After 53 years in prison, the man who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy, Sirhan Sirhan has just been granted parole on Friday, according to officials.
The decision comes after his 16th parole hearing which was the first time he reportedly received support from all prosecutors including the two RFK’s sons, Robert Kennedy Jr. and Douglas Kennedy.
“I think I’ve lived my life both in fear of him and his name in one way or another. And I am grateful today to see him as a human being worthy of compassion and love,” says Douglas who was also moved to tears by Sirhan’s remorse during the hearing.
Although it may take some time to proceed with the parole as the staff is given 90 days to review the decision before it is forwarded to the governor for consideration.
Sirhan was initially sentenced to death after he was convicted of murder half a century ago. He reportedly shot the Democratic presidential candidate RFK in a kitchen pantry after RFK declared his victory at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
But 3 years later his sentence was commuted to life when death penalty was briefly outlawed by the California Supreme Court in 1972.
Sirhan also has confessed repeatedly that he has no memory of the killing as he was only 24 years old at the time of the tragedy.
His new defense attorney, Angela Berry suggested he should be judged based on who is today and not then, adding that her client has an “exemplary prison record” that proves “he is not a danger.”
“We can't change the past, but he was not sentenced for life without the possibility of parole,” she told AP.
Sirhan who’s Christian Palestinian originally from Jordan could potentially face deportation if he’s freed thou he said he will live with his brother in L.A. if he gets out.
Due to his Palestinian background, he was not happy with RFK’s support for Israel which had prompted him to take such tragic action.
Sirhan has since regretted his action.
“You have my pledge. I will always look to safety and peace and non-violence,” he said during the hearing.“I would never put myself in jeopardy again.”