Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole

Thursday, Mar 3, 2011  |  Updated 5:55 AM PDT
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Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole

NBCLA

Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968. This image taken Wednesday at his13th parole hearing.

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The man who assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968 was denied parole Wednesday for the 13th time.
  
Sirhan Sirhan, 66, will be eligible for parole again in five years, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Sirhan appeared today at Pleasant Valley State Prison before a two-member panel from the Board of Parole Hearings, which denied his bid for release.
  
Sirhan was last denied parole five years ago.
  
Kennedy, a 42-year-old U.S. senator from New York, was fatally shot at close range in the kitchen of the now-shuttered Ambassador Hotel on June 5, 1968, after he declared victory in the California primary in his bid for the Democratic nomination for president.
  
Five other people were shot, but survived.
  
Sirhan was convicted in April 1969 of one count of first-degree murder and five counts of assault with attempt to commit murder.
  
He was initially sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to life in prison after the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty law in effect at the time in 1972 as unconstitutional.
  
Sirhan has claimed amnesia brought on by the consumption of too much alcohol and has said he did not commit the crime.
  
In 1975, Sirhan was granted a parole date for September 1984, but a parole board panel rescinded that decision in May 1982 amid public outcry and opposition from officials from the District Attorney's Office and area legislators.

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