Model inmate OJ: Was it a foregone conclusion?


Once again ‘The Juice’ got the result he wanted.

The 70-year-old football star-turned-actor will walk free from prison in October after a parole board agreed he had served his time.

Simpson told them he was sorry for the armed robbery and kidnapping that landed him in prison in 2008.

He said he had never made excuses during his nine years in jail – and then proceeded to unfurl plenty of them for the benefit of the parole commissioners.

In truth, the panel seemed already to have made up their minds: that he presented a low-risk of re-offending and had been a model inmate.

But he will leave prison with a raft of conditions and will re-enter a society newly re-acquainted with his infamy.

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Video:Simpson ‘sorry’ at parole hearing

A documentary and a drama – both award-winning – telling the OJ story have also introduced a new generation to one of the most fascinating and divisive American cultural figures.

His 1995 acquittal for the brutal murder of his ex wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman is a national talking point again. The car chase that preceded it and the civil court ruling that followed were supporting acts in the OJ saga.

The story touched on crime, domestic violence, race, celebrity and sport – a powerful and intoxicating mix.

The accusations and questions have never gone away, although Simpson has perhaps been shielded from them in his cell in Nevada for the last near-decade.

OJ Simpson's daughter Arnelle Simpson (L) gave a statement at the hearing
Image:OJ Simpson’s daughter Arnelle Simpson (L) gave a statement at the hearing

He will now have to face it all, surrounded by intense media scrutiny, with just his friends and family for support.

In a letter read out at the hearing, he joked about starting a blog or website. He said he had received numerous media offers.

Once the most wholesome of celebrities, OJ Simpson added notoriety to his fame. The modern media landscape will welcome his return and devour whatever it brings.

Simpson will return to family life in Florida. His daughter Arnelle gave evidence on her father’s behalf. He isn’t perfect, she said, but the last nine years have been tough on the family.

OJ Simpson has served the minimum nine years in jail for armed robbery

Video:Watch: OJ Simpson granted parole

The prisoner himself said he just wanted to spend more time with his four children.

The victim in the robbery case also appeared at Simpson’s side. Bruce Fromong said it was all water under the bridge; they were friends again.

But the words of some different victims are perhaps also pertinent. The family of Ron Goldman say they will never get justice.

His father Fred says they are appalled at Simpson being given a “second chance”.

“Ron never got a second chance,” he said.


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