RFK's widow Ethel Kennedy blasts parole recommendation for assassin Sirhan Sirhan & warns he could 'terrorize again'

ROBERT F. Kennedy’s widow said her husband's assassin "should not have the opportunity to terrorize again" after a parole board voted he should be freed.

“Bobby believed that we should work to ’tame human savagery and calm the lives of the world,’” Ethel Kennedy, 93 wrote in a statement.



“Our family and our country suffered an unspeakable loss due to the inhumanity of one man. 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,” according to the statement

She added: "He should not be paroled.”

SERVED 53 YEARS

After 53 years behind bars, the California parole panel voted in favor to release Sirhan from prison.

The decision was made on Aug. 27 but does guarantee his freedom.

The decision to release Sirhan arose after two of the late senator’s sons came forward to speak on his behalf.

Factoring into the decision was the fact that Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón’s office remained completely neutral in the massive murder case. 

The California Parole Board’s staff has 120 days to review the hearing before sending it off to the governor's desk to allow 30 days to make a final approval.

Kennedy's son Douglas cheered the board's decision.

“I’m overwhelmed just by being able to view Mr. Sirhan face-to-face,” he said. 

“I think I’ve lived my life both in fear of him and his name in one way or another. 

“And I am grateful today to see him as a human being worthy of compassion and love.”

However, former US Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II and five of his siblings including Courtney Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Christopher Kennedy, Maxwell Kennedy and Rory Kennedy issued a previous statement saying they "adamantly oppose" Sirhan's release and were "devastated" that he was recommended for parole, according to Reuters.

JUNE 5, 1968

The US Senator, who was better known as Bobby Kennedy, was shot and killed in the kitchen of the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel.

He was shot three times by Palestinian-born Sirhan Bishara Sirhan and died the following day after failing to regain consciousness. 

Five bystanders were also wounded.

The 77-year-old Sirhan was just 24 when he was taken into custody following Kennedy’s shooting inside a Los Angeles hotel back on June 5, 1968. 

He was later convicted of first-degree murder of the U.S. senator from New York who was embarking on a presidential run.

The tragic death came only two months after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The slaying also took place only a few years since Nov. 22, 1963, when Bobby’s brother US President John F Kennedy was killed while riding in a motorcade during a visit to Dallas, Texas.

WHO IS SIRHAN SIRHAN?

Born in Jerusalem in 1944, Sirhan’s family moved to the United States when he was 12-years-old amid escalating violence in the Middle East.

The future killer had high hopes of one day becoming a purse-winning horse jockey but ended up working a series of menial jobs.

ISRAEL ANIMOUS

Sirhan also harbored a deep animosity toward Israel and its major backer in the US grew after the Six Day War in 1967 conflict, in which Israel seized more territory while fighting its neighboring countries Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

Kennedy vowed if he became president he’d defend Israel by sending 50 American fighter jets.

Motivated by the New York Senator’s support for Israel, Sirhan assassinated Bobby exactly one year after the conflict started.

The shooter, who pleaded not guilty to the murder, claimed he was drunk when Kennedy was shot.

SHOWED REMORSE

In a series of parole hearings and interviews, Sirhan had continually failed to offer any contrition and was fuzzy about the details of the murder.

Sirhan was first supposed to face the gas chamber following his three-month trial. 

But that was commuted to life in prison with parole after the state Supreme Court in 1972 declared capital punishment unconstitutional.

Based on a life sentence with parole, Sirhan would have been eligible for release after serving seven years.

The board learned that Sirhan has reportedly kept clean while incarcerated, avoiding any discipline violations since 1972. 

The inmate also has expressed some feelings of remorse for slaying the senator.

In one hearing back in the 1980s, he told the board, “I have feelings of shame and inward guilt … I honestly feel the pain that [the Kennedys] may have gone through.”


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