Sirhan Sirhan – who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 – could soon be a free man after prosecutors said they WON’T oppose his parole for first time and Kennedy’s kids said they support his release
- Sirhan B. Sirhan – convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 – is up for parole for the 16th time on Friday
- He was originally sentenced to death but the sentence was reduced to life in prison when California temporarily abolished the death penalty
- Prosecutors will not oppose the motion or support his release
- RFK Jr. visited Sirhan in prison in 2018 and believes Sirhan didn’t kill his father and has supported his release
- Sirhan has maintained that he doesn’t remember the shooting or his confession
The man who assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 could be released on parole Friday after prosecutors said they won’t oppose the motion.
Sirhan B. Sirhan, now 77, has spent the last 53 years in a San Diego prison and is scheduled to stand in front of a California parole board for the 16th time on Friday.
His last parole hearing was in February 2016.
He was originally sentenced to death, but California briefly outlawed capital punishment and his sentence was reduced to life in prison, with that loophole also giving him the chance to seek freedom.
Parole has been supported by Robert Kennedy Jr., who visited Sirhan in prison in 2018 to tell him he didn’t think he killed his father, The Hill reported.
Sirhan Sirhan – pictured hearing speaking at his 15th parole hearing in February 2016 – will be up for parole again on Friday
Sirhan was convicted of killing the up-and-coming Sen. Robert F. Kennedy – pictured here hours before he was shot – in June 1968 and spent more than half a century behind bars
Kennedy Sr. Is lying on his back after taking a bullet to the head. He died a day later
Sirhan was arrested at the scene of the Los Angeles political murder, but maintains that he doesn’t remember shooting RFK or confessing
Newly elected Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón told The Washington Post before his December inauguration that one of his initiatives is establish a sentencing review unit to revisit the cases of about 20,000 low-risk or older inmates.
He told the paper that he will be hands-off on most parole matters.
Gascón’s office will not attend Sirhan’s parole hearing, The Washington Post reported, which Los Angeles prosecutor have done the first 15 times.
But his office will also not send a letter in support of Sirhan’s parole, The Washington Post reported.
‘The role of a prosecutor and their access to information ends at sentencing,’ Alex Bastian, special adviser to Gascón, told The Washington Post.
‘The parole board’s sole purpose is to objectively determine whether someone is suitable for release. If someone is the same person that committed an atrocious crime, that person will correctly not be found suitable for release.
However, if someone is no longer a threat to public safety after having served more than 50 years in prison, then the parole board may recommend release based on an objective determination.’
Former Maryland lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend said in 2018 that she supported her brother’s calls for a new investigation into their father’s killing.
Sirhan was arrested on June 5, 1968 at the scene of Kennedy’s Los Angeles assassination and convicted of first-degree murder after he confessed, but he has maintained over the years that he has no recollection of the day of the confession.
Sirhan Sirhan is pictured here with his attorney, Russel E. Parsons
Sirhan was sentenced to death but when California temporarily abolished the death penatlh, his sentence was reduced to life
Kennedy Sr. had just finished delivering his victory speech to cheering supporters at Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel when he decided to walk through the hotel kitchen.
He had stopped to shake hands with a busboy who had delivered foot to his room the day before when he was shot in the head. He died the next day.
His death came six years after his brother, President John F Kennedy, was shot and killed in Dallas on an official visit. Former US Marine Lee Harvey Oswald was blamed for the assassination, which shocked the world, and was shot dead by vigilante Jack Ruby just two days later, sparking subsequent claims of a cover-up.
Sirhan’s lawyers have asserted that he may have been hypnotized and framed as part of a vast conspiracy.
Nearly two years ago to the day – late August 2019 – Sirhan was stabbed by a fellow inmate at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility and hospitalized.