O.J. Simpson will make his case for freedom on Thursday — and many experts believe he has a good shot at winning it.
Simpson’s fate rests in the hands of four members of the Nevada Board of Parole, who will hold a hearing starting at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) in Carson City. Simpson will appear via video conference from two hours away at Lovelock Correctional Center, the isolated medium-security facility northeast of Reno that he has called home for nearly nine years, to answer commissioners’ questions.
The hearing, which is expected to last about 10 or 15 minutes, will be livestreamed on NBCNews.com.
Simpson is approaching the minimum time served of his 33-year sentence after he was convicted in 2008 of kidnapping, armed robbery and 10 other charges related to a botched sports memorabilia heist in a Las Vegas hotel room.
One of his robbery victims, Bruce Fromong, is expected to speak at the hearing. Fromong has told The Associated Press that he forgives Simpson for the incident.
Simpson, 70, has spent his time behind bars mopping the prison gym floor and serving as a sports coach to other inmates. Legal experts believe his good behavior in prison will help him gain parole.
“I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t, based on his being a model prisoner and the actions that he’s taken over the years to better himself,” Al Lasso, a Las Vegas trial lawyer who has observed the case, told NBC News.
Simpson’s infamous past should not play a role in his parole case, Lasso added.
“It’s going to be hard to leave out the murder situation from the parole board’s minds, but in the end, they have to go by a regulated system, a point system. And if you add up the points, he’s more than eligible for parole,” Lasso said.
Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School in Los Angeles professor and longtime Simpson case commentator, agreed parole was likely.