January 27, 2022
Governor rejects parole for Sirhan Sirhan, Robert F. Kennedy’s killer
SACRAMENTO - (INT) - Governor Newsom has reversed a decision by the Board of Parole Hearings to grant parole to Sirhan Sirhan, Senator Robert Kennedy’s assassin.

The Governor completed an extensive review of Sirhan’s case and determined that he currently poses an unreasonable threat to public safety.

Newsom says he reached his decision based on several factors, including Sirhan’s refusal to accept responsibility for his crime, lack of insight and accountability required to support his safe release, failure to disclaim violence committed in his name, and failure to mitigate his risk factors.

Sirhan is now 77.

Sirhan was convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting Kennedy and wounding five others after a campaign event in 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy, 42, led the field of Democrats campaigning for the presidential nomination when he died. He was shot just after claiming victory in California’s primary.

His assassination came five years after that of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, and just two months after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed.

The governor on Thursday also pardoned 24 people and granted reprieves to five. Those pardoned include an Army officer, a Coast Guard volunteer, eight people facing deportation and others convicted of cannabis crimes. Newsom also commuted the sentences of 18 people, including Rahsaan “New York” Thomas, a co-host of a podcast produced inside San Quentin State Prison called Ear Hustle. Several of the commutations were for people who committed crimes as teenagers. Note: The Sacramento Bee contributed to this story.
Story Date: January 14, 2022
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