O.J. Simpson has only served eight years of a 33-year prison sentence, but he could be released this summer. Simpson, who turns 70 in July, was found guilty of 12 counts stemming from a 2007 incident in a Las Vegas hotel room, including conspiracy, burglary, robbery, kidnapping, and assault with a deadly open.
But he may get out early for good behavior.
“He’s kind of like the Renaissance man in the jail,” TV legal analyst Amy Dash said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “He has never been disciplined once. He is the model inmate. He will (get out) because he is the model inmate. This is exactly (why) they want to encourage inmates to be good. He was already paroled for five of the 12 charges back in 2013, so now he’s got seven more to go, and that will probably come up for a hearing this summer because he’s eligible to be paroled Oct. 1.”
If released, it will be interesting to see how Simpson reintegrates into society.
“He’s such a big deal over there, he’s a big celebrity in the jail. We know that’s not the case in society. He’s a very controversial figure,” Dash said. “And the Goldmans and the Browns will be pursuing their debts with him and trying to collect on that. He hasn’t seen his kids in five years. He missed their graduation. He missed big life events. He said he missed his sister’s funeral, so he’s going to have to get back with his family. Luckily, he doesn’t have to go seek employment because he gets his pension, but he’s going to have to deal with society and there’s a lot of backlash against him still.”
Simpson, of course, was found not guilty in the infamous Trial of the Century.
“Whenever you’re talking about a murder trial, it always comes down to burden of proof,” Dash said. “You can say that there was retaliation because the LAPD was so bad to African American people. You can come up with all of these conspiracy theories. But I have found in my experience – not necessarily with that case, but just in general – the jurors usually do a pretty good job. The problem is the burden of proof is so high. It’s beyond a reasonable doubt. You have to be convinced without a shadow of a doubt that the person did it – and in O.J.’s case, as we know, the glove didn’t fit. So that was very influential to a lot of the viewers.”
Indeed, the Trial of the Century gave us one of the most famous legal phrases ever uttered, courtesy of Johnnie Cochran: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
“Cochrane came up with this brilliant catch phrase, and people really bought into it,” Dash said. “In the civil suit that followed, the jury ruled for the Brown and Goldman family, and OJ. would have to pay them $33 million because the burden of proof was lower. So in the civil suit, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I think there’s enough evidence. He probably did it, so we’re going to rule in favor of the victims.’ But you can’t do that in a murder trial.”