O.J. Simpson won something of a victory Wednesday, when the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners approved his request for leniency. But the news isn’t a get-out-jail-free card for the 66 year old, who was convicted in 2008 on charges including kidnapping and armed robbery during what he said was an attempt to retrieve his property from two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel room.
Beginning in October, Simpson will serve four “deadly weapon enhancements” that go with his sentences, said the Nevada Appeal’s Geoff Dornan on NewsNation Wednesday, which together carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.
“It’s a big reduction,” said Dornan. “That takes ten years off the potential total that he was looking at, which at the time of sentencing was more than 30 years behind bars.”
“He could be out in just about four years, if his next two appearances before the board go as well as this one did for him,” he said.
Among the reasons for granting leniency, said Dornan, is that there were no prior convictions for Simpson, who in 1994 was acquitted of murder charges in the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. Additionally, Simpson’s age–66–gives him a relatively low risk of reoffense.
But Simpson’s parole drew a heated backlash. Though he was found not guilty in the 1994 criminal trial, Simpson was later found liable for the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in a California civil suit.
“Person after person, everybody who contacted me, basically said that [Simpson] is a murderer and should stay in prison for life,” said Dornan. But, he added, “there are a lot of Simpson supporters who have maintained all along that he was convicted for what happened in that hotel room, but he was sentenced for what didn’t happen in California.”