OJ Simpson seeking release from prison

20/20 digging into OJ Simpson parole hearing in Nevada

The Nevada Board of Parole will determine next week whether O.J. Simpson will be a free man after almost a decade in prison, or if he'll continue to serve out more of his sentence following a bungled robbery in Las Vegas.

Four members from the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners will consider parole for Simpson at the board offices in Carson City, Nev., with the proceedings set to begin Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. He was sentenced to nine to 33 years for armed robbery and kidnapping after breaking into a hotel room in Las Vegas.

Should Simpson's parole be denied, he could remain in prison until 2022.

Just like his murder trial, Simpson's parole hearing will likely dominate the airwaves.

Roberts told Inside Edition the men who were with Simpson that night believe he has a 50/50 chance of going free and that if he was a "regular guy", he would be freed.

Simpson was convicted after breaking into a Las Vegas hotel room on September 13, 2007, with the help of several other men and stealing sports memorabilia he claimed belonged to him. In 1995, an estimated 100 million viewers watched on television as the onetime athlete was acquitted in the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman. The commission usually includes seven members, but now it has only six because a vacancy occurred June 30 and the replacement will not begin until after Simpson's hearing.

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Four of the men with Simpson, Michael McClinton, Walter Alexander, Charles Ehrlich, and Charles Cashmore pleaded against him after accepting plea deals, and received probation.

Simpson's cohort in the crime, Clarence "C.J". He will appear via video conference from Lovelock Correctional Center, a medium-security prison northeast of Reno. The parole hearing on Thursday covers Simpson's other counts.

If the six votes are split, a subsequent parole hearing will be held in January 2018.

If granted a release O.J. will be free to walk out of the prison on October 1.

"I'm very sympathetic to him being released at the first possible moment", Bailey, 84, told NBC News. In either case, a decision is expected on the day of the hearing.

"You have to do what you think is right and not really worry about public opinion", said Salling.

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