After his 1995 murder trial reconstituted how blockbuster court cases were televised, O.J. Simpson’s criminal charges will come under public scrutiny yet again via live television. According to Yahoo, Simpson’s parole hearing, coming up on Thursday, July 20, will be broadcast live in a video pool shared by major networks such as ESPN. Documents from the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners also cite CNN and ABC as a part of that video pool.
Simpson has served time in Nevada’s Lovelock Correction Center since 2008, after being convicted of robbing a memorabilia collector at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel. Simpson claimed that the collector had stolen items of Simpson’s, and that Simpson had taken those items back, but had not broken into the collector’s room with firearms. Nevertheless, after being charged with 12 counts in 2007—pertaining to coercion, robbery, kidnapping, assault, conspiracy, and burglary—he was convicted a year later in 2008 of all charges by an all-white jury.
The parole board has launched a website specific to Simpson’s parole hearing, so as to corral media requests. The board cites the “overwhelming media and public interest,”stating that they will “not accommodate any further media requests for onsite access to LCC or Carson City.”
According to Page Six, a former Lovelock prison guard named Jeffrey Felix, who claims to be close with Simpson, said that Simpson is anxious about the impact of public exposure on his parole.
“O.J. thinks he deserves his parole—he’s been clean for nine years, hasn’t had any write-ups, took all the programs and classes they told him to take—but he thinks all this media hype is going to screw with the parole board and put pressure on them to keep him locked up. The media still portrays him in a negative light because he was acquitted of the murders [of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman].”
Simpson, a former USC and Buffalo Bills running back, has just turned 70, and is up for a parole that would terminate upwards of 24 years on his nine-to-33-year sentence. If Simpson is granted parole, he would be released October 2017.