He has done 50 years….
The Kennedy family approves of Sirhan B. Sirhan’s possible release …
The full parole board and California Governor must also approve….
The slaying of Kennedy (D-N.Y.), then a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, probably changed the course of American history. But Sirhan’s lawyer argued that was an irrelevant consideration for parole — that the criteria of rehabilitation, remorse and future dangerousness that are applied to all prisoners should also be applied to Sirhan, now 77.
“Over half a century has passed,” Sirhan told the two parole commissioners, “and that young, impulsive kid I was does not exist anymore. … Senator Kennedy was the hope of the world and I injured, and I harmed all of them, and it pains me to experience that, the knowledge for such a horrible deed.”
It was Sirhan’s 16th parole hearing. Since California abolished capital punishment in 1972, and Sirhan’s sentence was changed to life, he has been eligible for release since 1975. The decision by the two-person panel will be reviewed by the full parole board for 120 days before it is final. Then the California governor — currently Gavin Newsom (D), who is facing a recall election that ends Sept. 14 — will have 30 days to uphold the decision, reverse it or send it back to the board.
One of Kennedy’s sons, Douglas H. Kennedy, spoke in favor of Sirhan’s parole….