Robert F. Kennedy’s Assassin Sirhan Denied Parole by California Governor | Top News

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(Reuters) -California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday he has denied parole to Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian refugee serving a life sentence for assassinating U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

Newsom made the announcement after a California review board in August recommended Sirhan be released from prison, subject to review by the board’s legal staff and by the governor himself. He had previously been denied parole 15 times.

Outlining his decision in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times, Newsom said he disagreed with the Board of Parole Hearings finding that Sirhan, 77, was suitable for parole.

Sirhan’s lawyer, Angela Berry, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. She has previously said that Sirhan has never been accused of a serious prison violation and that prison officials have deemed him a low risk.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Kennedy family members for comment on Newsom’s decision.

Sirhan was convicted of gunning down Kennedy, 42, in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968.

Sirhan has said he had no recollection of the killing of Robert Kennedy, although he has also said he fired at Kennedy because he was enraged by his support for Israel.

After the parole board issued its recommendation, Kennedy’s widow, Ethel, 93, voiced her opposition https://www.reuters.com/world/us/ethel-kennedy-opposes-parole-husband-rfks-assassin-sirhan-sirhan-2021-09-07 to Sirhan’s release, saying “our family and our country suffered an unspeakable loss due to the inhumanity of one man”.

Newsom pointed to what he called Sirhan’s “shifting narrative” over the killing and his refusal to take responsibility for it as proof he was ineligible for release.

Sirhan was sentenced to death in 1969, but his sentence was commuted to life in prison after California banned the death penalty.

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Grant McCool)

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