OJ Simpson is perhaps one of the most divisive figures in America today. After his acquittal for murder in the “trial of the century”, he was later convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery in Las Vegas. Prior to the parole decision, media questions were swirling as to whether he would be released or not. Very few commentators actually looked at the legal standard that was going to be applied. Unfortunately, all too often people will “go with their gut” rather than consulting a lawyer to examine the legal standard. Luckily, Nathan Nevins Law has examined that legal standard, and it is obvious as to why the decision was made to grant parole.
The Parole Board in Nevada uses a risk assessment sheet that I have linked to at the end of the article. These are clear and objective legal standards that the Parole Board is supposed to follow. Almost all of them are in Mr. Simpson’s favor. It is a point system based upon things like age, gender, prior violations of supervision, disciplinary conduct, and whether the inmate has completed a treatment course while incarcerated among other things.
To give an example of the lack of true legal analysis that we saw in the lead up to this decision, the media hyperventilated because he was caught masturbating in his cell a month ago, despite zero other disciplinary misconduct during his entire prison sentence. They pondered whether this would stop him from being paroled. Of course, if one actually looks at the parole risk assessment, having one misconduct of any kind is a grand total of zero points.
OJ needed at 5 points or lower to be considered a low risk of reoffending. It seems the only points Mr. Simpson had were 2 points for committing a robbery, 2 points for having a serious history of alcohol abuse, and 1 point for being a male. He received -1 point for his completion of a treatment program and -1 point for being over 41. This makes for a grand total of 3 points.
The Parole Board is also legally obligated to consider support and opposition. While most can bring forth positive comments from well wishers, friends, family and their attorney, a lot fewer can bring forth support from their victim. Bruce Fromong is the only victim still alive from the 2007 robbery. He testified in support of Mr. Simpson’s release.
Mr. Simpson will likely be released sometime in October, 2017. We have heard “legal analysts” and other talking heads postulate for weeks as to whether he would be granted parole or not. However after actually looking at the appropriate legal standard, after actually doing the research, it is clear as to why they made their unanimous decision.
Link for Nevada Parole Risk Assessment: http://parole.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/parolenvgov/content/Information/NV_ParoleRiskAssessmentForm.pdf