On Thursday, four commissioners from the Nevada Board of Parole met in Carson City to consider and vote on the early release of O.J. Simpson, who had been serving out his nine-to-33-year sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Facility. He was joined by his attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, as well as his daughter: Arnelle Simpson addressed the board at her father's hearing once again, after previously testifying at a court hearing in Las Vegas in 2013.
The board heard from OJ Simpson at the very beginning of his hearing. The commissioners asked him questions about his criminal record after reassuring him that he would receive a normal hearing. Simpson was subsequently permitted to have a relative to testify on his behalf, and Arnelle did so later on during the hearing.
Simpson has four children from two marriages, of which Arnelle is the oldest. According to The Washington Post, the 48 year old is a Fresno, California resident and is unique among Simpson's children because she has not shied away from the public eye in the years since her father's imprisonment. Indeed, during Simpson's trial in 2008, Arnelle took the stand to advocate for her father on behalf of all his children.
Before the hearing, Tim Scotto — a close friend of Simpson's whose wedding Simpson attended in Las Vegas the weekend of the 2007 robbery — confirmed that Arnelle planned to address the board. The transcript of Arnelle's speech to the board — which appears below — indicates that she was nervous, but she appealed to the board to let her father come home.
I'm Arnelle Simpson, my dad's oldest child of four.
Thank you. I'm a little nervous, so bear with me. As you know, I'm here on behalf of my family, for the purpose of expressing what we believe is the true character of my father.
No one really knows how much we have been through, this ordeal in the last nine years. Excuse me. My experience with him is that he's like my best friend and my rock. And as a family, we recognize that he is not the perfect man but he is clearly a man and a father who has done his best to behave in a way that speaks to his overall nature and character, which is always to be positive no matter what.
He has spent the past nine years in Lovelock, as we all know, and has been a perfect inmate, following all the rules and making the best of the situation, which is truly amazing to me under the circumstances. The choices that he made nine years ago, that resulted in his sentencing, were clearly inappropriate and wrong and counterproductive, to what he was trying to achieve.
As a family, we were all there to celebrate a wedding of a very good friend. As his daughter, I can honestly say, my dad recognizes that he took the wrong approach and he could have handled the situation differently. My siblings and I and family know that he didn't make the right decision on that day, but we know that his intentions were not to go in and to just make the wrong decision at the wrong time.
Throughout this ordeal, we have remained close, we have stayed strong, and I for myself am grateful to God, for giving us the strength to get through these last nine years and to stay positive, always, no matter what, and a lot of that is because of him. So on behalf of my family, my brother, my sister, and aunt, and uncle, his friends, we just want him to come home. We really do, we want him to come home, and I know in my heart that he is very humbled throughout the situation.
This has been hard, I'm going to be honest. This has been really, truly hard. There is no right or wrong way to explain how to handle this, but we do know that — I know that — he is remorseful. He truly is remorseful and we just want him to come home so that we can move forward for us, quietly, but to move forward. So I thank you for allowing me to be here this morning. I thank you.