Barring any last-minute snafus, O.J. Simpson will walk out of prison a free man in about three months, having persuaded a Nevada parole board the bungled hotel-room heist he pulled nearly 10 years ago was a monumental error in judgment and one he will never repeat.
Although he still adamantly maintains he was trying to retrieve his personal property when he barged into a hotel room with five other men in September 2007, he acknowledged repeatedly Thursday that it was something he never should have done.
“I thought I was glad to get my stuff back, but it just wasn’t worth it,” he told the board. “It wasn’t worth it, and I’m sorry.”
After a nationally televised hearing that clearly revealed the public’s fascination with Simpson continues, four parole commissioners voted unanimously to release him.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” he said quietly as he buried his head on his chest with relief.
Then, as he was led down a hall and back to prison, the Hall of Fame athlete and 1995 murder defendant raised his hands over his head in a victory gesture and said: “Oh, God, oh!”
Two years after his acquittal Simpson was found liable in civil court for the killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and the Goldman family.
Last year, the case proved to be compelling TV all over again with the ESPN documentary “O.J.: Made in America” and the award-winning FX miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
The long prison sentence that resulted from the hotel-room stickup brought a measure of satisfaction to some of those who thought Simpson got away with murder. Among them were Ron Goldman’s sister, Kim, and their father, Fred.
“The Goldmans are devastated,” family spokesman Michael Wright said of Thursday ruling.
Story Credit: Sportsnet
Photo Credit: Wikipedia