O.J. Simpson was paroled Thursday in Nevada after serving nine years of a 33-year prison sentence.
Many legal experts were not surprised.
“I think it was predictable,” CBS News senior legal analyst Andrew Cohen said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I think most people who were following it closely sort of saw the handwriting on the wall. O.J. Simpson is 70 years old, he didn’t have a record of any trouble inside the prison in Nevada where he was, prosecutors didn’t object to an early release, the victims in the case weren’t objecting to an early release – in fact, one of them testified on Simpson’s behalf yesterday – and the underlying thinking, also, is he was given a very harsh sentence for the crime for which he was convicted.”
Simpson, 70, was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison for a botched robbery in 2007.
Cohen believes that Simpson’s age played a major factor in his parole.
“I think it was a big deal,” he said. “If you watched the hearing or heard the hearing on CBS Radio, you heard them talk about risk assessments and so forth. Obviously one of the big, big risks that parole boards always worry about is they’re going to give an early release, they’re going to allow somebody back on that street, and that somebody is going to commit a violent crime. That’s the nightmare scenario for every parole board. It’s why so few people get parole and why the conditions of parole are always so onerous. Seventy-year-olds just don’t commit violent crimes. That’s what study after study after study tells us. In fact, for men, once they reach the age of, say, 25 or 30, it goes down significantly. So, yes, I think O.J’s age played a big factor. I think it helped him.”