Jan 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Newsom denies parole for Robert F. Kennedy's assassin

Sirhan Sirhan in 1983. Photo: Bettmann / Contributor via Getty images

Sirhan Sirhan in 1983. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor via Getty images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday denied parole to Robert F. Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan, saying that the 77-year-old "poses an unreasonable threat to public safety."

Driving the news: Newsom rejected a recommendation made in August by a California Parole Board panel, who agreed to a conditional release for Sirhan.

  • Two of RFK's children supported the move to release Sirhan.

State of play: Newsom, who had the final say on Sirhan's release, denied parole due to Sirhan's "refusal to accept responsibility for the crime" and his "lack of insight to support a safe release."

  • “Mr. Sirhan’s assassination of Senator Kennedy is among the most notorious crimes in American history,” Newsom wrote in his decision.
  • “After decades in prison, he has failed to address the deficiencies that led him to assassinate Senator Kennedy," Newsom wrote. "Mr. Sirhan lacks the insight that would prevent him from making the same types of dangerous decisions he made in the past."

Flashback: RFK was assassinated in 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after delivering a victory speech following his win in California's Democratic primary when he was running for president.

What's next: Sirhan's new parole hearing will be scheduled no later than February 2023, per AP.

  • Sirhan's' lawyer, Angela Berry, will also ask the judge to overturn Newsom's decision, AP reports.
  • “We fully expect that judicial review of the governor’s decision will show that the governor got it wrong,” Berry said.
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