Parole hearing for OJ Simpson but no release
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — OJ Simpson's Nevada criminal case goes to a parole board later this month for part of his 2008 conviction in the kidnapping and armed robbery of two sports collectible dealers.
But there's no chance the former National Football League Hall of Famer and Hollywood star will go free — even if parole is granted.
Simpson was convicted of 12 criminal counts and sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison after the 2007 robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel room. He has been serving his time at Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada.
The parole hearing is scheduled for July 25, according to documents posted Wednesday by the Nevada Parole Board.
The agenda indicates Simpson's parole consideration is for the kidnapping conviction. However, Simpson, who just turned 66, was given multiple sentences, some of which were ordered to be served consecutively.
That means he must complete his time or be paroled on some charges before he begins to serve his other sentences.
David Smith, Parole Board spokesman, said Simpson will participate via video conference when he appears before two panel members. Only Simpson, his representatives or victims are allowed to comment. Documents filed as part of the parole hearing are confidential.
"Once they get through the hearing, the panel will deliberate and make a recommendation to the full board," Smith said.
A final decision won't be made that day. If the panel recommends parole, that finding will be circulated electronically among seven parole board members. If four members agree, an order granting parole is prepared and sent to the correctional center where the inmate is housed.
"He's going to get to know first," Smith said of Simpson, adding it generally takes about two weeks after a hearing is held.
Simpson's appearance before the parole panel comes as a Clark County District Court judge weighs whether he deserves a new trial.
During a weeklong hearing in May, Simpson's lawyers, Patricia Palm and Ozzie Fumo, argued Simpson deserves a new day in court because his previous defense team botched his trial and had a conflict of interest.
They argued previous defense lawyer Yale Galanter shared responsibility for the ill-conceived plot in September 2007, when he stormed a Las Vegas hotel room to confront the memorabilia dealers. They also argued Galanter deliberately sabotaged Simpson's chances for acquittal and success on appeal to protect himself and his own self-interests.
A ruling by District Judge Linda Marie Bell on whether a new trial is warranted is pending.
If Simpson succeeds in getting his conviction thrown out, prosecutors will have to either retry him or offer a plea deal. It's also possible he could be freed with credit for time served.
If Bell rules against him, he stays in prison and could appeal her ruling to a higher court.
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