OJ Simpson wins parole after he tells hearing in Nevada: 'I've basically lived a conflict-free life'
OJ Simpson, 70, granted parole
Former NFL star expected to be free in October
Simpson was convicted in 2008 of armed robbery
He has served nine years of his 33 year sentence
Tearful Simpson tells of missing family occasions
"I thought I was a good guy who got along with anybody"
Simpson's daughter Arnelle: "We just want him home
OJ Simpson last night shed tears of joy as he was granted parole by a panel in Nevada, having served almost nine years for armed robbery.
Simpson, 70, struggled to compose himself as the four-person panel delivered their verdict, before looking up to smile at his daughter Arnelle and friend Bruce Fromong – who both spoke to defend the fallen sports star.
He is set to walk free in October, cutting short the 33-year sentence imposed for the robbery at a Las Vegas hotel.
He and five accomplices stormed a hotel room to seize memorabilia items which Simpson said belonged to him.
He was convicted in 2008 exactly 13 years after he was cleared of killing Nicole Brown Simpson, his former wife and her friend Ron Goldman.
At the hearing, which took place at the Lovelock Correctional Facility, a medium security prison in the Nevada desert he told the board he had basically lived a conflict-free life".
Simpson appeared as inmate No. 1027820, dressed in blue jeans and a blue button-down shirt, in a stark hearing room.
Displaying contrition, Simpson told the hearing: "I've done it as well and as respectfully as anybody can. I think if you talk to the wardens they'll tell you.
"I've not complained for nine years. All I've done is try to be helpful… and that's the life I've tried to live because I want to get back to my kids and family."
Simpson's daughter, Arnelle, 48, pleaded with the board to release him.
"We just want him home".
Simpson's case was helped by Mr Fromong, one of the robbery victims, who pleaded on Simpson's behalf."I don’t feel he is a threat to anyone out there. He is a good man. I know he does a lot for other people. I feel that nine and a half, to 33 years, is way too long.
"And I feel that it is time to give him a second chance. It’s time for him to go home to his family and his friends. This is a good man who made a mistake."
Mr Fromong turned to Simpson, sitting behind him in his denim prison shirt and jeans, wiping away tears.
“I mean that, buddy,” he added.
Simpson told the panel he is planning to reunite with his two youngest children, Sydney and Justin, in Florida.
"I could easily stay in Nevada but I don't think you guys want me here," he said, laughing.
OJ Simpson "can never walk away from the popular belief that he's as guilty as Hell"
The Telegraph's Tim Stanley believes that OJ will never escape the stigma surrounding the deaths of his former wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
"It’s hard to recall the hero worship of OJ Simpson in the Seventies or the way the trial transformed his reputation in the black community - for a brief moment, he had his own pivotal, if contested, role in the civil rights movement. But the glory faded. What is left is the brutal sense of justice deferred but won. OJ can never walk away from the popular belief that he was as guilty as Hell."
Simpson faces huge financial claims
Simpson is likely to remain shackled to a multimillion-dollar wrongful death civil judgment stemming from the 1994 killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, Reuters reports
Their families should be able to stake their claim to at least a portion of Simpson's future earnings, whether he writes a book, appears on a reality television show or sells autographs, legal experts said.
Simpson was acquitted of the murders two decades ago during the so-called "trial of the century," though his reputation - built atop a Hall of Fame football career as well as years as a popular pitchman and actor - suffered permanent damage.
Despite the not guilty verdict, a civil court jury found him liable for the deaths and awarded $33.5 million in damages to the victims' families.
That judgment, which was renewed in court two years ago for another decade and enlarged to about $58 million, remains largely unpaid. And David Cook, a longtime attorney for the Goldman family, said he would not abandon efforts to collect.
"The good news for Mr. Simpson is he's probably going to get out on October 1," Mr Cook told Reuters before the parole decision. "And the bad news is I'm good for another 10 years ... ready to pick up where we last left off."
In most states, creditors can seek wage garnishment to recoup some of what they are owed from a debtor's income. In Florida, the state where Simpson said he planned to live if granted parole, the garnishment is limited to 25 percent.
