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updated 7/31/2013 6:17:46 PM ET 2013-07-31T22:17:46

The 66-year-old, who was convicted in 2008 on charges including kidnapping and armed robbery, could be out of jail in four years.

O.J. Simpson won something of a victory Wednesday, when the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners approved his request for leniency. But the news isn’t a get-out-jail-free card for the 66 year old, who was convicted in 2008 on charges including kidnapping and armed robbery during what he said was an attempt to retrieve his property from two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel room.

Beginning in October, Simpson will serve four “deadly weapon enhancements” that go with his sentences, said the Nevada Appeal’s Geoff Dornan on NewsNation Wednesday, which together carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.

“It’s a big reduction,” said Dornan. “That takes ten years off the potential total that he was looking at, which at the time of sentencing was more than 30 years behind bars.”

“He could be out in just about four years, if his next two appearances before the board go as well as this one did for him,” he said.

Among the reasons for granting leniency, said Dornan, is that there were no prior convictions for Simpson, who in 1994 was acquitted of murder charges in the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. Additionally, Simpson’s age–66–gives him a relatively low risk of reoffense.

But Simpson’s parole drew a heated backlash. Though he was found not guilty in the 1994 criminal trial, Simpson was later found liable for the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in a California civil suit.

“Person after person, everybody who contacted me, basically said that [Simpson] is a murderer and should stay in prison for life,” said Dornan. But, he added, “there are a lot of Simpson supporters who have maintained all along that he was convicted for what happened in that hotel room, but he was sentenced for what didn’t happen in California.”

Video: OJ Simpson granted leniency on sentence

  1. Closed captioning of: OJ Simpson granted leniency on sentence

    >>> "news nation" is following breaking news. o.j. simpson has been granted parole on some of the charges stemming from his 2008 conviction. the nevada board of parole commissioners approved his request for leniency in his sentence on armed robbery and kidnapping charges. last week, simpson told the board he was sorry for his actions and said he was only trial to retrieve property that already belonged to him. simpson has spent more than four years behind bars . jeff dornan is the capital bureau reporter for the nevada appeal . he join us now. jeff , so this does not mean, though, that o.j. simpson is walking out of the prison doors today?

    >> no, it does not. he will begin in october, serving the four deadly weapon enhancements that goes with those sentences.

    >> so what kind of time --

    >> he has to serve at least --

    >> go ahead.

    >> go ahead.

    >> what kind of reduction, though, is this on his sentence?

    >> oh, it's a big reduction. the maximum on these was 15 years. and he has served just about five. so, that takes ten years off the potential total that he was looking at, which at the time of sentencing, was more than 30 years behind bars .

    >> so essentially he was looking at dying behind bars . but now he could, as i understand it, if the numbers are right here, he could be out in four years?

    >> he could be out just about in four years if his next two appearances before the board go as well as this one did for him.

    >> what was, i guess, the reasoning behind this approval for leniency in this case?

    >> well, they listed several things. one that they -- no prior convictions for anything. and they don't give a lot of specific reasons, because parole is a grace. you have no right to parole. so they don't hang themselves out there by explaining in great detail. they listed low -- he's considered a low risk to reoffend. and in part that would be because of his age. he's 66 years old now.

    >> and just quickly, though, the board looked at the fact that he'd never been convicted of a felony. obviously, that will not go down well with many people who know that he was not convicted in the deaths of his wife and her friend. but nevertheless, he lost that civil case , that resulted in him needing to forfeit over his possessions and other things there. but the bottom line, i've got to ask you, what kind of reaction have you heard there. are people -- especially even the brown family -- very upset about this?

    >> well, when i wrote the story from the parole board hearing, person after person, and everybody who contacted me, basically said that he is a murderer and should stay in prison for life. there are a lot of simpson supporters who have patented all along that he was convicted for what happened in that hotel room , but he was sentenced for what didn't happen in california.

    >> all right. jeff , thank you very much. but, begin, a victory for o.j. simpson . he could spend now just four years behind bars , as a result of this leniency request being approved by the judge. he was literally looking at life behind bars . that is not the case now.

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