OJ Simpson granted parole

OJ Simpson has been granted parole and could be released as early as October 1.

The Nevada Board of Parole granted Simpson parole from prison early Friday morning (NZ time).

Simpson, one of America's most famous criminals, served more than eight years for his role in an armed robbery, where he stole sports memorabilia from two men in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007.

Simpson, 70, appeared on a live-stream video conference from prison in front of four commissioners of a seven-person parole board.

Simpson spoke for around 45 minutes and witnesses were called before the members deliberated over the decision.

During his closing remarks, which he said he had not prepared, he said "I’ve spent nine years making no excuses about anything."

A letter was read on his behalf in which Simpson expressed regret about his crime, and said he should have had "better judgement" and that he wished it had not happened.

"If I would have made a better judgement back then, none of this would have happened. And I take full responsibility."

"I haven’t made any excuses in nine years here, but I should have never allowed these alleged security guys to help me, because it turned out they were only trying to help themselves."

He said he had realised during his nine years incarcerated that he was "a good guy on the street, but I could have been a better Christian."

One of the victims of the robbery, Bruce Fromong, was at the hearing on Simpson's behalf.

Mr Fromong told CNN he "never thought that the crime deserved that much time, that long of a sentence."

Mr Fromong told The Associated Press he suffered four heart attacks and financial loss since the crime, but he said that he would be "trying to be good for OJ". The other dealer, Alfred Beardsley, died two years ago.

At the hearing, a parole board member held up hundreds of letters of support and opposition.

The member said "The majority of the opposition letters are asking us to consider your 1995 acquittal and subsequent civil judgement; however these items will not be considered.'

Simpson, a NFL running back during the 1970s was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1995.

He was found guilty in 2008 of 12 criminal counts, including assault, burglary, coercion, kidnapping and robbery, all with use of a deadly weapon.

He was sentenced to serve between nine and 33 years at the Lovelock Correctional Center, a medium-security prison, about 90 miles northeast of Reno.

In July 2013, the same four board members were part of the team that parolled Simpson on one burglary count and two counts of both kidnapping and robbery in connection to the 2007 crime.