Simpson going to Florida
Simpson is planning to go to Florida, but he remains the responsibility of the Nevada department of parole, said Shawn Arruti, Nevada Division of Parole and Probation.
Florida, which can undertake "courtesy supervision" is free to impose its conditions in addition to those already demanded by Nevada.
Simpson will transfer to another institution before parole release
Warden Isidro Baca, Nevade Department of Corrections, explains:
"He will move to one of the other institutions which does releases. It would be for a short time. He would then transport out. Al the release planning is done at Lovelock."
Simpson will know ahead of time when he will be released - but the date will not be made public.
OJ due to walk free in October
Despite being granted parole, OJ Simpson will remain in prison until October. He broke down in tears after the four strong Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners voted unanimously to free the former NFL star and actor.
OJ gets parole
"It was a serious crime, you deserved to be sent to prison'" says Nevada Parole Commissioner, Tony Corda. "You have complied with the rules of the prison and you have programmed in an acceptable manner. You are a low risk offender according to our guidelines and you have community support."
The other three commissioners concur,
OJ's conduct in court 'disgraceful and appalling'
Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's legal analyst and author of "The Run of His Life: The People v OJ Simpson", is not convinced OJ's show of contrition. Even his apology, Toobin says, was a justification for what happened in the hotel room.
He questions questions how he can reconcile his claim to have led a "conflict-free life" and being a wife beater.
Jean Casarez CNN correspondent recalls evidence in the original case
Ms Casarez says that OJ was in charge of events in the Las Vegas hotel room.
He could see a gun was being pointed at Bruce Fromong. OJ was convicted of kidnapping, robbery and conspiracy.
Parole Board has gone into recess
Connie Bisbee, the board chairwoman says it will retire to consider its decision.
Everybody makes mistakes, OJ made his
Mr Fromong says he asked for a sentence of one to three years.
The penalty was far too long.
This is a good man, he made a mistake. If he called me tomorrow to say I am getting out would you pick me up. I would be there
Bruce Fromong , robbery victim giving evidence
I want to make this clear: OJ never pulled a gun on me. There was a coward in that room, a man named McClinton – he held a gun on me. Not OJ. After I had testified in court, OJ passed me in the corridor. I said I was sorry I did not take the opportunity to call him.
And he said: ‘Bruce, I cannot tell you how sorry I am.’ He put his hand out, and I shook it. We all make mistakes. OJ made his. By all accounts he has been a model inmate. During the trial I recommended he serve one to three years. I have known OJ for a long time.
I don’t feel he is a threat to anyone out there. He is a good man. I know he does a lot for other people. I feel that nine and a half, to 33 years, is way too long. And I feel that it is time to give him a second chance. It’s time for him to go home to his family and his friends. This is a good man who made a mistake.
And if he called me tomorrow and said: ‘Bruce, I’m getting out – will you pick me up?’ I would be there. I mean that buddy.
Bruce Fromong speaks
Bruce Fromong, the victim of the robbery, is speaking.
He describes himself as a friend of Simpson.
He was misguided, by himself and Tom Riccio.
He thought there would be thousands of photos. His wife's wedding ring.
Thomas Riccio had never met me. He went down, got OJ, and I started to tell him that that wasn't there.
But when OJ got there he was already worked up - he had people with him hollering and screaming.
There were a lot of people in that small room.
A lot of things happened very quickly.
Unfortunately, if OJ said: 'We need to talk a minute' none of this would have happened.
OJ summing up statements
I'm not making excuses.
I will honour what the jury said. I will be no problem.
I've done my time.
I just want to get back to my family and friends - and believe it or not, I do have some real friends!
I did my time and I want to get back to my family.
I made my peace with Bryan many years ago.
I am sorry it happened. I am sorry to Nevada.
I thought it was worth it, but it wasn't worth it.
Simpson's lawyer summing up
Malcolm LaVergne is explaining the circumstances of the theft.
Mr Simpson couldn't care less about some signed football.
But these were intimate family photos that were taken from him - literally stolen.
With his mother, with other celebrities.
They probably have no value to other people. But they are valuable to Mr Simpson.
