O.J. Simpson granted parole for early release

O.J. Simpson will be paroled after serving nine years in prison for a botched bid to retrieve sports memorabilia in Las Vegas.

A Nevada parole board decided Thursday that the 70-year-old former football, TV and movie star will be released in October after serving his minimum term for armed robbery and assault with a weapon.

Simpson responded emotionally, saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Four parole commissioners in Carson City questioned Simpson by videoconference from the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada. He has been held there since he was convicted in 2008.

The conviction came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murder in 1995 in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles.

Looking trimmer than he has in recent years, Simpson walked briskly into the hearing room dressed in jeans, a light-blue prison-issue shirt and sneakers. He laughed at one point as the parole board chairwoman mistakenly gave his age as 90.

Simpson, 70, said he never pointed a gun at anyone nor made any threats during the crime that put him in prison, and he forcefully insisted that nearly all the memorabilia he saw in two dealers’ hotel room belonged to him.

“In no way, shape or form did I wish them any harm,” he added, saying he later made amends with those in the room.

He said he has spent his time in prison mentoring fellow inmates, often keeping others out of trouble, and believes he has become a better person during his time behind bars. He said he took an alternative-to-violence course in prison.

‘I’ve done my time,” he said. “I’ve done it as well and respectfully as I think anybody can.”

A vote in his favor enables Simpson to get out as early as Oct. 1. By then, he will have served the minimum of his nine-to-33-year armed-robbery sentence.

The Hall of Fame athlete’s chances of winning release were considered good, given similar cases and Simpson’s model behavior behind bars.

His defenders have argued, too, that his sentence was out of proportion to the crime and that he was being punished for the two murders he was acquitted of during his 1995 “Trial of the Century” in Los Angeles, the stabbings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Reflecting America’s enduring fascination with Simpson, several major TV networks and cable channels – including ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox, MSNBC and ESPN – carried the proceedings live, just as some of them did two decades ago during the Ford Bronco chase that ended in Simpson’s arrest, and again when the jury in the murder case came back with its verdict.

Simpson said most of the objects taken in the hotel heist were personal property, including letters from celebrities, family photos, certificates of accomplishment and more. Items that were not his, including autographed baseballs, were taken by others in the rush to get out of the room, he said.

He added he realizes he made a terrible mistake bringing along two people with guns, adding if he had gone to the room by himself he could have resolved the matter without a problem.

Simpson said if released he plans to return to Florida, where he was living before his incarceration.

“I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don’t think you guys want me here,” he joked at one point.

“No comment, sir,” one of the parole board members said.

Inmate No. 1027820 made his plea for freedom in a stark hearing room at the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada as four parole commissioners in Carson City, a two-hour drive away, questioned him via video. 

An electrifying running back dubbed “The Juice,” Simpson won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best college football player in 1968 and went on to become one of the NFL’s all-time greats.

The handsome and charismatic athlete was also a “Monday Night Football” commentator, sprinted through airports in Hertz rental-car commercials and built a Hollywood career with roles in the “Naked Gun” comedies and other movies.

All of that came crashing down with his arrest in the 1994 slayings and his trial, a gavel-to-gavel live-TV sensation that transfixed viewers with its testimony about the bloody glove that didn’t fit and stirred furious debate over racist police, celebrity justice and cameras in the courtroom.

Last year, the case proved to be compelling TV all over again with the ESPN documentary “O.J.: Made in America” and the award-winning FX miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

In 1997, Simpson was found liable in civil court for the two killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and the Goldman family.

Then a decade later, he and five accomplices – two with guns – stormed a hotel room and seized photos, plaques and signed balls, some of which never belonged to Simpson, from two sports memorabilia dealers.

Simpson was convicted in 2008, and the long prison sentence brought a measure of satisfaction to some of those who thought he got away with murder.

One of the dealers robbed, Bruce Fromong, planned to attend the parole hearing, saying he and Simpson had made amends and that he intended to speak in favor of release.

A Goldman family spokesman said Goldman’s father and sister, Fred and Kim, would not be part of the hearing and feel apprehensive about “how this will change their lives again should Simpson be released.”

The now-retired district attorney who prosecuted Simpson for the heist, David Roger, has denied Simpson’s sentence was “payback” for his murder acquittal. He has also said that if Simpson behaved in prison, he should get parole.

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O.J. Simpson granted parole for early release

O.J. Simpson will be paroled after serving nine years in prison for a botched bid to retrieve sports memorabilia in Las Vegas.

A Nevada parole board decided Thursday that the 70-year-old former football, TV and movie star will be released in October after serving his minimum term for armed robbery and assault with a weapon.

Simpson responded emotionally, saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Four parole commissioners in Carson City questioned Simpson by videoconference from the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada. He has been held there since he was convicted in 2008.

The conviction came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murder in 1995 in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles.

