February 2, 2023

Robert F. California Governor denies parole to Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan

January 13 (Reuters) – California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday said he had refused to grant parole to Zirhan Zirhan, a Palestinian refugee serving a life sentence for the 1968 assassination of US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.

Newsom made the announcement after the California Review Board recommended Zirhan’s release from prison in August, subject to review by the board’s legal staff and the governor. Sirhan has been denied parole 15 times.

Outlining his decision in a comment section of the Los Angeles Times, Newsom said it did not accept the Parole Board’s finding that 77-year-old Zirhan was suitable for parole.

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“After a careful review of the case, including records in the California State Archives, I determined that Sirhan did not develop the responsibility and intelligence needed to secure his release in the community,” Newsom wrote.

Sirhan’s lawyer, Angela Perry, suggested in a written statement that Newsom had bowed to political considerations in denying her client parole.

“While I applaud Mr Sirhan’s release as a challenging political calculation by Governor Newsom, the legal outcome for his release is clear and straightforward. We hope the judicial review of the governor’s decision will show that the governor has got it. Wrong,” Perry said.

Sirhan was convicted of shooting Kennedy, 42, in the kitchen cupboard of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968.

The shooting comes just minutes after a U.S. senator and former U.S. attorney general delivered his victory speech after winning the California Democratic presidential election. Kennedy died the next day. Kennedy’s older brother, President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 in Dallas.

Zirhan said he did not remember the assassination of Robert Kennedy, but said he fired on Kennedy because he was outraged by his support for Israel.

Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, 93, and her six children were among those who sided with him in opposing parole for Zirhan, who said in a joint statement on Thursday that they were “deeply relieved” by Newsom’s decision.

Sirhan “continues to deflect guilt for his crime through 16 parole trials,” they wrote, adding that his role in the assassination was not resolved in his latest trial and that “public safety is at stake.”

Former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. The report was released on behalf of Kennedy II, his five siblings – Courtney, Kerry, Christopher, Maxwell and Rory Kennedy – and their mother.

Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s two of the remaining nine children – Robert F. The Los Angeles Times reports that Kennedy Jr. and Douglas Kennedy have been granted parole.

Newsom pointed to Sirhan’s “changing story” about the murder and his refusal to take responsibility for it as evidence that he did not deserve to be released.

Sirhan was sentenced to death in 1969, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after California abolished the death penalty.

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Report by Rami Job, Steve Gorman and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Tim Ahman and Grand McCall

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.