California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday rejected the state parole panel’s recommendation from last August to release Jerusalem-born, Christian Arab Sirhan Bishara Sirhan who in 1968 assassinated Robert F. Kennedy.
Sirhan was convicted of murder and is serving a life sentence at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego County, California. On August 27, 2021, Sirhan was granted parole by a two-person panel of the California parole board. State prosecutors declined to participate or to oppose Sirhan’s release under orders by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
The governor determined that Sirhan, 77, who has spent 54 years behind bars, still poses an unreasonable threat to public safety. “Mr. Sirhan’s assassination of Senator Kennedy is among the most notorious crimes in American history,” Newsom wrote in his decision, noting that “after decades in prison, he has failed to address the deficiencies that led him to assassinate Senator Kennedy. Mr. Sirhan lacks the insight that would prevent him from making the same types of dangerous decisions he made in the past.”
The governor admitted that he is a huge RFK fan, revealing that “the first photograph — the only photograph — you will see in my office is a photo of my father and Bobby Kennedy just days before Bobby Kennedy was murdered.”
In 2016, California enacted a new law that compels the state to consider the advanced age of a murderer compared with his youth when he committed the crime in deliberating his or her parole request.
After his arrest, Sirhan said, “I can explain it. I did it for my country.” He said he felt betrayed by Kennedy’s support for Israel in the June 1967 Six-Day War. A search of Sirhan’s apartment revealed a spiral-bound diary with an entry on May 18, 1968, that read: “My determination to eliminate RFK is becoming the more and more [sic] of an unshakable obsession…Kennedy must die before June 5th.”
RFK, who offered America hope in ending the Vietnam war and the race riots that were shaking the country, was shot by Sirhan at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California, on June 5, 1968. He died the following day at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a major nut job and massive distributor of misinformation on the Corona vaccine appealed to the parole board to let his father’s killer go free, praising his “impressive record of rehabilitation.” In the past, RFK Jr. said he thought Sirhan Sirhan was innocent.
Another RFK son, Douglas Kennedy, who works for Fox News, told the board he felt “compassion” for Sirhan.
However, not all of RFK’s nine surviving children were as crazy. Six of them asked the governor not to free the man who “took our father from our family” and “from America.”
RFK’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, 93, also urged the governor to keep her husband’s killer where he belongs.
“Our family and our country suffered an unspeakable loss due to the inhumanity of one man,” the Kennedy family wrote Newsom. “We believe in the gentleness that spared his life, but in taming his act of violence, he should not have the opportunity to terrorize again.”
Catholics. What ya gonna do.