn release in four years, after his remaining convictions have finished running consecutively. Simpson will be 70 years old at the time of his release.
Simpson, a Heisman Trophy winner who appeared in the “Naked Guns” films, was acquitted in the 1994 stabbing murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her waiter friend Ron Goldman, but was later sentenced to up to 33 years in prison for attempting to steal some of his sports memorabilia back at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007.
“The inmate has participated in programs specific to addressing behavior that led to incarceration. The inmate has a positive institutional record,” said the chairwoman of the parole board.
Though Simpson wrote a 2007 historical novel entitled “If I Did It” and granted an unaired television interview initially titled “O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened,” in which he imagined what it would have been like to kill his ex-wife and Goldman, the American criminal justice system took more seriously his failed attempt to rob sports memorabilia collectors.
“I’ll tell you what I feel about O.J. I don’t think if you steal your own shirts, you should get 35 consecutive life sentences,” said comedian Norm MacDonald in 2011.
Simpson, who fled from police in 1994 in a white Bronco with a handgun and a disguise after his ex-wife’s murders, will be able to resume his search for the true killers, who may be mafia-connected drug dealers with links to the former Brentwood restaurant Mezzaluna.