(WTNH) — From hero athlete to murder suspect to convicted felon. For almost two and a half decades the world has watched as O.J. Simpson’s run-ins with the law have taken center stage.
“The fascination is that it’s become almost a reality show. You have characters that are larger than life all throughout this 20 year saga,” said Ben Bogardus.
Bogardus is an assistant professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University. He expects tomorrow will be no different as Simpson’s latest parole hearing is streamed live.
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“I think people will take a couple of minutes to turn to it. It’s one of those things that’s a national phenomenon. Everyone will be talking about it because people want to see it because they don’t want to be left out of the conversation,” said Bogardus.
Simpson is currently serving up to 33 years for a botched armed robbery in 2007. At a hearing in 2013, Simpson was denied parole but sources close to the case think this time it will be different.
“I think he has a strong chance of getting out. I think he hasn’t really been a problem in prison, he’s got a good chance of getting out,” said Craig Arnett.
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Arnett was a guard at the Nevada prison where Simpson is being held for the first three years of his sentence.
Model prisoner or not, a lot of people find it difficult to get past Simpson’s past. After being acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman many saw his robbery conviction as a punishment for a crime the still believe he committed.
The parole board is not supposed to take that murder case into consideration, but it’s that case that has kept the public tuned in for years.
“It’s almost like a wow, blast from the past and it’s almost a nostalgia thing so people who lived through it are remembering what it was like watching the trial, watching all the characters,” said Bogardus.