James Alan Fox, a pro­fessor of crim­i­nology, law, and public policy at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, pre­dicts that even if O’Brien were to go before the parole board to ask for parole release, he doubts it would ever happen. “It’s extremely slim. It’s rather dif­fi­cult for mur­derers to get paroled on their first, even second attempt,” Fox said. “If you look at the recent his­tory on suc­cesses of parole releases after the first attempt, and the later attempt, the rate of release is rather low.”

Fox said he thinks that the parole board is going to be “very con­ser­v­a­tive about granting parole,”given the shakeup in the system in 2011.

Add to that any case that’s a high-​​profile case that will have lots of media atten­tion paid to it—in those sit­u­a­tions, the hes­i­tancy will prob­ably be height­ened,” he said. “There is a dif­fer­ence between being parole eli­gible and being released. Someone like Eddie O’Brien isn’t likely to have a parole release. He was the cat­a­lyst for the law change, and his noto­riety will never be for­gotten, I suspect.”

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