update desk

Parole recommended for RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan

“I did it for my country,” said the Palestinian terrorist who, on the one-year anniversary of the Six-Day War, murdered U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Robert F. Kennedy over his support for Israel.

Sirhan Sirhan at the time of his arrest in 1968. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Sirhan Sirhan at the time of his arrest in 1968. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian terrorist who murdered U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) 53 years ago over his support for Israel, could be released from prison within a few months, multiple media outlets reported over the weekend.

Sirhan, a Christian, Jerusalem-born Jordanian citizen and naturalized American, shot the 42-year-old brother of the late President John F. Kennedy—assassinated four and a half years earlier in Texas—at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968. RFK had just delivered a victory speech after winning the California Democratic Party primary.

When Sirhan was tackled by people on the scene, he reportedly said, “I did it for my country.” The date was the one-year anniversary of the Six-Day War.

A California Board of Parole Hearings (CBPH) panel on Friday recommended the release of Sirhan, 77, after two members of the Kennedy family, including the victim’s son, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., sent letters on his behalf. He has been denied parole 15 times in the past, according to Reuters.

The parole recommendation now faces a 120-day review by the legal staff of the CBPH, and a subsequent 30-day period during which the governor of California may contest the decision. If current Gov. Gavin Newsom survives the recall election slated for next month, it will be he who determines the final outcome.

Sirhan Sirhan. Aug. 25, 2021. Credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Sirhan, who was convicted of the first-degree murder of RFK—was sentenced to death in 1969. His sentence was commuted in 1972 to “life imprisonment with the possibility of parole,” when the California Supreme Court ruled capital punishment unconstitutional. He has been incarcerated for the past decades in the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates