After nine years behind bars, O.J. Simpson will be set free later this year, after the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners decided Thursday to grant the former Heisman winner parole. Guess he wasn't busted busting one out after all.
Simpson has been locked up for nine years for his role in a 2007 armed robbery of a Las Vegas hotel room. That incident led to convictions on 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping, and led to a sentence that could have been as long as 33 years.
But Simpson said he was a model citizen during his time at the Lovelock Correctional Facility and was granted his early release because of it. "I've spent nine years making no excuses about anything. I am sorry that things turned out the way they did," Simpson said near the end of the hearing. "I had no intent to commit a crime."
While making his case for being set free, Simpson detailed the work he'd done to become a better person during his time in prison. He oversaw a softball league, started a Baptist worship services and completed two "Alternative to Violence" classes. He called that "the most important course any person in this prison can take."
The elephant in the room as Simpson talked about being a stand up guy was his 1995 trail for murdering his ex-wife and her friend. The subject came up only once.
It happened when one of the commissioners said that the parole board had received many letters arguing that Simpson should not be released because of his alleged role in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. She added that neither the case nor those letters would not be considered by the parole board.
Though only explicitly mentioned that one time, it was hard not to think of the case when Simpson mentioned his non-violent past or when commissioners said that he had no prior criminal convictions.
But even though Simpson has been convicted in the court of public opinion, he remains an innocent man in the eyes of the law, at least when it comes to murder. And because of that, he'll soon be a free man.
The question on everyone's mind now: What's next?