Much time has passed since the Trial of the Century in 1995, but OJ Simpson remains a celebrity that elicits fascination, interest and disgust in equal measures. But beyond all the hysteria about Simpson’s recent parole hearing, what was most interesting is the fact that there was some doubt as to whether or not he would obtain early release from prison. And yet, a closer look at Simpson’s time behind bars offers big clues that his parole was a foregone conclusion.
Here are the reasons why OJ’s parole was shocking to no one, and what other prospective parolees can learn from his case.
Despite the fact that some people still believe Simpson was guilty of double murder, the fact is that he had no prior criminal conviction before his 2007 arrest for robbery and kidnapping.
Parole boards are much more likely to view the lack of a prior criminal history as a huge positive when it comes to deciding whether a prisoner should get parole. A lack of criminal history tells the parole board that a prisoner is less likely to commit another crime after release.
Another reason that worked in Simpson’s favor of obtaining parole is that he was able to provide details about what he would do once released.
Simpson told the parole board that his main focus when released from prison would be to spend time with his children, avoid trouble and live peacefully.
This gave the parole board the assurance that Simpson had something valuable waiting for him outside of prison, which would provide him with the stability necessary to avoid making mistakes that could land him back behind bars.
Prisoners seeking parole are always viewed in a more positive light if they can provide family support statements. This is important because it gives the parole board assurances that the prisoner will have the kind of familial support necessary to help stay out of trouble in the future.
In Simpson’s case, his children provided testimony supporting his release, and perhaps more importantly, one of the victims of the robbery and kidnapping told the parole board that he supported Simpson’s release.
Simpson was also able to show evidence that he had used his time behind bars to grow as a human being.
He avoided disciplinary issues in prison, completed a violence-alternative course, coached several sports teams, and led a prayer group, which showed evidence of his spiritual maturity.
All in all, Simpson’s model behavior while imprisoned was a huge positive in the eyes of the parole board, because it showed that he had learned from his past mistakes.
OJ Simpson’s parole hearing can provide others with a roadmap of how to best position themselves to obtain parole. If you have an upcoming parole hearing, you may need the help of an experienced law firm such as the team at the Stokes Law Firm. Please call us today at 727-954-0186 for a free legal consultation.