California lawyer Gloria Allred and Reno Assemblywoman Lisa Krasner say O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing made it clear Nevada’s parole rules need strengthening.
Allred said Simpson, who was granted parole July 20 after nine years in prison, wasn’t under oath when he testified during his hearing. She said his testimony he has “spent a conflict free life” totally ignores his 1989 conviction for domestic battery and the civil case jury verdict that ruled he was responsible for punitive damages in the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.
Allred was the lawyer for the surviving family members of Nicole and Goldman and won $33.5 million in damages on their behalf.
Krasner said she has asked for a bill draft for the 2019 Legislature that would add several standards to the process when determining if an inmate should be paroled including whether he or she has been convicted of domestic violence and is ruled responsible for wrongful death in a case where punitive damages have been awarded.
Allred said the bill also would require that inmates testifying at a parole hearing be put under oath so they can’t lie.
Krasner said, at a Tuesday press conference, the Parole Board was never told about the 1989 “no contest” plea — by definition, a conviction — to domestic battery and, therefore, it “escaped the notice of the board.”
“They did not consider that 1989 conviction when they deliberated his parole,” she said adding her proposed legislation would fix that in future cases.
But a Parole Board spokesman said in a statement the board pulled a criminal history report from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and there was no reference to the 1989 case. A second report was pulled and it also made no mention of the 1989 plea, the statement said.
But the statement said isn’t necessarily an error.
“Some jurisdictions have processes that allow for a conviction to be withdrawn or sealed,” the statement says. “If such an event occurs, these withdrawn or sealed convictions would not be considered convictions for purposes of evaluating criminal history.”
Allred said the proposed legislation would fix that problem not only by advising the Parole Board to look at domestic violence convictions but by putting the inmate under oath so a lie would be perjury. She said it would ensure the board “has all the facts” when it rules on an inmate application for parole.
Asked why the bill only references domestic violence convictions and not other convictions such as DUIs, Krasner said she would be willing to look at that during the legislative session.