A Californian parole board has voted to grant prison release to Sirhan Sirhan, the murderer of Democratic 1968 presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy (RFK). He served 53 years in jail until now and declared: “That young impulsive kid I was does not exist anymore.” The decision now falls to Californian Governor Gavin Newsom. The local district attorney’s office in LA has said that they will not move to oppose his release. Two of Kennedy’s children also appealed to the parole board to release their father’s killer but the majority of his children said they were shocked by the parole board’s vote. Sirhan Sirhan previously was denied parole on the basis that he did not understand the enormity of his crime. He had enrolled in more than 20 programs including anger management, Tai Chi and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, even during the coronavirus pandemic. This was his 16th attempt at parole.
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 seeking the Democratic presidential nomination when he was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. “Senator Kennedy was the hope of the world… and I harmed all of them and it pains me to experience that, the knowledge for such a horrible deed, if I did in fact do that,” said Sirhan, appearing on camera from a San Diego County prison at the virtual proceeding. If released, Sirhan could be deported to Jordan.