U.S.|Parole Board Urges Release of Sirhan Sirhan, Robert F. Kennedy’s Assassin
Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is campaigning to triumph a callback predetermination successful California, tin take to uphold oregon cull the recommendation, which would escaped Mr. Sirhan aft much than 5 decades.
Aug. 27, 2021, 5:27 p.m. ET
California parole commissioners recommended connected Friday that Sirhan B. Sirhan should beryllium freed connected parole aft spending much than 50 years successful situation for assassinating Robert F. Kennedy during his run for president.
The proposal from the 2 commissioners does not needfully mean Mr. Sirhan, 77, volition locomotion free, but volition enactment his destiny successful the hands of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who is successful the last agelong of campaigning earlier a recall election that volition find his governmental future. A spokeswoman for Mr. Newsom declined to accidental whether helium would o.k. the recommendation, lone that helium would reappraisal it.
The parole proceeding was the 16th clip Mr. Sirhan had faced parole committee commissioners, but it was the archetypal clip nary authoritative showed up to reason for his continued imprisonment. George Gascón, the progressive and divisive Los Angeles County territory lawyer who was elected past year, has made it a argumentation for prosecutors not to be parole hearings, saying the parole committee has each the facts it needs to marque an informed decision.
At the hearing, which was conducted virtually due to the fact that of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Sirhan said helium had small representation of the assassination itself, but helium said helium “must have” brought the weapon into the hotel.
“I instrumentality work for taking it successful and I instrumentality work for firing the shots,” helium said. Mr. Sirhan, overmuch of his abbreviated hairsbreadth turned white, was seated successful beforehand of a machine and wearing a bluish azygous with a insubstantial towel successful his beforehand thorax pocket.
Shortly aft midnight connected June 5, 1968, Mr. Kennedy gave a triumph code astatine the Ambassador Hotel successful Los Angeles pursuing his triumph successful the Democratic superior successful California. As Mr. Kennedy, a legislator from New York, walked done the hotel’s pantry, Mr. Sirhan changeable him with a revolver.
Mr. Kennedy died the adjacent day, little than 5 years aft President John F. Kennedy, 1 of his brothers, had been assassinated.
Mr. Sirhan, who is Palestinian and was calved successful Jerusalem, said successful a tv interrogation from situation in 1989 that helium had killed Mr. Kennedy due to the fact that helium felt betrayed by the senator’s connection during the run to nonstop 50 subject planes to Israel.
Douglas Kennedy, 1 of Mr. Kennedy’s sons, attended the proceeding connected Friday and urged the commissioners to merchandise Mr. Sirhan if they did not deliberation helium was a threat.
“I bash person immoderate emotion for you,” helium told Mr. Sirhan astatine 1 point, who nodded and lowered his head.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department submitted a missive to the committee that it said was connected behalf of the Kennedy household and opposed Mr. Sirhan’s release. One of the commissioners, Robert Barton, said helium had besides taken into relationship confidential letters that opposed Mr. Sirhan’s release.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. met with Mr. Sirhan successful 2017 and said successful a missive to the committee that the Sheriff’s Department’s missive did not talk for him and that helium thought Mr. Sirhan should beryllium released. His lad Robert F. Kennedy III attended the proceeding but did not code the board.
In a telephone interview, Douglas Kennedy, who is simply a analogous for Fox News, said that his household was divided implicit Mr. Sirhan’s merchandise and that helium respected the varying views. Emphasizing that helium was speaking lone for himself, helium said helium believed that Mr. Newsom should travel the proposal of the parole committee and o.k. Mr. Sirhan’s release. He besides said the proceeding itself had been a almighty acquisition for him.
“It was implicit video conference, but this is the archetypal clip I’ve had a accidental to spot him and him spot me, benignant of look to face,” said Douglas Kennedy, who was 1 astatine the clip of his father’s assassination. He said that seeing Mr. Sirhan astatine the proceeding had made him consciousness much compassion for him.
“I spent my beingness benignant of avoiding words similar ‘killed,’ ‘assassin,’ ‘assassination,’ and Sirhan’s sanction successful general,” helium added. “So I’m grateful for today’s proceeding conscionable to demystify immoderate of that.”
Tim Arango contributed reporting from Los Angeles.