RFK Killer To Be Released


Marley Gandee, Reporter

In 1968 a father, wife, son, brother, and to us, a U.S. senator and presidential hopeful, was killed. He was shot by Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old man. Bobby Kennedy was on the road with his wife, campaigning for Democratic Party president. On Friday August 27, Sirhan Sirhan was granted parole. Although this does not mean he gets released, it is a great step towards his freedom. The California Parole Board will review the hearing over the next 90 days, then the Governor will have 30 days to decide whether they want to grant, reverse, or modify it. This was supported by 2 of 9 of Bobby Kennedy’s children, but was opposed by 6 of 9. There are some pros and cons to Sirhan Sirhan’s parole, one is that it provides peace to the two children that are in agreement, but on the other hand, it can create fear for the ones who are not in agreement. Another significant issue is that he has served 53 years in jail, and shows significant remorse, but has not officially taken responsibility for his crime. He also had significant trauma as a child and possibly lasting brain injuries that may have affected his past or may influence his future.

Bobby Kennedy’s 9 surviving children were split on this issue. Douglas Kennedy says, “I’m overwhelmed just by being able to view Mr. Sirhan face to face. 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 worthy of compassion and love.” Other Kennedy children have said that they are devastated by the news, and it is still hard for them to even talk about their father’s death. I believe that although everyone should have the right to a second chance, it isn’t always the best for the rest of the world. I can’t even begin to imagine already being torn apart by the death of your father, then to only have the fear of the man who killed your father on parole.

Sirhan Sirhan has been up for parole 16 times, and each of the previous 15 times he was denied because he did not show enough remorse for his crime. “I’m still responsible for being there and probably causing the whole incident, through my own gun or other guns,” says Sirhan Sirhan at Friday’s trial. In the past, he has taken the necessary responsibility for the crime, but did not show enough remorse for doing so. Now he shows enough remorse but does not take full responsibility. In my opinion, if he can not take responsibility for his crime, he should not be released, because it shows that he doesn’t fully understand what he has done.

As a child Sirhan was beaten by his father, then later when he moved to the U.S., his father abandoned his family. Then when his sister was 29-years-old, she sadly died of leukemia. After that had happened, he was thrown from a horse he was riding, causing him to hit his head on a metal pole which most likely caused brain damage. “On a side note, I’ve noticed that many notorious serial killers experienced brain injuries during their childhoods,” say Los Angeles Times reporter Justin Ray. This means that it is possible that something in his brain was affecting him in order for him to kill Bobby Kennedy. Although it means it may have just been his brain and not entirely his fault, I think that since he has killed somebody, that it’s possible for it to happen again, this making him a danger to the streets.

All this considered, I believe that Sirhan Sirhan should not be released on parole. I think that he is still a danger to our country, and sadly this may never go away. It is sad that some people don’t get their second chance, but is it really worth it if the rest of the world doesn’t get a first chance? Sirhan Sirhan has shown time and time again that he does not fully understand the extent of his crime, and we don’t need this kind of danger on our streets.