‘A Grievous Error’: RFK’s Son Slams Possible Parole For Assassin

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Robert F. Kennedy’s eldest son criticized a ruling that could allow the late Attorney General and presidential candidate’s assassin a chance at parole.

“Two commissioners of the 18-member California Parole Board made a grievous error last Friday in recommending the release of the man who murdered my father,” Joseph P. Kennedy II said Sunday in a statement obtained by the Associated Press. Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Kennedy on June 6, 1968. He received a death sentence that was commuted to life in prison.

Kennedy, a former Democratic Massachusetts Rep., issued a longer statement on Saturday opposing parole alongside five of his siblings Courney Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Christopher G. Kennedy, Maxwell T. Kennedy, and Rory Kennedy.

“Given today’s unexpected recommendation by the California parole board after 15 previous decisions to deny release, we feel compelled to make our position clear,” they wrote. “We adamantly oppose the parole and release of Sirhan and are shocked by a ruling that we believe ignores the standards for parole of a confessed, first-degree murderer in the state of California.”

“Our father’s death impacted our family in ways that can never adequately be articulated and today’s decision by a two-member parole board has inflicted additional pain. But beyond just us, six of Robert Kennedy’s nine surviving children, Sirhan committed a crime against our nation and its people. He took our father from our family and he took him from America,” they continued.

Two of Kennedy’s sons, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Douglas Kennedy, supported the parole recommendation. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. visited Sirhan in prison in 2018, telling The Washington Post that he did not believe that Sirhan actually killed his father. (RELATED: Robert F. Kennedy Assassin Granted Parole—With Support Of RFK’s Sons)

Sirhan admitted to killing Robert F. Kennedy during his trial, later recanted, claiming that he had no memory of the shooting.