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Sirhan Sirhan Granted Parole On 16th Attempt, But Release Not Guaranteed

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 in Los Angeles, was granted parole Friday on his 16th attempt.

The decision does not automatically mean the 77-year-old Sirhan will be released. The decision now enters a 90-day review period, and will then be forwarded to the governor, who could reject or modify it.

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(credit: California Department Of Corrections And Rehabilitation)

Sirhan Sirhan has served more than 50 years in prison after being initially sentenced to death for Kennedy's murder at the Ambassador Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. He was later commuted to life in prison after the state Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional.

Friday's hearing was Sirhan's 16th bid for parole. However, it will be the first time the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office won't be present, and prosecutors left the decision to the parole board.

District Attorney George Gascon has set a policy against attending parole hearings for defendants who have served lengthy prison sentences beyond the required minimum term. The Kennedy family has also reportedly not taken a position on Sirhan's parole or requested to speak at the hearing.

Sirhan, who is currently at a facility in San Diego County, was last denied parole in 2016. If today's hearing determines Sirhan is suitable for parole, the decision will undergo a 90-day review period, which will be followed by a 30-day window for the governor to decide whether to uphold, overturn, or modify the decision.

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