OJ Simpson Parole Hearing: The Facts Of OJ’s ‘Conflict-Free Life’ And Risk To Reoffend [Opinion]

At the now-famous O.J. Simpson parole hearing, the convicted felon told the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners that he had lived a “conflict-free life.” They are words that have led Fred Goldman, father of Ron Goldman, to call O.J. Simpson a “sociopath, a narcissistic liar, a murderer, a thug, a kidnapper,” and more, reports the Los Angeles Times. If Fred Goldman is correct in his accusations against O.J. Simpson, then based on recidivism rates and criminal profiles, it will likely be just a matter of time before O.J. Simpson reoffends and finds himself back in jail.

The facts show that O.J. Simpson’s life has been anything but “conflict-free.” He is, after all, a convicted felon. He was convicted on 12 counts, many of which are violent offenses such as kidnapping, armed robbery, and multiple charges that included assault with a deadly weapon.

The National Institute of Justice reports on a Bureau of Justice study that tracked 404,638 prisoners across 30 states after prison release in 2005. Those rates are alarming and suggest that the odds are not in O.J.’s favor over his risk to reoffend.

That study found that within three years of release, 67.8 percent landed back in jail, and 76.6 percent landed back in jail within five years of release. More than half were released within the year at 56.7 percent, and property offenders had the highest recidivism rates at 82.1 percent. Violent offenders comprised 71.3 percent of rearrests, and drug offenders had a 76.9 recidivism rate.

Those are high numbers. O.J. Simpson has in his life been accused of property crimes, drug use, and violent offenses, including a double homicide. He’s been convicted of property crimes and violent offenses.

A grand dismay fell across the land and the court of public opinion when O.J. Simpson was granted parole last week. It’s important to remember that he was not declared innocent. He will always be a convicted felon. That alone increases his risk to reoffend.

The parole hearing was O.J.’s second attempt at gaining parole for an armed robbery that took place in 2007. The second O.J. Simpson parole hearing occurred 22 years after he was acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

It was that crime many were thinking of last week at the latest O.J. Simpson parole hearing. Many in the court of public opinion feel that the victims of the Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman murders have been left without justice. Whoever murdered those individuals has gotten away with it.

O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders, and the Los Angeles Police Department has not spent much time looking for another possible killer. After he was acquitted, O.J. Simpson was found civilly liable for the deaths and ordered to pay the Brown and Goldman families millions of dollars in a wrongful death suit.

Neither of those families has seen much of the $33.5 million settlement, reported the Los Angeles Times. CBS News reports that Kim Goldman stated the families have seen “less than 1 percent.”

But when O.J. goes on parole in October, he will receive a monthly NFL pension in the amount of $25,000 that is protected, meaning he won’t have to use any of that to pay off the wrongful death judgment against him. He will live comfortably, while the victims of the lawsuit will continue their lives wondering why their loved ones never saw justice.

OJ Simpson Parole Hearing Victims
[Image by AP Photo/files]

Fred Goldman, Ron Goldman’s father, told CBS News last week, “I don’t think he is worthy of the right to be out amongst decent people.” Kim his daughter, and author of Can’t Forgive: My Twenty-Year Battle with O.J. Simpson found the parole hearing scant in discussing his past behavior and his alleged “conflict free life.”

“They went on to not press him, not ask follow-up questions, wear an inappropriate NFL tie as a parole board member, not really ask him about what he would do once he’s out. Will you re-offend? What is your, you know, risk to public safety? I was really alarmed that wasn’t really taken into consideration.”

During the hearing, O.J. Simpson told the Nevada Parole Board he had lived a “conflict-free life.”

The Guardian reports that O.J. also said, “I’m a guy that gets along with just about everybody.”

Fred Goldman says the following on that.

“Conflict free except for the wife beating of his first wife, Nicole. He’s hardly conflict-free.”

In 1989, O.J. Simpson pled no contest to a wife battery charge against Nicole Simpson, reports the Los Angeles Times. By 2001, he had also been involved in a road-rage incident, of which he was acquitted. In 2008, he spent five days in jail for a contempt of court citation.

Hollywood crisis publicist Michael Levine called the “conflict-free life” statement a “delusion that he’s been very noted for throughout his career.”

OJ Simpson Parole Hearing Nicole
[Image by AP Photo, files]

The 1989 charge of violence against Nicole Simpson occurred on New Year’s Day.

When officers arrived on the scene, Nicole came running out of the house in a bra and sweatpants with a cut lip, black eye, and a hand print on her neck, screaming, “He’s going to kill me.”

According to the 911 call Nicole made that night, it was the eighth time the police had been to the residence on wife-beating allegations. After he was told he would be arrested for that when the police arrived on the scene, O.J. fled.

