Sirhan Sirhan Up For Parole
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
Linda Deutsch covered Sirhan's original trial for the Associated Press. She's now in Coalinga, California, to cover his parole hearing. And before the hearing, she told us about what William Pepper, Sirhan's lawyer, would say today.
LINDA DEUTSCH: He has had Sirhan examined by an eminent psychologist from Harvard University. And he will present a report from that psychologist. It will say that Sirhan cannot remember anything about the crucial events of the night of Kennedy's assassination. It will also claim that he is not a danger to himself or society and that he should be released.
NORRIS: Are they making the argument that he actually was easily hypnotized? That this was a possibility?
DEUTSCH: Well, they can't make that argument to the parole board, which is very limited in what they can consider. But he has said that he may say things afterwards to the press about what exactly was accomplished with these interviews and the hypnosis.
NORRIS: And who would've hypnotized him?
DEUTSCH: He has not proposed that theory. No one has come up with evidence of anyone else having hypnotized him.
NORRIS: And the hearing, the parole hearing that Sirhan will face today, this is something that comes up naturally on the calendar, is that correct?
DEUTSCH: Lifers, as they are called, get parole hearings routinely. It is part of the law. And so he comes up for parole, people like the Manson family come up for parole. However, none of these high profile prisoners has ever been released on parole.
NORRIS: Are there any briefs that are entered into the record at the parole hearings? Does the Kennedy family, for instance, send any kind of letter or brief?
DEUTSCH: As far as I know, they have not. I tried to reach a member of the Kennedy family and no one called me back. I think they would rather not get involved in this at this point. It is 43 years later. And I think that people would like to forget, but it's the kind of crime that no one will ever forget.
NORRIS: Linda Deutsch, thank you very much.
DEUTSCH: Thank you, Michele.
NORRIS: Linda Deutsch is with the Associated Press. She's covering the parole hearing for Sirhan Sirhan in California today.
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