Among his startling contentions, Simpson claimed he’d never picked up a weapon against anyone in his whole life. Because the law barred it from considering any history unrelated to the robbery for which he was convicted, the board shrugged this off.
At the hearing, Simpson got to tell his side of the the robbery, again. It was someone else’s idea. He’d been misled and never saw a gun, or if he did it looked like a Blackberry. He didn’t intend to rob anyone, just wanted the kids’ baby pictures back, plus some letters from his ex-wife, and other family treasures. The athletic memorabilia with morbid value wasn’t a concern, Simpson said, because “I never collected that stuff.” This, from a man who, once, tried to sell ties he wore to the famous murder trial that resulted in his acquittal.
The Juice cited his model behavior in prison and attempts to self-improve, including a class in conflict resolution and another in computers. Unfortunately, Simpson failed to attend alcohol classes, (part of his defense to the robbery charges was drinking), because he was “too busy,” presumably, being good. It might be prudent, notwithstanding, to refrain from drinking with him.
Simpson, proudly, detailed his roles as prison baseball commissioner, and ad-hoc psychologist who was able quell trouble between warring gangs and individuals with spats. “I did my time.” “I respect the jury’s verdict.” “I Never made excuses and I just want to go home and be with my kids and friends.” “I’ve accepted responsibility.” “Sorry, “ he said several times, surely, sincere.
Simpson was friendly, nodded his head at the right moments, and made appropriate eye contact, except when he was making faces. It was the usual drill. Despite the contrition, however, O.J.’s apologies seemed more self-serving than coming from somewhere near the bottom of his heart. It was an unfortunate mistake, a misunderstanding, probably, due to drinking. Simpson told the board he’d made up with his (victim) buddy who showed up to say Simpson is a great friend.
Nine years is a lot of time for a robbery in which the defendant was trying to get his own property back; no one hurt; and, he didn’t touch a weapon. That would’ve been a enough justification to kick Simpson free without the charade of the former football star talking about how he never, ever, hurt a fly, and what a great dad he was, besides. A daughter said so, though no one was under oath. His ex-wife, Nicole, would’ve appeared, too, but she had a previous engagement.
The board, unanimously, found that O.J.’s parole would pose a low risk to society. It was good news for Simpson but, now, who’s going to keep the peace in his former prison?