RFK’s Assassin May Get Released On Parole

Written by: William Hekman

Sirhan Sirhan, the man responsible for assassinating 1968 presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy, will possibly be released on parole after 53 years in prison. Now 77 years old, he was just 18 when he shot the presidential candidate and younger brother of former president John F. Kennedy in a Los Angeles hotel. Sirhan was convicted of first-degree murder and assault with intent to murder. He had been serving his sentence at the Richard Donovan Facility in Otay Mesa. He was initially sentenced to death but was lowered to life in prison in 1972 when the death penalty was declared unconstitutional in California.

Sirhan’s release has garnered responses from the Kennedy children, but there is a schism between them. Two of Kennedy’s sons, Robert Jr. and Douglas, supported the release of Sirhan. Douglas spoke at the parole hearing stating, “I’m overwhelmed just by being able to view Mr. Sirhan face to face. I think I’ve lived my life both in fear of him and his name in one way or another. And I am grateful today to see him as a human being worthy of compassion and love.” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also spoke at the hearing, saying when he first met Sirhan, he “wept for forgiveness.”

However, the other children are not excited about the release of their father’s murderer. In a statement from his six other surviving children, “as children of Robert F. Kennedy, we are devastated that the man who murdered our father has been recommended for parole. Our father’s death is a very difficult matter for us to discuss publicly, and for the past many decades, we have declined to engage directly in the parole process.”

The children also called upon Governor Newsom to intervene, as the Governor must approve and ensure that the parole grant is within public safety, which may take months. “We are in disbelief that this man would be recommended for release. We urge the Parole Board staff, the full Board, and ultimately, Governor Newsom, to reverse this initial recommendation.” Sirhan will be sent to a transitional home and then his brother’s house should the parole process be approved.


Image from: NY Post