Kennedy family split over RFK assassin’s parole
September 10, 2021

77-year-old Sirhan B. Sirhan, the infamous killer of Robert F. Kennedy, was recommended for parole only two weeks ago. Despite the recommendation, the murderer won’t be officially paroled until Governor Newsom approves it.

Robert F. Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan

Mugshot of Robert F. Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan, May 23, 1969.

Six of Kennedy’s nine surviving children have publicly rejected the idea that Sarhan is now rehabilitated to the point of warranting parole. The three others expressed support for parole on the same day it was recommended.

Those who supported Sarhan’s parole include two of Kennedy’s sons, lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and writer Douglas Kennedy. The former wrote a letter that was submitted to the board during the hearing.

“While nobody can speak definitively on behalf of my father, I firmly believe that based on his own consuming commitment to fairness and justice, that he would strongly encourage this board to release Mr. Sirhan because of Sirhan’s impressive record of rehabilitation.” wrote Kennedy jr.

In complete contradiction to the sentiment in that letter, those in disagreement with Robert jr. released their own statement.

Contention in the Kennedy family

“As children of Robert F. Kennedy, we are devastated that the man who murdered our father has been recommended for parole… Our father’s death is a very difficult matter for us to discuss publicly and for the past many decades we have declined to engage directly in the parole process.” the group expressed.

“We urge the Parole Board staff, the full Board, and ultimately, Governor Newsom, to reverse this initial statement.”

Ethel Kennedy, the widow of RFK, outspokenly disagreed with Sarhan being paroled as well. Kerry Kennedy, RFK’s daughter, shared the widow’s statement on Sarhan’s parole on Twitter just three days ago.

The California Parole Board has 120 days to review the decision, and Governor Newsom has another 30 days to approve, deny or modify it. If parole is ultimately denied, Sarhan can try again in three years. If the decision is approved, Sarhan will be released.

Robert F. Kennedy was a U.S. senator from New York and the brother of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963. RFK was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination when he was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, moments after delivering a victory speech on the California primary. Five others were wounded.

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