In just three days, television audiences will revisit perhaps one of the biggest trials of the twentieth century: The OJ Simpson murder trial. The new FX original series, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 2 with Cuba Gooding, Jr. portraying the once-famous football star turned felon. Even though Simpson is currently serving up to 33 years in a Las Vegas prison for a 2007 armed robbery, you might be wondering: when will O.J. Simpson be released from prison? The answer is surprisingly complicated.
It's hard to believe that it has been 21 years since Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. It's this notorious trial that American Crime Story will tackle in its first season. But Simpson's story doesn't end with his 1995 acquittal: In 2008, Simpson was found guilty of armed robbery and 11 other charges including kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon — 13 years to the day he was acquitted of those infamous 1994 murders. Simpson was sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison, with a maximum sentence of 33 years in prison; he is currently housed at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada.
Here's where calculating Simpson's prison release date gets a little confusing.
In 2010, the Nevada Supreme Court denied an appeal. Then, in May 2013, Simpson testified in District Court seeking a new trial. Just two months later, Simpson was granted parole for the armed robbery charges by the Nevada parole board, but — and this is the really bizarre part thanks to the legal nuances of sentencing requirements — the then 66-year old felon was required to still serve a minimum of another four years before he could be released, due to sentences he was ordered to serve consecutively. Ultimately, in November of that year, Simpson was denied a retrial by the Clark County District Court: It was his last chance to seek any kind of early release from the courts.
While the state of Nevada originally sought a minimum of 18 years for Simpson's crimes, he was sentenced to a minimum of just nine years, giving him the first real eligibility for parole in October 2017. Assuming he makes parole at that time, Simpson will be 70 years old when he is released from prison. Norman Pardo, Simpson's business manager, told People Magazine that Simpson is not doing well in prison after serving eight years so far: "He's a broken man."
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 10 p.m. Eastern on the FX network.
Images: Ethan Miller/Getty (2)