O. J. Simpson stands a good chance of being released on parole from a Nevada prison later this year, says the chief deputy public defender of Las Vegas’ Clark County, the Las Vegas Sun reports. Simpson’s record of good behavior at the Lovelock Correctional Center and advanced age may help him when he goes before the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, said public defender Steven Yeager. Simpson, 70, was convicted in 2008 on kidnapping, armed robbery and conspiracy charges stemming from a 2007 robbery in which he said he was trying to retrieve his own football memorabilia from two sports-collectable dealers. He is serving a 9-to-33 year sentence, with a parole board date expected to be set next month.
“Typically, when the parole board is making that determination, they are looking at the inmate’s history in the institution, the disciplinary history,” Yeager said. “They also look at the age of the inmate and one of the things we always talk about in the criminal justice system is the older you get, the less likely you are to continue committing crimes.” Yeager said fallout from Simpson’s 1994 criminal trial — in which he was acquitted of murder in the deaths of his wife, Nicole Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman — could seep into a decision to let him leave prison. It was the most publicized trial of the century, inspiring TV dramas and documentaries. Simpson was later found liable for the deaths of his wife and Goldman in a civil trial. “Politics and public perception can play into whether an inmate gets released,” Yeager said, adding that, “What makes that a little more complicated here is the fact that he (Simpson) was, of course, found not guilty of those crimes. But there is a widely held belief in our country that he did commit those crimes.”