By Julie Watson and Brian Melley, AP
Sirhan Sirhan faces his 16th parole hearing Friday for fatally shooting U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, and for the first time no prosecutor will be there to argue he should be kept behind bars.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, a former police officer who took office last year after running on a reform platform, says he idolized the Kennedys and mourned RFK’s assassination but is sticking to his policy that prosecutors have no role in deciding whether prisoners should be released.
That decision is best left to California Parole Board members who can evaluate whether Sirhan has been rehabilitated and can be released safely, Gascón told The Associated Press earlier this year. Relitigating a case decades after a crime should not be the job of prosecutors, even in notorious cases, he said.
“The role of a prosecutor and their access to information ends at sentencing,” Alex Bastian, special advisor to Gascón, said in a statement Thursday.
The 77-year-old Sirhan has served 53 years for the first-degree murder of the New York senator and brother of President John F. Kennedy. RFK was a Democratic presidential candidate when he was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles moments after delivering a victory speech in the pivotal California primary.
Gascón said he admired Kennedy while Sirhan is “the kind of individual that we all like to hate.”
“I can get very emotionally wrapped around my personal feelings (about) someone that killed someone that I thought could have been an incredible president for this country,” Gascón said. “But that has no place in this process. Just like it doesn’t for the person nobody knows about.”
Sirhan’s new defense attorney, Angela Berry, said she couldn’t agree more.
She plans to argue that the board’s decision should be based on who Sirhan is today and not about past events, which is what the board has based its parole denials on before. She said she plans to focus on his exemplary record in prison and show that he poses no danger.
“We can’t change the past, but he was not sentenced to life without the possibility of parole,” Berry told the AP on Thursday. “To justify denying it based on the gravity of the crime and the fact that it disenfranchised millions of Americans is ignoring the rehabilitation that has occurred and that rehabilitation is a more relevant indicator of whether or not a person is still a risk to society.”
Sirhan’s hearing will be presided over by a two-person panel that usually announces its decision the same day. After that, the Parole Board staff has 90 days to review the decision, and then it is handed over to the governor for consideration.
The Parole Board would not say if the Kennedy family or anyone else submitted statements opposing Sirhan’s release. Attempts to reach the Kennedy family for comment were unsuccessful.
Sirhan was sentenced to death after his conviction, but that sentence was commuted to life when the California Supreme Court briefly outlawed capital punishment in 1972. At his last parole hearing in 2016, commissioners concluded after more than three hours of intense testimony that Sirhan did not show adequate remorse or understand the enormity of his crime.
Berry said California laws approved since 2018 support her case. One she plans to point out to the board favors releasing certain older prisoners who committed crimes at a young age when the brain is prone to impulsivity. Sirhan was 24 at the time of the assassination.
Sirhan has in the past stuck to his account that he doesn’t remember the killing. However, he has recalled events before the crime in detail — going to a shooting range that day, visiting the hotel in search of a party and returning after realizing he was too drunk to drive after downing Tom Collins cocktails.
Just before the assassination, he drank coffee in a hotel pantry with a woman to whom he was attracted. The next thing he has said he remembered was being choked and unable to breathe as he was taken into custody. At his 2016 hearing, he said he felt remorse for any crime victim but couldn’t take responsibility for the shooting.
Sirhan told the panel then that if released, he hoped he would be deported to Jordan or live with his brother in Pasadena, California.
After 15 denials for his release, Berry said it’s difficult to predict how much of an impact the prosecution’s absence will have on the outcome.
“I like to think it’ll make a difference. But I think everybody is not impervious to the fact that this is political,” she said.
I hope he is paroled. I think this will get the publicity needed to show how out of control our justice system is when it allows criminals to go free and walk the streets.
The Libertarians Liberals and the Left will celebrate this. They don’t believe in locking up criminals for any reason.
“Why Americans Are Buying Guns: Virginia Accelerates Release of Killers, Rapists, and Kidnappers”
He has been locked up for 53 years and is 77 years old. If he had killed a productive citizen instead of a government parasite would he still be behind bars? The ought to give him a medal, he kept a Kennedy out of office.
Nationwide tens of thousands of prisoners are released after serving the terms of their sentence every single day. There’s nothing unusual about that fact. What is unusual is your apparent desire that people should be kept in prison for life for all crime instead of being released and allowed to walk the streets.
He didn’t serve his term, dumbass. He went from a death sentence to life in prison. Since he’s still alive his sentence has not been served.
