LOS ANGELES–To avoid the prospect of life in prison without parole–Hampig Sassounian signed an agreement with prosecutors which will make him eligible for parole in 2007.
On Friday–Judge Robert J. Perry re-sentenced Sassounian to a term of 25 years to life in state prison and told him he would be eligible for parole only on September 28–2007–"not on any date before or after." He was previously sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Parole is the release of a prisoner to supervision in the community after he/she has completed a part of his/her sentence in an institution.
Given that the "parole eligibility date" is the earliest time the offender might be paroled–Sassounian will wait until September 28–2007 to benefit from the agreement.
The agreement appears to be a break in the almost two-decade long effort of the community to defend Sassounian.
Defense attorney Mark Geragos said the deal was "18 years coming," and continued– "given the tenor of the times–parole is not an easy task–but we certainly are a lot closer today than yesterday."
LA Times–LA Daily News and USDOJ sources used.