Sirhan Sirhan 16th Parole Hearing Today – DA Won’t Challenge [Editorial]
A HARRY HURLEY OPINION - EDITORIAL
Anything is possible in America, today.
John Hinckley, Jr. came closer than most people know to assassinating United States President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981.
I predicted decades ago that Hinckley would be a free man at a relatively young age.
It happened on September 10, 2016, when Hinckley was released at the age of 61.
Now, there’s a chance that Sirhan Sirhan, the convicted assassin of United States Senator Robert Kennedy could soon be a free man.
Incredulously, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, a former police officer will not argue that Sirhan Sirhan should be kept behind bars.
Sirhan Sirhan Faces his 16th parole hearing today. This is the first time that no prosecutor will be at the California parole board hearing arguing against release.
Sirhan has served 53 years in prison for the first-degree murder of the New York United States senator and brother of President John F Kennedy.
The California parole board will decide if Sirhan can be released safely.
“The role of a prosecutor and their access to information ends at sentencing,” Alex Bastian, special advisor to Gascón, said in a statement Thursday.
The 77-year-old Sirhan was convicted of the first-degree murder of the New York senator and brother of President John F. Kennedy.
Senator Kennedy was a Democratic presidential candidate when he was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles moments after delivering a victory speech in the pivotal California primary.
Gascón told the Associated Press that he admired Kennedy while Sirhan is “the kind of individual that we all like to hate.”
“I can get very emotionally wrapped around my personal feelings (about) someone that killed someone that I thought could have been an incredible president for this country,” Gascón said. “But that has no place in this process. Just like it doesn’t for the person nobody knows about.”
Sirhan has a new attorney, Angela Berry, who will argue that the board's decision should be based on who Sirhan is today and not about past events, which is what the board has based its parole denials on before. She said she plans to focus on his exemplary record in prison and show that he poses no danger.
“We can’t change the past, but he was not sentenced to life without the possibility of parole,” Berry told the Associated Press yesterday.
“To justify denying it based on the gravity of the crime and the fact that it disenfranchised millions of Americans is ignoring the rehabilitation that has occurred and that rehabilitation is a more relevant indicator of whether or not a person is still a risk to society,” said Berry.
I believe that Bobby Kennedy would have won The Presidency and Sirhan succeeded to change the course of American history.
Again, it’s my speculation, but, in my view, Richard Nixon would have been defeated by a Kennedy for the second time in 8 years.
The country would have been taken in a much different direction, with an unapologetic, more liberal (especially socially) philosophy of governance.
Sirhan Sirhan received the death penalty in 1969. California eliminated the death penalty, which now leaves open the possibility that he could be released from prison.
He should not ever be released.
His penalty should be life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Despite the many weird and seemingly unexplainable things that are happening today, I believe that the California Parole Board will not grant Sirhan’s release.
SOURCE: The Associated Press.