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Should O.J. Simpson be granted parole? “Hell no!” says Stephen A. Smith, other panelists disagree

Does O.J. Simpson deserve to serve any more jail time?

Simpson is up for parole and could be out of the slammer as early as 2017, currently serving a 33-year sentence since 2008 for trying to retain his memorabilia. He was armed and came into a hotel room with a group of people in attempt to retain his memorabilia in Las Vegas. Consequently he was found guilty on 12 charges including armed robbery and kidnapping. Nine years later Simpson is up for parole.

Debating the topic on ESPN First Take’s was sports analysts Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Will Cain. Host Molly Qerim asked if the panelists think Simpson should be granted parole.

The consensus between the panelists was how Simpson was serving a much larger sentence for the memorabilia case because of the belief that he got off on a double murder killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. With that said, Smith still believes he should spend the rest of his life in jail.

“I think he should stay in jail,” Smith said. “As far as I’m concerned it would not bother me if he rotted in there for the rest of his damn life…I am fully aware of the fact he’s been railroaded…he’s an idiot…I firmly believe that you are a double murderer…the bottom line is you had an ideal opportunity to chill out and walk away the rest of your life.”

For the sake of justice he should be granted parole, says Cain, who said he believes Simpson did it.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right. Don’t use the same rationale that those jurors [in the double murder case] used to commit an injustice to do another,” Cain said. “Everybody else that was involved in this robbery served minimal time. No one gets 33 years for a robbery.”

With the injustices Los Angeles Police Department exploited during that era is why some of the jurors may have thought Simpson did not commit the murders, Smith said, denying Cain’s argument that all jurors thought Simpson was guilty but wanted him to get off to retaliate against racial injustices the LAPD engaged in.

As long as Simpson continues to behave as good as he has he should be granted parole, Kellerman said. It should be solely based on the case he is serving time for and officials should not be influenced by whether they think Simpson committed the double murder, says Kellerman.

“We live in a nation where there’s a rule of law and he was not convicted for their murders,” Kellerman said. “It must be judged exclusively on the evidence and circumstances of this case.

“O.J. should get parole if he deserves it.”

By Gino Terrell


Gino Terrell is the Director of Content at Hidden Valley Culture Blog/In-Depth section. Terrell covered local artists and reviewed mainstream shows in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area under the Twin Cities Daily Planet (2014-15). He also freelanced for MinnPost and interned at Pioneer Press, KSTP TV (the Minneapolis ABC News Affiliate) and American Public Media Group. He's accumulated over 30 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists and founded award winning student-magazine Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota). He was once the sports editor for the school newspaper, The Oracle. Follow him on Twitter: @Gin026


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