Looking trimmer than he has in recent years, Simpson walked briskly into the hearing room dressed in jeans, a light-blue prison-issue shirt and sneakers. He laughed at one point as the parole board chairwoman mistakenly gave his age as 90.

Simpson, 70, said he never pointed a gun at anyone nor made any threats during the crime that put him in prison, and he forcefully insisted that nearly all the memorabilia he saw in two dealers’ hotel room belonged to him.

“In no way, shape or form did I wish them any harm,” he added, saying he later made amends with those in the room.

He said he has spent his time in prison mentoring fellow inmates, often keeping others out of trouble, and believes he has become a better person during his time behind bars. He said he took an alternative-to-violence course in prison.

‘I’ve done my time,” he said. “I’ve done it as well and respectfully as I think anybody can.”

A vote in his favor enables Simpson to get out as early as Oct. 1. By then, he will have served the minimum of his nine-to-33-year armed-robbery sentence.

The Hall of Fame athlete’s chances of winning release were considered good, given similar cases and Simpson’s model behavior behind bars.

His defenders have argued, too, that his sentence was out of proportion to the crime and that he was being punished for the two murders he was acquitted of during his 1995 “Trial of the Century” in Los Angeles, the stabbings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Reflecting America’s enduring fascination with Simpson, several major TV networks and cable channels – including ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox, MSNBC and ESPN – carried the proceedings live, just as some of them did two decades ago during the Ford Bronco chase that ended in Simpson’s arrest, and again when the jury in the murder case came back with its verdict.

Simpson said most of the objects taken in the hotel heist were personal property, including letters from celebrities, family photos, certificates of accomplishment and more. Items that were not his, including autographed baseballs, were taken by others in the rush to get out of the room, he said.

He added he realizes he made a terrible mistake bringing along two people with guns, adding if he had gone to the room by himself he could have resolved the matter without a problem.

Simpson said if released he plans to return to Florida, where he was living before his incarceration.

“I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don’t think you guys want me here,” he joked at one point.

“No comment, sir,” one of the parole board members said.

Inmate No. 1027820 made his plea for freedom in a stark hearing room at the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada as four parole commissioners in Carson City, a two-hour drive away, questioned him via video. 

An electrifying running back dubbed “The Juice,” Simpson won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best college football player in 1968 and went on to become one of the NFL’s all-time greats.

The handsome and charismatic athlete was also a “Monday Night Football” commentator, sprinted through airports in Hertz rental-car commercials and built a Hollywood career with roles in the “Naked Gun” comedies and other movies.

All of that came crashing down with his arrest in the 1994 slayings and his trial, a gavel-to-gavel live-TV sensation that transfixed viewers with its testimony about the bloody glove that didn’t fit and stirred furious debate over racist police, celebrity justice and cameras in the courtroom.

Last year, the case proved to be compelling TV all over again with the ESPN documentary “O.J.: Made in America” and the award-winning FX miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

In 1997, Simpson was found liable in civil court for the two killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and the Goldman family.

Then a decade later, he and five accomplices – two with guns – stormed a hotel room and seized photos, plaques and signed balls, some of which never belonged to Simpson, from two sports memorabilia dealers.

Simpson was convicted in 2008, and the long prison sentence brought a measure of satisfaction to some of those who thought he got away with murder.

One of the dealers robbed, Bruce Fromong, planned to attend the parole hearing, saying he and Simpson had made amends and that he intended to speak in favor of release.

A Goldman family spokesman said Goldman’s father and sister, Fred and Kim, would not be part of the hearing and feel apprehensive about “how this will change their lives again should Simpson be released.”

The now-retired district attorney who prosecuted Simpson for the heist, David Roger, has denied Simpson’s sentence was “payback” for his murder acquittal. He has also said that if Simpson behaved in prison, he should get parole.

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Condoleezza Rice wants women to use golf the way men do

Golf might as well be the official sport of business. Relationships on the green often lead to deals in the board room.

The sport is invaluable for many businessmen. Condoleezza Rice wants more businesswomen to take advantage of it, too.

“I want women to be able to go to that golf outing in the corporate environment, and play golf, and not have to go back to the hotel while all the guys go to the golf range,” Rice told CNNMoney recently. “I’ve seen that very often. It used to happen to me.”

Rice teamed up with accounting firm KPMG, which hosts a leadership summit for women who are on the cusp of entering the C-suite in their companies. The women attend a golf clinic aimed at helping them use the sport as a networking tool and get to meet other high achievers.

Since 2015, KPMG has held the event before the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. It’s also recently launched a scholarship program for 20 high school seniors.

Rice participates in the summit, then hosts a three-day golf and leadership retreat for the female students.

Rice started golfing relatively late in her career, while serving as secretary of state under President George W. Bush. But she realizes golf matters even when deals aren’t being done.

