California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, has rejected parole for Sirhan Sirhan who was convicted of assassinating Sen.Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles.
According to Washington Post, Newsom made the announcement on Thursday after a California review board approved Sirhan to be released from prison, subjects to review by the board’s legal staff and by the governor himself.
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He had previously been parole 15 times.
In a statement released by Kennedy’s wife, Ethel Kennedy on Thursday, who was joined by her six surviving children, welcome Newson’s decision.
“We are greatly appreciative of the Governor’s Consideration of the facts and his faithful application of the law.
“His decision represents the vindication of the rule of law over all who would betray it with hatred and violence…..The Governor protects Californians and people around the world- and that is in the tradition and faithful to the legacy, of Robert Kennedy. We are deeply grateful for his decision.”
Sirhan’s attorney, Angela Berry, had also released a statement that said the parole process had become politicised, and that she would challenge Newsom’s decision in the courts.
Berry said “We fully expect that judicial review of the governor’s decision will show that the governor got it wrong.”
“The California Supreme Court has declared that life prisoners have a due process right to meaningful consideration for parole. Parole is presumed and it will only be denied under the law if the prisoner poses a current unreasonable risk to the public if released. Not an iota of evidence exists to suggest Mr. Sirhan is still a danger to society.”
Robert Kennedy was the 64th United States Attorney General from January 1961 to September 1964, and as a U.S. Senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968.