CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - “Thank you, thank you,” said OJ Simpson July 20, 2017, as Nevada’s parole board granted him release from a prison in Lovelock.
It is news Simpson has been waiting for nine years.
He was emotional and thanked one of the men he robbed and his daughter for speaking on his behalf at the hearing.
“He is remorseful, he truly is remorseful.” Arnelle Simpson, the oldest of Simpson’s four children, told the four-member board.
While Simpson's daughter could talk about the humbling experience, those words came out only sporadically from Simpson himself.
“I basically have spent a conflict-free life,” Simpson said during the hearing, which lasted about an hour.
He told the board he wished the incident had never happened. He said he never knew guns were drawn during the episode. The property, he said, consisted of personal albums and photos; it would have meant nothing to anyone but him.
“The state of California took up the issue as to whose property it was. They did an investigation, and they came up to the conclusion that it was my property. They turned it over to me. I have it now, you know. So I mean it is mind-boggling that they turned over to me property that I am in jail for, for trying to retrieve,” Simpson said.
Looking thinner than in past appearances in front of the parole board, he talked about how he had been a model prisoner. That fact is undisputed. But the parole board was interested in other things.
“So of all the programs that you have had an opportunity to complete, what do you think is the most significant for you personally?” asked Susan Jackson, a parole board member.
“Well for me personally, it was an alternative to violence,” Simpson answered.
He said the "alternative to violence" class should be a required course for all Nevada inmates.
He said he has always had a good rapport with people, and the alternative to violence class taught him techniques he said he would probably use with his children should the need arise.
Jackson told Simpson the board had received hundreds of letters in opposition and support of Simpson’s parole.
Jackson said many of the opposition letters wanted the board to consider the 1995 acquittal and subsequent civil judgement against Simpson in the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.
Jackson told Simpson, “These items will not be considered in this case.”
The board was interested in Simpson's chances of re-offending or getting into trouble with the law again. They looked at what kind of post-prison program he had lined up, which would include family support, all of which would take place in Florida.
“Florida provides him with terms and conditions of supervision for Nevada. Florida provides courtesy supervision for Nevada. But the final authority in this case is Nevada,” said Captain Shawn Arutti, the Nevada Interstate Compact commissioner.
It will take the state of Florida 45 days to determine if Simpson and its parole and probation program are good match. If all goes as planned, Simpson should be leaving Nevada in October.
What if Simpson feels threatened by other inmates who try to ruin this opportunity for him?
“They've had 9 years to do that,” said Warden Isidro Baca, with Nevada Department of Corrections.
If Simpson is allowed to go to Florida, he will be leaving from Las Vegas or Reno.
One of his victims, Bruce Fromong, told the board he would pick up Simpson at the prison gates if Simpson asked
Corrections officials said they don’t normally announce date and times of any inmate release—OJ Simpson will be no different.