Malcolm LaVergne reads out letter in support
Mr LaVergne, Simpson's lawyer, reads out a letter in support of the former sports star.
The letter is from a teacher.
I want to tell you how much I enjoy teaching the inmates.
Mr LaVergne says Simpson is "in a position of power" and used that for good.
He uses that clout to obtain funding for books and education in this prison.
Some of those men, as Mr Simpson said, really are going to get out and have a better life as a result of his efforts.
Frankly if I was in his position, I'd use that clout to say: 'Get me out of jail'.
But he doesn't do that.
Arnelle Simpson tearful in court
OJ's eldest daughter chokes back tears.
As a family, we know he is not the perfect man.
But the last nine years he has been the perfect inmate, and made the best of the situation, which is truly amazing to me.
The choices he made nine years ago were clearly inappropriate.
As a family, we were all together nine years ago to celebrate a wedding.
My father took the wrong approach.
He did not make the right decision that day, but his intentions were not.... He made the wrong decisions at the wrong time.
As a family we stay strong, and I am grateful to God for giving us the strength to stay strong no matter what. And a lot of that is because of him.
On behalf of my family: we just want him to come home. We really do.
I know in my heart he is humbled by the situation.
This has been hard, really hard.
There is no right or wrong way to handle this.
But I know he is remorseful. He is truly remorseful.
We want him home so we can move forward as a family.
OJ Simpson's daughter Arnelle to testify
OJ Simpson's eldest daughter, Arnelle, 48, is now speaking on her father's behalf.
As you know I am here on behalf of my family for the purpose of expressing what we believe is the true character of my father.
No one really knows what we have been through in the last nine years.
OJ: "I'm a pretty straight shooter"
Simpson is asked if he can stand parole conditions.
He replies, with perhaps not the best choice of phrase:
"I'm a pretty straight shooter."
He says he has no concerns about dealing with the public, if free.
OJ is asked why it is better to be in the community rather than prison
I have four kids.
My reputation has always been that I am open to the public; I'm open to everyone.
I am at a time in my life that I want to be with my family.
I have had countless media requests, but I am not interested.
I have done my times as well and as respectfully as anyone here.
I have not complained for nine years. All I have done is tried to be helpful, to tell people in here to bide their time and not do anything to aggravate their situation.
OJ: "I was a pretty good guy"
Simpson, 70, gets a touch tearful as he tells of missing family occasions, and says he thought of himself as "a good guy" - although he admits he had "fidelity issues".
If I had made a better judgement back then none of this would have happened.
I am not making excuses.
But I should never have allowed these alleged security guys to get involved.
OJ took "alternatives to violence" class
OJ says he took a class in conflict resolution while in prison.
I've been asked many times to mediate, to stop guys punching each other.
A guy came to me and said: 'OJ, I understand you are a Baptist.'
I am a better person.
"I'm in jail for taking property which was legally declared mine"
OJ is spelling out why he should be released.
He says that the property which he was sentenced for stealing was legally declared his.
I'm in jail for taking property which was legally declared mine.
Going over what happened in 2008
OJ is currently explaining what happened in Vegas in 2008.
A parole commissioner began by asking Simpson what he was thinking at the time of the robbery of sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas hotel.
After the question Simpson took a deep breath and said it could be a lengthy response. He said he wasn't interested at first in memorabilia but saw that some of the items two collectors were selling belonged to him.
OJ pictured in 2013
"We have that you are 90 years old"
Bisbee had Simpson's age wrong - but about two decades. We're happy to confirm The Juice is 70-years-old, not 90. That got the first laugh of the hearing.
Just like 1995
Turned on the tv and thought it was 1995 all over again. #OJSimpsonParole
— Brant Weems (@weembra) July 20, 2017
Here he is... thinner and grayer than when he was last seen four years ago
Simpson has just sat down for the video conference from the prison near Lovelock, Nevada. He's currently being questioned.
The Juice laughed as the parole commissioner told him that he was getting the same hearing as anyone else would.
He chuckled after the comment from Connie Bisbee, chairwoman of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, and said, "Thank you, ma'am."
Simpson's friends and family have entered a hearing room in the Nevada prison.
