Simpson's pending release prompts lawmaker to propose domestic violence history bill

LAS VEGAS - O.J. Simpson could be released from a Nevada prison as early as Saturday.  By that date, the former NFL star and actor would have served the mandatory minimum of his 9-to-33 year prison sentence.  

Simpson was convicted for a 2007 armed robbery of a sports memorabilia dealer inside a Palace Station Hotel room.

The parole board found Simpson's testimony, among other factors, sufficient enough to justify granting his request.

"I'm not a guy who lived a criminal life, I'm a pretty straight shooter," Simpson said in his July 20, 2017, parole hearing.

But, Simpson's release isn't sitting well with at least one lawmaker and one high-powered attorney.  Gloria Allred, a famous victim's rights attorney, said she has an issue with the fact that Simpson's testimony was not under oath.

"Mr. Simpson was, therefore, able to lie with impunity to the parole board," Allred said.

Allred says there are two glaring problems with current state law.  First, the Nevada Parole Board was unable to consider the civil wrongful death verdict of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman as part of their decision.  Secondly, a misdemeanor domestic battery conviction in 1989, in which Simpson pleaded no contest, did not show up in several databases inquires by the state's division of parole and probation.

"The Nevada Parole Board did not have this domestic violence information, and therefore did not use it to challenge Mr. Simpson's lie to them that he had led 'a conflict-free life," Allred said.

Allred says she's working with Assemblywoman Lisa Krasner, R-Reno, who has drafted a bill that could be considered in the 2019 legislative session.  The bill would require the board to specifically look for domestic violence cases in an inmate's past, and sign an affidavit that all testimony is true under penalty of perjury.

"This way, an inmate in the future will not be able to tell the parole board that they have led a 'conflict-free life' when in fact they have a prior conviction for domestic violence."

Assemblywoman Krasner has called for bipartisan support for her bill.  If Democrats retain control of the assembly in 2019, Krasner would likely need Democratic support to introduce the bill.


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