Former New York Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, the oldest son of the late RFK, is spitting fire out of every orifice. The thought of even considering parol for his father’s killer, Sirhan Sirhan, has exceeded the threshold of his typically even temper. Especially since some of his own family members have no problem with watching Sirhan walk out of prison.
In an emailed statement Kennedy wrote, “Two commissioners of the 18-member California Parole Board made a grievous error last Friday in recommending the release of the man who murdered my father. I understand that there are differing views about ending the sentence of this killer, including within my own family. But emotions and opinions do not change facts or history.”
Based on Sirhan’s exemplary behavior while incarcerated, and now being a grey-haired man of 77, the board believes the cold-blooded killer won’t be a bother to anyone else. He attended over 20 prison programs, took a bunch of anger management classes, sat regularly in AA meetings, and even learned the art of Tai Chi. He’s a regular chip off the old block now. But the facts remain. He murdered RFK.
Kennedys statement continued, “I hope the full parole board will reverse the decision over the ongoing review period and that the California governor if faced with the choice to release him, will keep him in prison to serve out his full life sentence.”
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The board has four months to mull things over, but should they decide to proceed, the final decision will rest with the state governor who will have 30 days to say “let him go”, or, “keep him.”
It was 1968 when Sirhan assassinated Robert F. Kennedy at the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel. He had won the California primary and had just wrapped up his victory speech. He was killed along with five others who were wounded in the blaze of gunfire.
Joe Kennedy II is one of 11 children born to RFK and his wife Ethel. Of the nine siblings who are still alive, two others have spoken up in favor of Sirhan’s release. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Douglas Kennedy, are okay with it.
But Joe said that anyone who murders someone for political reasons knows damn good and well “that he will at a minimum spend life in prison without parole. ”
“The prisoner killed my father because of his support of Israel,” Kennedy said. “The man was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Yet he now may walk free, no doubt to the cheers of those who share his views. Let there be no mistake, the prisoner’s release will be celebrated by those who believe that political disagreements can be solved by a gun.” His point is not without validity.
“The prisoner left a pregnant mother of ten without a husband and soon-to-be 11 children without a father,” Kennedy appealed to the board. “We miss him every moment of every day, and struggle to understand why the prisoner should be able to enjoy the golden years of his life when he so viciously stole them from our father.”
“My mother, Ethel Kennedy, and my uncle, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, asked that his death sentence be reduced to life imprisonment as a demonstration of mercy. He received that mercy. No one should have the right to alter the lesser sentence requested by the person most affected by my father’s death — his wife, whose last child would never know a father’s touch. Nothing written, said, or done will ever change that reality.”
Sirhan Sirhan altered the unwritten history of America with the pull of a trigger. We’ll never know if RFK would have gone on to do great things or if he would have been an embarrassment to the nation. One thing is certain though, it wasn’t up to one lone gunman to make that call.
Sirhan is where he should be if not swinging from the end of a rope. He’s also serving his time in the most liberal state in the country where he may receive undue sympathy and get sprung. If he does, it’ll be one of the largest travesties and amount of disrespect ever displayed. Biden could probably step in and override the decision but…well…never mind.