There is heavy security around the prison, according to reporters. Authorities set up a checkpoint on a single road leading to Lovelock Correctional Center to screen vehicles.
The parking lot is filled with network media satellite trucks and tents set up to shade reporters from intense sun.
Dozens of reporters also have set up outside the parole board building in Carson City.
It seems like the whole of the US will be watching
RT if you're sitting by the TV watching the #OJSimpsonParole hearing like... pic.twitter.com/rdNhdwDlrH
— GetNThaGame™ (@_GetNThaGame) July 20, 2017
Who makes the final decision?
Simpson needs four votes to win parole. If he's successful he'd be released from prison in October.
A decision should come within 30 minutes unless the four members are not in unanimous agreement.
In that case, two other parole board members will be asked to weigh in. Three votes would get him another hearing in six months.
Will OJ speak during the hearing?
Yes. The Juice will appear via video link where four parole board commissioners will question him and hear testimony from others via livestream from a hearing room in Carson City, Nevada.
The hearing is expected to last 45 to 60 minutes.
Life on the inside
What's happening at the moment?
We're just minutes away from the parole hearing beginning.
Simpson's supporters have apparently arrived at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada where the incarcerated former football star will ask a parole board for his freedom via video link.
They include Simpson's attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, daughter Arnelle Simpson, sister Shirley Baker and close friend Tom Scotto.
The moment The Juice was found not guilty of murder in 1995
Brown’s family never accepted the not guilty verdict and brought a case against Simpson for wrongful death.
In 1997, he was found liable in civil court for the deaths and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors including his children and the Goldman family.
The Goldmans believe Simpson got away with murder in Los Angeles and some legal observers said that the sentence handed down in Las Vegas was not simply about the robbery.
A Goldman family spokesman said Ron Goldman's father and sister, Fred and Kim, will not be part of Simpson's parole hearing, but feel apprehensive about "how this will change their lives again should Simpson be released".
Here's a reminder of the famous glove moment
Trial of the century broadcast live on television
Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman were found dead outside her home in 1994. They had been stabbed to death.
Simpson was questioned and later ordered to turn himself into police. However, he fled and the ensuing low-speed police chase – during which a convoy of vehicles followed Simpson in a white Ford Bronco down Interstate 404 – was broadcast live on television.
It set the scene for an extraordinary court case which gripped America. Some 100 million viewers were watching when a jury finally found Simpson not guilty of the killings at the end of an eight-month trial in October 1995.
Although the prosecution had an overwhelming amount of DNA evidence, the defence was able to argue that mistakes made by investigators may have contaminated the crime scene.
Simpson was also unable to fit his hand inside one glove found at the scene and another found near his home.
From sporting star to claims of domestic violence
Simpson was an American football star who broke records during his prime playing as a running back for the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers in the 1970s.
That success meant he was in demand after retiring, becoming a familiar figure on television as well as acting in films. His sporting achievements saw him inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
By then he had met and married his second wife, Nicole Brown.
They had two children together before she filed for divorce in 1992 after he was investigated a number of times for domestic violence.
Why is he in prison?
Simpson’s final downfall came in 2008, 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife.
The star was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and 10 other charges for assembling a gang of five men a year earlier for help seizing game balls, plaques and photos from a hotel and casino complex in Las Vegas.
Simpson always insisted he was merely reclaiming mementos that had been stolen from him.
He was sentenced to spend 33 years in prison with a possibility of parole after nine years – a stiff sentence his supporters said was payback for the not guilty verdict in the murder trial.
Will he get parole?
Stay tuned to find out. We will bring you all the action as it happens.
By most accounts, Simpson has a clean prison record and a good chance of release.
At today's hearing, he is expected to reiterate that he has stayed out of trouble, coaches in the prison gym where he works and counsels other inmates.
Parole hearing of the century
Simpson is serving his sentence at the Simpson Lovelock Correctional Centre in Nevada, where he is known as inmate 1027820. In 2013, his good behaviour in prison helped win him parole for the less serious convictions.
That leaves the Nevada Parole Board of Commissioners to consider the more serious offences of assault with a deadly weapon and four weapons charges. All of this is happening in less than an hour's time.