Opinion | Robert Kennedy Was My Dad. His Murderer Doesn’t Deserve Parole.


The commissioner saved urgent: “I’m asking you to inform me what you imagine you’re liable for.”

Mr. Sirhan replied: “It’s a great query. Legally talking, I’m not responsible of something.”

Once more, this was in 2016. He was 71 years previous and had been incarcerated for 48 years. That he was, in fact, denied parole, is simple to grasp. And so my query is: What within the intervening 5 years has modified? We all know that one or two legal guidelines have modified (as we’ve seen, they regularly do), possibly some attitudes have modified, and Mr. Sirhan is just a few years older. For a touch of coloration, information studies persistently point out his snow white hair, as if one way or the other that signifies he’s now not a menace.

However as final Friday’s parole listening to made clear, his suitability for launch has not modified. Based on Julie Watson, an Related Press reporter current, Mr. Sirhan nonetheless maintains that he doesn’t recall the killing and that “it pains me to expertise that, the information for such a horrible deed, if I did in truth do this.” If? How are you going to specific regret whereas refusing to simply accept accountability? And the way, having dedicated probably the most infamous assassinations of the latter a part of the twentieth century, are you able to be thought-about rehabilitated if you gained’t even acknowledge your function within the crime itself?

But final week’s parole commissioner, Robert Barton, discovered a method. Though the official transcripts haven’t but been launched, he’s reported as telling Mr. Sirhan, “We didn’t discover that your lack of taking full accountability” for the taking pictures signifies that you’re “at present harmful.”

I do know that prisons are overcrowded, and I notice that it’s costly to maintain an older man behind bars. However with out concern for justice or regard for rehabilitation, the parole panel of two has really useful that the person who killed my father be launched. Free to reside, maybe, in Pasadena, Calif., along with his brother, lower than an hour’s drive from my residence. Or, as is extra possible, to go to Jordan, the place he has citizenship.

It’s true that Mr. Sirhan has been incarcerated for a very long time. For 53 years, to be actual. That’s, in spite of everything, a straightforward quantity for me to trace. It’s the similar variety of years that my father has been lifeless. It’s the age that I activate my birthday this 12 months.


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