According to prison officials in the state of Nevada, O.J. Simpson could be out of prison next week, with a possibility that he'll officially be paroled and released on Monday. Simpson, 70, has been in prison for the last nine years, having been tried and convicted in 2008 for kidnapping and armed robbery. He's perhaps most known for being charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend Ron Goldman back in 1994.
Simpson was acquitted in the ensuing high-profile trial, dubbed the "Trial of the Century" by media outlets. Just three years later, he was found civilly liable for Brown and Goldman's deaths, and ten years after that he was tried and convicted for a robbing a memorabilia dealer in a Las Vegas hotel room. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison, although with the possibility of parole and early release.
In July, a Nevada parole board decided to grant Simpson early release, owing to his reportedly good behavior while behind bars. Controversially, the board reportedly did not consider Simpson's documented history of domestic abuse when deciding on his release. The former NFL running back was convicted for beating Brown, then his wife, back in 1989.
Recent reports suggest this was not a deliberate oversight on the parole board's part. According to the Orlando Sun-Sentinel, a Nevada official said Simpson's domestic abuse conviction wasn't considered because the board didn't even know about it, as the misdemeanor conviction wasn't listed in the FBI's national crime database.
In fact, according to the anonymous official, as of this week the state still hasn't received a formal notice on the matter.
Even as of today, we have not been given any formal notice that the charges back in 1989 resulted in a conviction.
Simpson's 1994 murder trial was perhaps the first truly national news event of the modern cable news era, with the entire case being covered by CNN start to finish, from the opening gavel to the closing. Millions upon millions of people tuned in on a daily basis to watch the proceedings, which were controversial and highly charged thanks to the racial elements of the case.
Throughout the trial, Simpson's defense team argued the LAPD ― and detective Mark Fuhrman, who had a long history of racism ― had framed him for the murder. Polls showed that black Americans overwhelmingly believed Simpson to be innocent, while white Americans overwhelmingly believed him to be guilty.
As of 2017, however, those numbers have changed somewhat. In recent years, although white Americans are still more likely to believe Simpson committed the grisly double-murder, polling shows a majority of black Americans also believe he committed the crimes. Simpson was acquitted, and despite attempting to release a book in 2006 titled If I Did It detailing how he would have killed Brown and Goldman, he has always publicly maintained his innocence.
In 2007, the family of Ron Goldman acquired the rights to the book in civil litigation, and released it under the same name, but with the word "it" on the cover printed in such tiny font as to be easily overlooked. As such, the bright red title seen on book stands was effectively I Did It, and it was presented and promoted as "the confessions of the killer."
Needless to say, plenty of people are upset that Simpson is getting out of prison, not least of all the Goldman family, who were very disappointed by the parole board's decision. But barring any unforeseen circumstances, he's going to be a free man in a matter of days, out in the world again for the first time since 2008.