After a hearing that decided whether he was going to be granted parole dominated television screens this summer, Orenthal James Simpson (aka: O.J. Simpson) is now officially a free man. The former professional athlete and now ex-con was released from the Lovelock Correctional Center at midnight in order to “ensure public safety and reduce the potential for incident,” the Nevada Department of Corrections stated on its Facebook page early this morning.
“The Nevada Department of Corrections, in an effort to ensure public safety and reduce the potential for incident, released Orenthal James Simpson #1027820, on October 1, 2017, at 12:08 AM from Lovelock Correctional Center,” read the official message on Facebook. The post included a photo and video of Simpson as he was informed he could exit the building after spending nine years in prison on a 12-count charge of armed robbery of sports memorabilia in a Las Vegas hotel. He was originally sentenced to a maximum of 33 years.
“Here you go, come on out,” a corrections officer is heard telling Simpson as he exited. “OK,” said Simpson in response.
Coverage of Simpson’s parole hearing attracted 13 million viewers across broadcast networks ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, and cable networks FOX News, CNN and MSNBC. CBS brought in the most viewers during the two-hour broadcast (1:00-3:00 p.m. ET) with 3.1 million viewers (748,000 in Adults 25-54) with ABC in second place with 2.3 million viewers (544,000 in Adults 25-54). NBC followed with 1.9 million viewers (548,000 in Adults 25-54) with FOX bringing in 1.3 million (478,000 in Adults 25-54).
FOX News topped the cable charts with 1.74 million viewers (332,000 in Adults 25-54) while CNN took in 1.13 million viewers (347,000 in Adults 25-54). MSNBC attracted just 961,000 viewers (199,000 in Adults 25-54).