RFK Assassin Sirhan Wins Parole With Support of 2 Kennedys 

28 Aug

RFK Assassin Sirhan Wins Parole With Support of 2 Kennedys 

U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin was granted parole Friday after two of RFK’s sons spoke in favor of Sirhan Sirhan’s release and prosecutors declined to argue he should be kept behind bars. The decision was a major victory for the 77-year-old prisoner, though it did not assure his release. The ruling by the two-person panel at Sirhan’s 16th parole hearing will be reviewed over the next 90 days by the California Parole Board’s staff. Then it will be sent to the governor, who will have 30 days to decide whether to grant it, reverse it or modify it. Douglas Kennedy, who was a toddler when his father was gunned down in 1968, said that he was moved to tears by Sirhan’s remorse and that he should be released if he’s not a threat to others. “I’m overwhelmed just by being able to view Mr. Sirhan face to face,” he said. “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.” FILE – Sirhan Sirhan is escorted by his attorney, Russell E. Parsons, from Los Angeles County Jail’s chapel to enter a plea to a charge of murder in Los Angeles, in the fatal shooting of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, June 28, 1968.The New York senator and brother of President John F. Kennedy was a Democratic presidential candidate when he was gunned down June 6, 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles moments after delivering a victory speech in the pivotal California primary. Sirhan, who was convicted of first-degree murder, has said he doesn’t remember the killing. His lawyer, Angela Berry, argued that the board should base its decision on who Sirhan is today.  Prosecutors declined to participate or oppose his release under a policy by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, a former police officer who took office last year after running on a reform platform.  Gascón, who said he idolized the Kennedys and mourned RFK’s assassination, believes the prosecutors’ role ends at sentencing and they should not influence decisions to release prisoners. 

SJ

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