O.J. Simpson is to be released from prison and will be a free man in less than three months.
The state of Nevada decided on Thursday to grant further parole to the former football star as a result of his behavior at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada.
Simpson, 70, is set to be released on October 1.
Simpson has been in prison since 2008 due to his role in a 2007 armed robbery that took place inside a room at the Palace Station Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas. Simpson and five others stole thousands of dollars worth of sports memorabilia from two collectors. He was sentenced to between nine and 33 years in prison.
The four parole commissioners ran Thursday’s hearing in Carson City, where they considered factors including “Simpson’s age, whether his conviction was for a violent crime, his prior criminal record and his plans after release” when deciding whether to grant Simpson further parole, the state said.
A member of the board noted that Simpson had completed vocational trainings, including a computer application course. She said he had no significant disciplinary issues, that he had stable release plans and that his “risk score” was low.
At one point, she mistakenly said the 70-year-old Simpson was 90 years old, causing a loud laugh throughout the room.
Simpson appeared at the hearing via video conference call from the Lovelock Correctional Center, where he is imprisoned. He had been widely expected to receive parole in the lead up to Thursday as he has reportedly done what he can to remodel his image inside the prison, coaching teams, running prayer groups and taking on a job as commissioner of the prison yard softball league.
One concern that the board room noted, however, was that the victims said they feared for their safety during the 2007 incident.
During his own remarks Thursday, Simpson gave a detailed and at-times rambling explanation of the events that led up to the robbery, saying he had only wanted to recoup the property he said belonged to him, including pictures of his family.
Simpson said he had taken two classes in prison, “Victim Empathy” and “Alternatives to Violence,” the latter he said should be mandatory for all prisoners. He told the board his incarceration had humbled him.
“I’m not a guy that has conflicts on the street,” he said. “But I feel that I’m much better prepared [as a result of his ‘Alternative to Violence’ class].”
But at times, he came off as combative and not entirely remorseful. A few of his comments felt less than self-aware. “Nobody has ever accused me of pulling any weapon on them,” he said.
At another point, Simpson said, “I always thought I’ve been pretty good with people, and have basically spent a conflict-free life.”