“It’s not that they’re really doing business, but they’re socializing. They’re getting to know each other. And that’s important in the corporate environment too,” she said. “It’s all about relationships.”

The leadership summit is highly selective. The 200 women were nominated by their bosses and, in many cases, were chosen from among thousands of employees.

Kim Rodriguez, an assistant vice president at Enterprise Holdings, and Pamela Westbrooks-Hodge, a senior director with Express Scripts, were both selected.

Rodriguez started in her company’s manager training program, where she learned about business, washed cars and made sales calls. She worked her way up.

Rodriguez, who was a casual golfer in high school and college, found the clinic helpful. She admitted that she had been hard on herself when she had tried to play for work.

“I think I tried to connect with people playing golf, but I wasn’t that good,” Rodriguez told CNNMoney. “Some of the pros yesterday were like, ‘Just get good at your golf game, but great at your networking opportunity.'”

Westbrooks-Hodge hadn’t played golf in 10 years but attended the clinic so she wouldn’t miss out on future work outings and chances to network.

“I feel more empowered,” she told CNNMoney. “Men are fortunate because they’re in those spaces and they’re having those relationships.”

Westbrooks-Hodge said she already has big plans — a sorority sister has offered to tutor her so she can improve.

Lynne Doughtie, the CEO of KPMG U.S., helps lead the summit. She only started playing golf a few years ago, but she stressed how useful the sport is for developing bonds with clients and colleagues. She said she thinks a lot of women are intimidated at first. “You hear men especially talk about golf a lot. They’re really passionate about it,” she said. “You think, ‘Wow they must be really great.'”

Doughtie encouraged women to overcome this trepidation. She did.

“The great thing about golf is you go out there and you say, ‘Well, they’re not so good. I can play.'”

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Is it still an All-Star parade in Miami if nobody shows up?

For those who say Miami is not a baseball town, the tens of, well, handfuls of fans who attended Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game Parade down Biscayne Boulevard would disagree.

And handfuls is being generous.

Mega-stars like Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge see more people preparing their pre-game meals than the number of fans who attended the parade.

The word “sparse” was specifically created to describe the attendance.

As the players from the American League and National League teams made their way down the red-carpeted road, they did so in front of large gaps along the rails.

The lack of interest was so profound, employees at the American Airlines Arena were told to take a longer lunch break so they could beef up the number of fans along the route.

Kids were also bussed in from local camps.

Many on Local 10’s Facebook page mocked the parade, most saying they never knew it was happening.

“I didn’t know about the parade, would’ve definitely taken the kids,” said Carmen Angel Gutierrez.

Katherine Thunem was not as kind, posting, “LMAO, leave it to Miami people for this “parade” to be DEAD!”

While Frederick John McConnell put it simply, “Worst parade I’ve ever seen.”

The empty parade route comes hours before the All-Star Game in which tickets still remain, an almost unheard of occurrance.

Maybe it’s time to pull out those DVD’s of the Miami Heat championship parades to see what a Biscayne Boulevard party really looks like.

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Paris and Los Angeles set to get 2024 and 2028 Olympics

Paris and Los Angeles are probably getting the Summer Olympics for 2024 and 2028. It’s just not clear which city will host in which year.

The International Olympic Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to break with tradition and award two games at once.

Paris and LA are the only competitors left for 2024. But it’s been clear since early this year that the IOC is leaning toward awarding the next two games at the same time, to streamline the selection process and provide greater financial stability to the games.

Hosting a modern Olympics practically guarantees massive debt and cost overruns, and many cities have abandoned bids recently. Researchers at Oxford’s Saïd Business School estimate the cost overrun for the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, was $1.6 billion.

“Brazil is not a unique case. All summer and winter games that we’ve studied have shown cost overruns,” wrote Bent Flyvbjerg, the lead researcher. “For a city and country to host the games is a huge undertaking and one of the most costly and financially risky megaprojects they can undertake.”

IOC Vice President John Coates suggested Tuesday that the Paris and Los Angeles Olympic committees will be left to figure out who should host in which year. The decision would then be ratified in September.

If the two cities can’t settle the question of who would get which games, the IOC would decide in September. In that case, the 2028 games could be open to additional bidders.

Paris and Los Angeles were left as the only contenders for 2024 when Budapest withdrew its bid in February. Officials from both Paris and Los Angeles had stressed that their cities already have more than 90% of the facilities they need to host, reducing the additional cost.

Before the announcement, President Trump tweeted that he is “working hard to get the Olympics for the United States.” He has been on record supporting Los Angeles’ bid since shortly after his election in November, and reportedly called IOC President Thomas Bach to lobby for the city.

Bach first raised the possibility of awarding the 2024 and 2028 games at once, saying in December that tapping one city at a time “produces too many losers.” The IOC’s executive board voted last month in favor of awarding both games at the same time. The full IOC voted Tuesday.

–CNNMoney’s Charles Riley contributed to this report.

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