Another 911 call came eight months later when police are dispatched to Nicole’s house on yet another domestic violence call. O.J. is clearly heard yelling and cursing in the background about halfway through the 911 all. Listen to the whole call.

When he was accused of road rage in Florida years later, he allegedly tried to take the glasses off of someone’s face. Simpson testified his fingerprints must have gotten on the glasses when he bumped into the guy.

But last Thursday, O.J. told the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners he had “basically” lived a conflict-free life.

One year later, his Kendall, Florida, home was raided on an ecstasy sting. No charges came of that. Market Watch reports that in 2007, “the real warning signal that O.J. was heading off the rails” occurred. On July 29, O.J. showed up at the home of his handyman, Janos Gonzales, and accused him of sleeping with his girlfriend.

Gonzalez’s wife, Marlene, said that during the incident, O.J. was holding his hand behind his back “as if he had a gun.” He reportedly “bellowed” that he was going to kill Gonzalez and was described as “very violent.” No charges occurred that day either.

But both Gonzalez and Simpson’s then-girlfriend Christie Prody had a friendship and a relationship with drugs. Both had been arrested together the year prior, with Gonzalez facing a cocaine charge and Prody a marijuana and paraphernalia possession charge.

O.J. Simpson told the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners last week, “I don’t think anybody’s ever accused me of having an alcohol problem.”

The parole board responded, “Hadn’t you been drinking that day?”

They were referring to the day of the robbery at the hotel, during which O.J. was arrested on 12 violent charges, including kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.

Not many have accused O.J. of being an alcoholic, but many have gone on the record to accuse him of being a drug user, including Christie’s mother Cathy Bellmore. In the opening scene of American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, Cuba Gooding Jr., who plays O.J., is shown snorting cocaine.

Nobody mentioned cocaine at the parole hearing last week. Market Watch reports that Christie Prody later went on the record in an interview to say her worst fear was that she would one day wind up like Nicole, “killed by O.J. because he can’t let go.”

In this interview, she talked about how she once feared for her life if O.J. should ever get out of prison. Christie also said that O.J. would allegedly say things to her about the Nicole Simpson murder like “she had it coming.”

Prody’s attorney, Gloria Allred, said, “Christie’s message is that addictive love can be very dangerous.”

Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson said staying on the right path is going to be difficult for O.J. Simpson. As the Los Angeles Times reports, “the moment he slips up there will be an army of people waiting to push the record button on their cellphones. And he could end up getting sent back to prison.”

Cell phones and Twitter weren’t a thing when Nicole Brown Simpson was fearing for her life. However, they were active on the day O.J. was granted parole last week.

During the O.J. Simpson parole hearing, O.J. talked about how much his fellow inmates at Lovelock Correctional Center like him. But since the parole hearing, the Washington Post reports he’s been put into protective custody at Lovelock, for his own protection.

His attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, said the following on Fox’s Justice with Judge Jeanine regarding that.

“Mr. Simpson is on cloud nine. He obviously likes the outcome… everything is hung from the moon at this point. The only thing that’s kind of a little bit disheartening for him is that he’s had a change of custody status, and they are going to kind of change that for the next couple of months until he’s released. He’s had to move his cell to an area where he is a bit more protected. There’s good reason for that. One of them is for his own safety and basically not to rile things up…there is a legitimate concern about threats.”

Where O.J. will be moving to remains unclear, though the state of Florida keeps coming up. His two children he shared with Nicole live there. He will need to get approval from Florida, but under the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision, “he is all but guaranteed entry,” reports Market Watch.

A friend in Miami may have O.J. in until he may be able to purchase his own home. But Simpson also has a friend, a retired correctional worker from Lovelock in St. Petersburg, who may also house Simpson for a while. O.J.’s youngest son, Justin, also lives and works in St. Petersburg. He is now 28-years-old.

O.J. Simpson will be on parole for five years and now will always be a convicted felon. He was convicted on 12 counts that included armed robbery, kidnapping, and assault and coercion with a deadly weapon, as read at the O.J Simpson parole hearing last week.

It is unclear what the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners used as their stated formula that determined O.J. Simpson was a low risk to reoffend. His age of 70 years does suggest he is a low risk. However, there are more factors stacked against him in the court of public opinion than are in his favor.

The Justice Bureau stats suggest that given the nature of his crimes, he has a 60 to 70 percent chance of reoffending. He may well also be the most famous parolee in American history. He will be heavily scrutinized by the public, by the parole boards, and possibly even by Florida state law enforcement, who are very familiar with his prior history of violent accusations against him in that state.

Even spending time with the wrong person could land him back in jail to finish his 33-year sentence. The world that watched the O.J. Simpson parole hearing will be watching to see what he does next.

[Feature Image by Jason Bean/AP Images]