Sunday, January 23, 2022

California governor denies parole to Sirhan Sirhan, who killed RFK

California Governor Gavin Newsom rejected parole for Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Senator Robert F. Kennedy (DN.Y.) in 1968.

On Thursday, the Democratic governor said in a statement, “Mr. Sirhan’s assassination of Senator Kennedy is one of the most high-profile crimes in American history… After decades in prison, he was unable to address the shortcomings that led him to assassinate Senator Kennedy. Sirhan lacks the insight that would prevent him from making the same dangerous decisions he has made in the past.”

End of August in California parole board voted for release Sirhan, 77, who spent 53 years in prison. But the governor had to decide if Sirhan would get out of jail.

Kennedy the family was divided about whether Sirhan should be released on parole all these years later. RFK’s two sons, Douglas and Robert Jr., supported Sirhan’s release. Another six children categorically opposed his exit.

At the beginning of September, RFK widow Ethel, 93, said in a statement released by one of her daughters that Sirhan “should not be released on parole.”

Sirhan made his 16th parole attempt this year and the panel found that he did not pose a threat to public safety, noting that he participated in more than a dozen rehabilitation programs, including anger management and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Sirhan Sirhan attends a virtual parole hearing on August 27, 2021 in San Diego.

California Department of Corrections via AP

Sirhan was 24 when he shot RFK in 1968, after a then-senator running for president delivered a winning speech at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California Democratic primary. Five others were also wounded in the shooting. Kennedy, aged 42, died the next day.

Sirhan claims that he doesn’t remember shooting and what he drank. The Christian Palestinian, a Jordanian citizen, has previously said he is outraged by Kennedy’s support for Israel.

Sirhan was sentenced to death, but his sentence was later commuted to life parole when the California Supreme Court temporarily ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 1972.

Sirhan’s parole hearing in August marked a the first time the prosecutors did not appear object to his release after progressive Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon began a new policy whereby prosecutors do not attend parole hearings.

son of Kennedy Douglas spoke during a virtual parole hearing in support of Sirhan’s release. “I am grateful today that I saw in him a person worthy of compassion and love,” he said.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote a letter in support of Sirhan’s release stating that based on his father’s “all-consuming commitment to honesty and justice”, he believes that the RFK “would strongly urge this board to release Mr. Sirhan due to impressive history of Sirhan’s rehabilitation. “.


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