I don’t think you understand what a life sentence means. In every single state of the union a prisoner is eligible for parole on a life sentence after 45 years. There is a separate kind of life sentence and that is life without parole and a person who received that sentence will never be released from prison. That type of sentence is not what was imposed on the man and he is eligible for parole and should be reviewed for it. I don’t care if he gets out or not.
A lot of people think a murdering piece of shit should spend the rest their life in prison. I’m one of them.
The parole board is used to dealing with murdering pieces of shit and your opinion has no bearing in law. If they believe he’s fit to be released he will be released; if they believe that his crime is so egregious that he should not be released when they review him for parole then he will remain in prison. The same law the allows people like me to send people to prison for committing crimes is the same law that allows people to be released from prison when the state has determined that they have been punished enough. The law is applied evenly and to everyone despite your authoritarian desire to fill the prisons with tens of millions of more people and keep them there for good.
How can assassinating someone not be egregious enough to have him not serve out his full life term? It’s a valid question whether you think so or not. It has nothing to do with loading prisons with more people. It’s about keeping murderers in prison.
You’re right about one thing , the parole board didn’t care what I think, he’s been paroled despite my opinion.
Meh…he’s Palestinian. Fit’s the leftard narrative.
LBJ would have been proud.
Just more of the same old crap thanks to politically inept history illiterates who removed the Golden Goose and gave America the finger pointing, gutless wonder Old Jim Crow Gun Control buzzard joe.
Having a Gun Control mindset doesn’t stop there. The insane rot inherent with Gun Control attaches itself to all decision making and such insane rotten decision making is now on full display in Afghanistan.
Impeach and remove that worthless, incompetent, rotten self serving democRat Ratbassturd and his ilk. Never mind crybaby climate change…The pollution coming from DC is killing America and Americans.
When he got locked up there was no such thing as Palestinian citizen; they were all considered Jordanian citizens at the time until Jordan got sick of dealing with their BS and revoked all of their passports in 1988.
Couldn’t agree more. Sirhan was a Palestinian terrorist. Doing the same crime today he’d be tried on a Federal crime and been snuffed like bin Laden. Whether you loved or hated RFK’s guts, a terrorist managed to affect a U.S. election in a way Russia could only dream of. Letting him go is absolutely part of the Libtard agenda. The farther away oppression, injustice and corruption is from our own borders, the more vocal and morally outraged by it. Irony is, the Palestinians were the most intolerant of immigration and the holy grail of liberal theology, i.e. ‘diversity’.
This is why animals like this need to be executed at least 30 days or sooner after conviction,
Lawyers like the long pause between sentencing & time served, because people lose interest in the case or don’t know or care anymore .
& they say crime don’t pay, what a crock.
Sirhan’s lawyer is citing recent laws passed well after his conviction to allow parole. The death sentence law was put on hold, but was reinstated. However his sentence, death, was in effect at the time of his conviction so it should be carried out.
Fuck him, let him rot.
Sirhan wasn’t being impulsive. He want to the range and practiced beforehand.
(note, that range was closed due to Karens across the San Gabriel River complaining about the noise, in … 2006 iirc)
Well let’s see, Kennedy was a Democrat, he was killed with an “evil” gun, and none of the dems are raisin holy hell that he could be released? Hmmmm…..
53 years in prison? If you were a family member of this guy would you want him to move in with you?
In order to prove they really mean what they say, the Kennedy family should invite him to stay in their own homes. And later next door. But since the Kennedys are a rich family with multiple homes in different states, they can move to a different local.
Whenever he moves into one of the Kennedy properties.
I thought the DA’s office was supposed to represent the public and their interests? The DA’s office got a jury to give him a life sentence, I’d think they’d want to keep their work proven. In a while the non-participation in the parole process will lead to the left using stats around it to release yet more criminals. I’m pretty sure it’s in our interests to have this guy in jail; If they want to kick him loose and Jordan will take him I say let him be their problem though, $50K/year we don’t have to spend housing the guy.
If somebody killed one of George Soros’ children, would the murderer ever be considered for parole?
Should be considered for a nobel peace prize
You sure think about blowing truckers a lot, but whatever turns you on. Just say it , you wish Geoff was a trucker and would stop by your moms house to see you.
“You sure think about blowing truckers a lot, but whatever turns you on.”
Yeah, he’s evolving into the comedy gift that just keeps on giving…
He’s probably still got skeletons in the closet …. I predict ” Clinton curse ” body bag number 48 shortly after his release.
“…my persistent troll and truck stop relief man …”
You just fucked-up bigtime!
