O.J. Simpson, also known as inmate 1027820, was granted a pardon from his prison sentence by four members of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners on Thursday. The NFL Hall of Famer and former movie star could be released from prison as early as October 1.
“If I would have made a better judgment back then, none of this would have happened. And I take full responsibility,” Simpson told the parole board through a video conference from Lovelock Correctional Center, where he has spent the past nine years in prison.
“I haven’t made any excuses in nine years here, but I should have never allowed these alleged security guys to help me, because it turned out they were only trying to help themselves,” Simpson said.
“I realize in my nine years here, that I was a good guy on the street,” Simpson added. “I was always a good guy, but I could have been a better Christian.”
The parole board hearing also had its odd moments, including Simpson revealing that he run’s the 18-team softball league at Lovelock Correctional Center and one of the commissioners wearing a Chiefs tie.
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) July 20, 2017
Meanwhile, opinions of the decision ran the gamut throughout the sporting world.
O.J. Simpson killed two people. It's sickening he'll be free. At the same time, I think this parole board made the proper call. Anyone else?
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 20, 2017
How O.J. is gonna survive in a world that is set up to reward surrealist attention-seeking nostalgia monsters with questionable legal pasts?
— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) July 20, 2017
JUICE WAS GRANTED PAROLE!!!!! 😳😳😳😎
— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) July 20, 2017
OJ was granted parole 6 mos. to the day Obama left the White House. His sentence began 1 mo. before Obama took office—there’s symmetry there https://t.co/jYN2Sk6MtU
— Danielle Cadet (@dbcadet) July 20, 2017
OJ was in jail doing a lot!!!!
He started several sports leagues
When he gets out .. I propose a street football league ..
— Baron Davis (@BaronDavis) July 20, 2017
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) July 20, 2017
I'd much rather see @thurmanthomas on my Twitter timeline right now.
— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) July 20, 2017
Simpson, now 70-years-old, was convicted in 2007 after he enlisted men he claims he barely knew, including two who had guns, in a scheme to rob two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. He was sentenced to 33-years-in prison.
“My crime was trying to retrieve for my family my own property,” Simpson told the parole officials in 2013. “Make no mistake, I would give it all back to get these last five years back.”
During a highly-publicized 1995 murder trial, Simpson was found not guilty of murder in the deaths of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman. He was later found liable in civil court for the deaths and ordered to pay $33.5 million to the survivors, including his own children and members of the Goldman family.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.