Rory Kennedy on Wednesday called on California Governor Gavin Newsom and prison officials to reject the recommendation for parole for the man convicted of murdering his father, Robert F. Kennedy.
“I ask you, for my family and, I think for our country, too, to reject this recommendation and keep Sirhan Sirhan in prison,” wrote the documentary filmmaker and youngest son of the senator and presidential candidate. New York Times guest essay.
Sirhan, 77, was paroled by a two-person panel at his 16th parole hearing last Friday. Sirhan was convicted of fatally shooting RFK on June 5, 1968 in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel. Sirhan was sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
“The murder of my father was absolute, irreversible, a painful truth that I had to live with every day of my life; in fact, they took it forever. Because he was killed before I was born, it meant that I never had a chance to see my father’s face and that he never had a chance to see mine, ”she wrote. “For America, the price of my father’s life and interrupted ambitions has been incalculable: for the thousands of young people who died in Vietnam when the war my father opposed continued for almost seven more years; for the millions who live in poverty or under the yoke of racism; for the wrongfully convicted who have languished behind the prison walls; for the generation of future leaders whose hopes and dreams my father carried with him. Who knows how much his death has cost?
Kennedy, who wrote that he was speaking on behalf of his mother and most of his 10 siblings – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Douglas Kennedy were in favor of parole – wrote that Sirhan does not deserve to be released since he does not assume the responsibility for your parole. actions that change history.
“At the time of his trial, he decided to plead guilty to first degree murder,” Kennedy wrote. “However, over the decades that followed, until last week, he has been unwilling to accept responsibility for his act and has shown little remorse. At his previous parole hearing, in 2016, when asked by Commissioner Brian Roberts to explain how he was involved in the murder, Sirhan replied, ‘I was there and allegedly fired a gun.’ And how, having committed one of the most notorious murders of the latter part of the 20th century, can he consider himself rehabilitated when he doesn’t even acknowledge his role in the crime itself? “
Kennedy concluded his long Times piece asking Governor Newsom and the staff of the California Parole Board to reject the recommendation. The parties have 30 days to decide whether to grant it, reverse it or modify it.