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Former NFL Star O.J. Simpson Granted Parole

O.J. Simpson was granted parole by four members of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners on Thursday after spending nearly nine years in prison. He will be released from Nevada's Lovelock Correctional Center as early as October 1st, according to a spokesman for the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners.

The board granted the former National Football League star parole following a hearing in which Simpson, his daughter Arnelle Simpson, and robbery victim Bruce Fromong testified in his favor. Simpson had served nearly nine years of a nine- to 33-year sentence after he was convicted in 2008 of 12 offenses including kidnapping and armed robbery, resulting from a  "sting" operation he conducted the year prior to recover sports memorabilia.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that defenders of Simpson have argued that his 2008 sentence was out of proportion with his crime. Some argue it was punishment for being acquitted of two murders in 1995 in Los Angeles, a trial that was fraught with racial tension.

Simpson mouthed the words "Thank you" after he learned of the granted parole on Thursday. He said during the hearing that he plans to return to Florida, where he was living before his sentence.

"I could stay in Nevada, but I don't think you guys want me here," he told the board during the hearing.

"No comment, sir," one of the commissioners responded.