Just like old times: OJ Simpson will be back in a courtroom this week for a televised court ruling that will decide his freedom. This time, Simpson is up for parole for the armed robbery and kidnapping case that has kept him locked up in Nevada since 2008. The hearing will be broadcast live at 1pm EDT on Thursday, reports the Wrap, and ESPN will be among the networks airing it, as part of a 90-minute special. Related coverage:
- Optimistic: "Tell them we'll be playing golf again soon," Simpson told friend Tom Scotto in a phone call last week, per USA Today. If the parole board assents, Simpson would be free on Oct. 1, and he'd either move in with Scotto in Florida or with his sister in Sacramento, Calif., at least initially.
- Decent chance: Earlier this year, Sports Illustrated ran a lengthy analysis on Simpson's chances, taking into account factors including his prison behavior and his age of 70. Bottom line: "Indications are strong that this will be the year OJ Simpson will be released from prison."
- Ditto: The AP also reports that Simpson stands a decent chance of getting out. It quotes the prosecutor who got him convicted in 2008: "Assuming that he's behaved himself in prison, I don't think it will be out of line for him to get parole," says David Roger, retired Clark County district attorney.
- Unless ... Page Six reports that, unlike his last parole hearing in 2013, the press is being allowed to cover this one, which has Simpson worried. "He thinks all this media hype is going to screw with the parole board and put pressure on them to keep him locked up," says a former prison guard at Lovelock Correctional Center.
- 1988: That was the year Simpson starred in the first of the Naked Gun crime comedies, per this timeline of his life via the AP. Six years later, ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death.
- New nickname: Guards don't call him the Juice, they call him Nordberg, his character's name from the Naked Gun franchise, sister Shirley Baker tells Inside Edition. She also says he's got a job in prison: keeping the gym equipment clean.
- Goldman's family: An attorney for the family of stabbing victim Goldman says if Simpson is freed, he will go after him for $52 million, reports LawNewz. That's because of a 1997 civil judgment against Simpson in a wrongful death lawsuit. The amount has accrued interest since then.
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