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OJ Simpson Faces High-Stakes Nevada Parole Hearing

Coverage Note: Refresh this page for live coverage of the parole hearing Thursday at 10 a.m. PT The rap sheet for inmate No. 1027820 at Nevada's Lovelock Correctional Center describes him only as a 70-year-old male, black, 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds with a medium build. His offenses include robbery and kidnapping, but no prior felonies. O.J. Simpson Sentenced To Up To 33 Years In Prison Not a lot stands out, except a single word that jumps off the page under his known aliases: "Juice." The nickname is a reminder of OJ Simpson's Hall of Fame football career, which vaulted him to stardom off the gridiron. Much of his life -- from electrifying runs as a USC Trojan to his days as a sports broadcaster, Hollywood movie actor, car rental company spokesman and defendant in the "trial of the century" -- has played out in the public spotlight, sometimes in dramatic fashion. Timeline: OJ Simpson Murder, Civil Trials Simpson will be there again Thursday when he appears at 10 a.m. PT via live video feed before Nevada parole board members, who will decide whether to release him from prison as he nears the minimum of a nine-to-33-year sentence for an armed robbery and kidnapping. It was a botched attempt in 2007 to retrieve sports memorabilia from dealers at a Las Vegas hotel that landed Simpson, convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping, in prison. "Assuming that he's behaved himself in prison, I don't think it will be out of line for him to get parole," said David Roger, the retired Clark County district attorney who convinced jurors to convict Simpson in the Las Vegas case 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murder in the killings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Smoke and Fire From Above: Wildfire Images From Space In considering the case for parole, the commissioners will hear from Simpson, use a parole hearing report that has not been made public and refer to guidelines and risk assessment worksheets -- scorecards that rate the inmate on several factors. The board uses an 11-point risk assessment, on which Simpsons scores well, that offers a guideline for determining the danger an inmate poses to the public, if released. For example, the assessment considers the age of the inmate's first arrest. Teens score the highest risk, inmates 24 and older are considered lower risk. The assessment also lists employment history, offense type, history of drug or alcohol abuse, gender, age and other factors. Commission members also can consider letters in support or opposition of release and comments from Simpson's attorney.  The board's ruling is expected Thursday in a departure from the usual process, in which announcements are made days or weeks after the hearing. If granted parole, Simpson's earliest possible release date is Oct. 1, but the board can impose conditions on his release.  The 10- to 15-minute parole hearing will be Simpson's second since he was sent to the medium-level correctional facility about 450 miles north of Las Vegas, where the former USC and NFL running back was part of a strong-arm heist at The Palace Station Casino hotel off The Strip in September 2007. He was denied release in July 2013, but he was granted parole on some of the charges stemming from the holdup. That and other factors bode well for Simpson, who turned 70 on July 9. Panel members will likely consider his age, the violent nature of the crime, his plans if released and criminal history -- Simpson doesn't have one. He has expressed regret and told previous panel members that he's tried to be a model inmate. "He's really been a positive force in there. He's done a lot of good for a lot of people," Tom Scotto, a friend whose wedding Simpson was in Las Vegas to attend the weekend of the robbery, told the Associated Press.  He leads a Baptist prayer group, mentors other inmates, works in the prison gym, coaches teams and serves as commissioner of the prison yard softball league, Scotto told the AP. In an interview this week with NBC News, attorney F. Lee Bailey, who famously cross-examined then-LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman as part of the defense team during the murder trial, said Simpson appears poised for release. The two have not spoken since the night before the jury began deliberations in the armed robbery case, but Bailey said they've remained friends. He was asked what's next, if Simpson is released from prison. "I'm sure he'd like to play a little golf, and I'm sure he'd like to find some means of employment," Bailey said. "He still has a hard, core set of good friends and a couple of lawyers that still believe in him mightily, and I think he'll get substantial help in whatever direction he chooses to take." Scotto told NBC News that it's likely Simpson would move back to Florida if he's released. Scotto, Simpson's attorney and family members, including daughter Arnelle, are expected to be in the small prison conference room with Simpson during the videoconference hearing, the Associated Press reported. Bruce Fromong, one of the memorabilia dealers robbed in the Las Vegas hotel room, also told the AP he will attend in an effort to "be good for OJ." Fromong said he forgave Simpson long ago. Simpson and the 1995 murder trials became subjects of renewed focus last year with the release of the Oscar-winning "OJ: Made in America" and Emmy-winning "The People vs. OJ Simspon: American Crime Story." Photo Credit: Getty Images

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