O.J. Gets Parole, but What Happens Then?

Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson enters for his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectibles sellers some items …
Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool

After serving nine years in jail for armed robbery, on Thursday O.J. Simpson was awarded a promise of parole by a Nevada parole board. But the decision doesn’t simply end O.J.’s obligations to the Nevada criminal justice system. Simpson still faces years of requirements, any violation of which could send him right back to prison.

On July 20, the 70-year-old Simpson was told he may soon be allowed to leave Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Facility after serving nine of his 33-year sentence for a 2007 armed robbery.

Simpson was apologetic before the four-member parole board saying, “I’ve come here and spent nine years making no excuses about anything. I am sorry things turned out the way they did.”

Many felt that “The Juice” was given an overly harsh sentence in his robbery trial because of his 1995 acquittal for the grisly murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. But, even if O.J.’s parole does come through on October 1, he won’t be walking away from Nevada’s criminal justice system free and clear. Simpson will have years of requirements that he will have to meet to stay out of jail, NBC reports.

First of all, Simpson will not simply be set free. He will be on a parole which will last until September 29, 2022. That parole also has a long list of requirements and rules, none of which he can violate.

The parole could have been worse, though. The date was set factoring in Simpson’s record of good behavior, allowing him a 50 percent cut in the length of his parole.

There are also many rules he will have to follow. Among other rules, Simpson must submit in writing a monthly report about his activities. He will be prohibited from drinking alcohol or doing illegal drugs. He is also barred from hanging out with other convicted criminals.

One thing he will be able to do is to use Twitter and/or Facebook. Nevada allows convicts to revive any social media accounts once on parole, NBC noted.

If Simpson abides by the rules and does so until the end of his parole term in 2022, he will then be free from the legal system. But any single violation could be grounds for landing him right back in jail, authorities warn.

During the hearing, Simpson also said he would like to move back to his adopted home state of Florida to live out his parole. Nevada does take a convict’s former life and family ties into consideration during the discussion of post-prison living arrangements, so it is possible O.J. will be given permission to move back to Florida after his October release. Still, even if Nevada agrees to the request, the Sunshine state also has a say in the matter, and that question has yet even to be asked. So far, the decision on where O.J. will end up upon release has yet to be determined.

The former NFL star will also be expected to get a job, but finances are a difficult situation for him.

Simpson still faces a number of financial hurdles. One problem is the large settlement he owes. After he had been acquitted of the murders, he was found liable in civil court for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. The courts awarded the Goldman family a $33.5 million settlement. Thus far O.J. has barely made a dent paying that bill. So, what ever else happens, he will still have that hefty settlement hanging over his head.

However, the retired player does receive a $25,000 per month NFL pension payment, and that money is free of any claims by the Goldmans. O.J. also receives royalties and other payments from his days as an actor in such TV shows as “The Naked Gun” and his work on commercials. These are also out of reach of the civil settlement.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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