(NEVADA) — He’s spent nine years behind bars, but O.J. Simpson could be granted his freedom today.
Simpson is scheduled for a parole hearing today at the Lovelock correctional facility in Lovelock, Nevada, where the former football star and actor has been doing time since 2008 for the botched 2007 robbery of Bruce Fromong. The crime reportedly occurred when Simpson tried to recover memorabilia from Fromong that O.J. claimed was his.
Experts believe that Simpson will earn his parole because of his age — he’s 70 — and the fact that he has an unblemished prison record.
In addition, Fromong supports Simpson being paroled, and says he’ll testify before the parole board on O.J.’s behalf. The prosecutor who helped secure Simpson’s sentence of 33 years for armed robbery, nine of them without parole, also expects he’ll be released.
If OJ Simpson’s 1994 trial for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman was called the trial of the century, you could call this the parole hearing of the century. It’ll be streamed live and carried by multiple networks. There also will be well over 150 reporters outside of the prison while it happens.
Simpson has loomed large in our pop culture consciousness, even while behind bars. In February 2016, his murder trial was resurrected in the FX true crime anthology, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. The series, which starred Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark and Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, won nine Emmy awards, as well as two Golden Globes.
Also in 2016, ESPN Films released of the five-part docuseries O.J.: Made in America. Released in July of 2016, it followed O.J.’s life from his early football career through his murder trial, acquittal and subsequent conviction for armed robbery 13 years later. It received widespread critical acclaim and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards.
Comedian Dave Chappelle took a shot at O.J.’s tumultuous life in his recent Netflix stand up special, Age of Spin. In the special, Chappelle describes four humorous encounters with O.J. during the height of his celebrity and after his acquittal for murder. At the end of the special, Chappelle tells the crowd that he and fellow comedian Chris Tucker declined to take a photo with Simpson. As Chappelle explained, “Sorry Juice — my career’s too flimsy to survive a picture with you.”
Then earlier this month, JAY-Z referenced a famous Simpson quote, in the song “The Story of O.J.” from his new album 4:44. On the track, JAY raps: “O.J. like, ‘I’m not black, I’m O.J.’ …okay.” The song is a meditation on race and wealth in America.
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