You just admitted it, you want me sexually.
You can’t have me, I do women, not little boys like you with nothing between your spindly legs… 😉
I have no friends?
You wish, that would validate your sick obsession with me.
Lemme tell you about the way I spent last Tuesday –
My buddy ‘EW’ turned me on to bass fishing in a kayak in an old abandoned phosphate mine ‘lake’, really an extended pond of about 40 acres with numerous ‘fingers’.
What do you do with your imaginary friends? Why don’t you go to a truck stop and get the real thing? 😉
He is better than us. At blowing truckers. His mommy taught him well.
Life advice. Do not get into a car with a Kennedy and do not get in a plane with one.
Ask Aw-nuld about marrying one.
“Ask Aw-nuld about marrying one.”
Ah-nold’s dick got him in big trouble with that Kennedy… 🙂
He is still a political hot potato. He has no chance in hell of ever being released.
What is ironic is the complete hypocrisy of the Far Right. If either of the Kennedys had lived they would have been vilified forever by the far right who hate democrats with a passion. Its of a political advantage for the Republicans to fain sympathy for the Kennedys while secretly still hating them all with a passion. They fool no one in the U.S. except themselves.
Those kennedys were trash but not nearly as bad as the leftist nut jobs we have today
How many women did teddy maul but he was still praised by the left?
And if John and Bobby had lived John for sure would have been hated by the new neo fascist left. To them he may even have been hated worse than Trump. John actually went to war against their kind.
JFK or Robert K would not fit in todays Democratic Party.
Ask not what your Country can do for you, but what can you do for your Country would preclude JFK from his Party today.
“He has no chance in hell of ever being released.”
That didn’t age well.
Who’s gonna take him in?
Should have been pardoned the day after his conviction.
And then the obligatory parade thrown in his honor.
When those who have been entrusted by our Constitutional Republic form of Government to defend the citizenry from Criminals and the evils they perpetrate, decide their Ideological beliefs are more important than their duty. It falls upon the citizenry to defend and protect themselves. Whether that means vigilante justice and/or the physical removal of those who fail in their duties. It is up to each citizen to decide, but to stand aside and allow these things to occur only perpetrates the evil that many here today rail against. Mere words screamed at the Interweb has no effect on those who refuse to listen or care. The end result being that it’s not a matter of If, but When it will occur to You or someone You care about. Believing It can’t happen to Me or Mine has cost many an Idle person their lives.
I wonder how many of the people whining about this supported letting Jonny Boy Pollard walk out of prison and move to Israel instead of hanging till the crows ate him? Pollard did much more damage to the United States.
The people who got Pollard set free are also the same people who support only having the cops and military having guns.
53 years of safety. Saran Saran is in for a surprise, it ain’t like it used to be out here.
Jordan might be the place for him.
Talking about removing qualified immunity for police officers is just a distraction. And the people who keep talking about it know that it’s a distraction. Because they don’t want the public to start demanding an end to ALL TYPES of immunity for government officials.
The George Soros-funded district attorneys do not want the general public to learn about “absolute immunity”. Which applies to the “protected” misconduct of prosecutors and judges.
2. The difference beteween cops protection and a DA or Judges protection.
“Cousin v. Small, 325 F.3d 627 (5th Cir. 2003): in this murder case, the prosecutor intentionally suppressed evidence that the key eyewitness initially told police she couldn’t see anything and wasn’t wearing her contact lenses the night of the murder and so could only make out patterns and shapes, not faces”
“Dory v. Ryan, 25 F.3d 81 (2d Cir. 1994): in this case, the prosecutor intentionally conspired with a police officer to coerce a key witness to testify falsely against the defendant. According to the coerced witness, IT WAS THE PROSECUTOR —NOT THE police officer—who pressured him. But because the prosecutor was protected by absolute immunity, the court dismissed all claims against him, while the lawsuit could proceed against the police officer (who was entitled only to qualified immunity)”
George Soros is not stupid. He understands what “absolute immunity” means. That is why he is funding the elections of district attorneys. But the general public is clueless. And I wonder why the ACLU never talks about this???
Video 1 min long
He’s not a threat to society. He’s old, and there aren’t any Kennedy brothers left for him to kill.
When I was in High School, this guy in his 50’s chopped the arms off of a 14 year old girl in Sacramento county Ca., where I lived. After he was released he went to Florida and would later kill a woman. He was 70 years old when he committed the murder.
Old criminals need to be left to rot in prison. At least those with history of violence.
is this the truth about guns or the truth about crime and punishment?