Sirhan Sirhan, the murderer of Robert F. Kennedy, had been denied parole on 15 previous occasions by a California parole board, which claimed he had shown little remorse or understood the gravity of his crime, which rocked the nation and the globe in 1968.
On Friday, however, the two-member panel stated he appeared to be a different man than he had been since his last hearing in 2016, and granted the 77-year-old prisoner release. Two of RFK’s sons claimed they supported his release, despite the pleas of others of their siblings, and prosecutors declined to argue that he should be kept in prison. However, the governor will ultimately determine whether or not he gets released from prison.
Sirhan is no longer a menace to society, according to the board, who noted that he had registered in more than 20 programmes, including anger management classes, Tai Chi, and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, even throughout the coronavirus outbreak.
“We believe you have matured,” stated parole board commissioner Robert Barton.
When his father was assassinated in 1968, Douglas Kennedy was only a child. Sirhan’s regret brought him to tears, he told a two-member board panel, and he feels the 77-year-old should be released if he poses no threat to others.
“Just being able to see Mr. Sirhan face to face has stunned me,” he remarked. “In one way or another, I’ve lived my entire life in fear of him and his name. And I’m thankful to see him today as a human being deserving of compassion and love.”
Six of Kennedy’s nine surviving children, on the other hand, expressed surprise at the outcome. They encouraged California Governor Gavin Newsom, who is facing a recall election, to overturn the parole board’s decision and put Sirhan in prison.
“He took our father from our family and from America,” the six siblings said late Friday in a statement. “We can’t believe this individual has been recommended for parole.” Joseph P. Kennedy II, Courtney Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Christopher G. Kennedy, Maxwell T. Kennedy, and Rory Kennedy all signed the statement.