Former Buffalo Bills star O.J. Simpson's parole hearing takes place Thursday in Nevada in front of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners. There is a good chance the notorious former NFL star is granted parole, which could have him out of prison as soon as Oct. 1.
Here's everything you need to know about Thursday's proceedings.
Who: Orenthal James Simpson, former NFL running back who played 11 seasons in the league, nine with the Bills, while amassing 11,236 yards and 61 touchdowns on 2,404 carries.
And the board members who will possibly determine his fate? Tony Corda, Susan L. Jackson, Adam Endel and Chairman Connie S. Bisbee
What if they are split, 2-2? There are normally seven commissioners in total, and three of them are normally stationed in the board's Las Vegas office. If the four commissioners split on a vote, the other three are typically called in to continue the voting, with a minimum four votes for one side needed to determine an outcome. However, commissioner Maurice Silva retired on June 30, and now there are only six board members (the two stationed in Las Vegas this week are Michael Keeler and Ed Gray). The new commissioner won't officially assume his or her position until after the Simpson hearing, so...
What happens if the hearing is deadlocked at three?
In that rare case, Simpson would be denied parole for another six months, with a follow-up hearing held in January of 2018.
What: Simpson's parole hearing, for his prison sentence that spans a minimum of nine years and a maximum of 33. He was sentenced on October 3, 2008, on 12 counts, including robbery, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary for an incident in Las Vegas in which he and others confronted memorabilia collectors in a hotel to try and retrieve various items of Simpson's. After being granted parole on five of those charges in July 2013, for which he was required to serve a minimum five years, he is now up for parole after another minimum four-year sentence. Here, the Nevada Parole Board explains:
"Nevada’s criminal sentencing scheme includes sentences for convictions that may be served concurrently (together at the same time) or consecutively (one after the other). Mr. Simpson’s sentences had a combination of sentences that were running concurrently and consecutively. The hearing held in 2013 was to consider him for parole on the first series of sentences that required a minimum of 5 years to be served before eligibility. After he was paroled on that first minimum term, he began serving the consecutive sentence. These remaining sentences, when aggregated, require a 4 year minimum term before eligibility."
When: Thursday, July 20, 2017, at 10 a.m. Nevada time, 1 p.m. in Buffalo.
What about a decision?
The Nevada Board of Parole anticipates a decision Thursday. "Deliberations usually do not take much time and anticipate no more than 20-30 minutes to come back onto the record." Sometimes hearings aren't conducted with a majority of the board, but this one will be because of the intense media attention. A decision is being made at the time of the hearing, the board's website says, so its "operation can return to normal as soon as possible after the hearing."
Where: The parole hearing itself will take place in Carson City, Nev., where the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners will meet to determine Simpson's fate. Simpson will appear in front of four commissioners via video conference from Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., just under two hours via car from where the parole board will meet.
How: According to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch, ESPN will stream a pool video from inside the hearing and have extensive coverage of the day's happenings live from Bristol and Nevada on TV.
What are the chances Simpson is paroled?: As detailed by SI legal analysts Michael McCann and Jon Wertheim in this story, there are 11 categories that the board weighs to reach its decision. Between -1 and +2 points are assigned to each category. An inmate accumulating under five points is likely to be granted parole because they're deemed "low risk," whereas inmates with above five points are deemed "medium or high risk." McCann and Wertheim assign likely point values to each of the 11 categories for Simpson, drawing the conclusion that he will most likely be granted parole.
Other questions answered by the Nevada Board of Parole:
If Simpson is denied parole, how much longer will he remain in prison? "Expiration dates will fluctuate based on credit earnings. Timekeeping records currently show a projected expiration date of 9/29/2022."
How many votes does Simpson need to be paroled? Four. If the original four board members don't reach a unanimous decision, the other two will be brought in via phone, with four votes out of six needed for a decision.
What's next for Simpson if he is paroled in terms of living arrangements? "The Board will review the proposed parole plan at the time of the hearing. Halfway houses are usually requested as a plan when no other suitable residence is available."