Former NFL running back O.J. Simpson has been granted parole after spending nine years in prison for robbery, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners unanimously decided Thursday.
Simpson, who played for the Buffalo Bills from 1969-77 and San Francisco 49ers from ’78-’79, could be released on or before Oct. 1. He let out an emotional “thank you” before bowing his head in relief after the decision was made. Simpson breathed a deep sigh of reprieve as he walked out of the courtroom.
“I’ve done my time,” Simpson said during the hearing. “I’ve done it as well and as respectfully as I think anybody can. If you talk to the wardens they’ll tell you I gave them my word, I believe in the jury system, I’ve honored their verdict, I’ve not complained for nine years. All I’ve done is try to be helpful and encouraged the guys around there to do your time, fight in court and don’t do anything that’s going to extend your time. That’s the life I’ve lived because I want to get back to my kids and my family.”
Simpson, 70, was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison following an arrest in 2007 during a botched robbery in Las Vegas, when he led a group of men into a casino and hotel to steal sports memorabilia at gunpoint.
“It was an uphill battle,” Simpson’s lawyer Malcolm Lavergne said of the move to get Simpson parole.
This wasn’t Simpson’s first or only run-in with the law. He was famously tried and acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. The trial, which culminated October 3, 1995, has often been referred to as the Trial of the Century.
His infamous white Bronco police chase is one of the most captivating scenes in recent history.
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