Friday January 14, 2022
Assassination attempt in 1968 Robert Kennedy’s assassin remains in custody
Sirhan Sirhan shoots Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Like his brother, the assassinated US President John F. Kennedy, he succumbed to his injuries. Five decades later, a parole board gives him hope of freedom, but the governor refuses. Not all survivors are happy about it.
The murderer of US politician Robert F. Kennedy, who has been imprisoned for more than five decades, will not be released on parole. California Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke out against the release of 77-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. Kennedy’s assassination in 1968 is one of the most notorious crimes in American history, Newsom wrote in a statement. After decades in prison, Sirhan has not shown the necessary insight that would prevent him from making further dangerous decisions. A parole board in California voted in favor of Sirhan’s release in August. Robert “Bobby” F. Kennedy with his older brother John F. Kennedy. (Photo: picture-alliance / dpa) Sirhan has been in prison for 53 years and has now made his 16th appeal for clemency. The commission’s decision was presented to the California governor, who has now rejected it. Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, and six of their 11 children said they were “deeply relieved” by Newsom’s decision in a joint statement. Two Kennedy sons, on the other hand, spoke out in favor of Sirhan’s release. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote in a letter to the parole board in August that he believed his father recognized Sirhan’s impressive rehabilitation, the Los Angeles Times reported. Douglas Kennedy said prisoners should be released when they no longer pose a threat to themselves or others. Sirhan, a Jerusalem-born Palestinian, shot and killed Kennedy in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968 – just hours after he had won the California primary to choose the Democratic US presidential nominee. The US judiciary assumed Kennedy’s pro-Israel attitude as the motive of the then 24-year-old perpetrator. Five years earlier, Kennedy’s brother, US President John F. Kennedy, had been shot dead in Dallas. Sirhan was sentenced to death in 1969. After California suspended the death penalty in 1972, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
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