O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing in Nevada this Thursday will be carried live on ESPN as an expanded, 90-minute Outside the Lines Special, and pool cameras in the hearing room make it all but certain the proceedings will pop up at least in part on other news channels.
In fact, the Nevada Board of Parole says about 30 news organizations have registered to cover the hearing at both the hearing location in Carson City and at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada, where Simpson is incarcerated on the 2008 armed robbery and kidnapping convictions.
Simpson will appear via videoconference from the prison, with four parole commissioners in Carson City.
The hearing begins at 10 am PT (1 pm ET), and ESPN has set aside a 90-minute slot under its Outside the Lines banner. The network’s Jeremy Schaap will anchor.
The public’s fascination with Simpson hasn’t ebbed since his era-defining arrest (and acquittal) for the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. ESPN Films, of course, scored big time with its O.J.: Made in America documentary, the 2016 five-part series directed by Ezra Edelman that won a Best Feature Documentary Oscar for its theatrical run. FX’s hit 2016 drama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story won nine Emmy Awards.
Simpson, 70, was sentenced in 2008 to nine-to-33 years in prison for his role in an armed Las Vegas confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers. If paroled – which legal pundits say is possible, even likely – he could be released October 1.
Simpson’s cohort in the crime, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, served 27 months in prison before the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that he should have been tried separately from Simpson.
The Nevada parole board has indicated that a decision on Simpson’s release will be made the day of the hearing, and that Simpson will be permitted to speak.