Man who once told Illinois prisoner review board to 'shove it' gets parole

A man convicted in a 1968 gang-related Chicago killing who once told members of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board to "shove it" has been granted parole.

Namor Smith, 74, was granted parole Thursday by the board on a 12-3 vote.

At Smith’s last previous hearing in 2019, the board voted 3-10 against releasing him, and a decade ago he told the board "you can take this parole thing and shove it up" while using an expletive, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.


Smith, a former member of the Blackstone Rangers gang, was convicted in the fatal 1968 shooting of Sterling Burnett, 21, on Chicago’s South Side.

Authorities said Smith and other gang members confronted Burnett because he wasn’t in their gang. One gang member punched Burnett, who was dragged into an alley and fatally shot.

One of Smith’s co-defendants in Burnett’s killing was paroled in 2001, while the other served a 20-to 30-year prison term.

Smith was serving 50 to 100 years in prison for murder, plus eight more years for wounding an inmate with a homemade knife in 1987.

Officials said he admitted killing Burnett, saying he was in a rival gang. But in a 2019 interview with a parole board member, Smith said he was an accomplice but not the shooter.

Smith was previously paroled in 2004 but was sent back to prison to complete his sentence in 2007 for violating terms of his parole.