Ethel Kennedy, the wife of the late Robert F. Kennedy, says assassin Sirhan Sirhan should not be released from prison, further roiling a family divide over whether the man convicted of killing her husband in California in 1968 should be freed on parole.
Ethel Kennedy made a short statement Tuesday via Twitter, stating bluntly that her daughter Kerry Kennedy, activist and lawyer, should not be paroled.
Kennedy, 93, wrote that Bobby believed we should work together to ‘tame man’s savageness and make the world a better place.
He wanted to end Vietnam’s war and bring together people to create a stronger, better country. He wanted to be a loving father and husband, more than anything,” she wrote. She added: “Our family suffered an unimaginable loss due to one man’s inhumanity. We believe in the kindness that saved his life. However, he shouldn’t have the chance to terrorize again by taming the act of violence.
The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights was founded by Ethel Kennedy. Her statement came a week after former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, RFK’s oldest son, also denounced the possible parole of Sirhan, 77.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Douglas Kennedy are two other descendants of RFK. They support the release.
California Parole Board ruled last month that Sirhan is no longer a danger to society. It noted that Sirhan had participated in over 20 programs, including anger management classes and tai-chi, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Sirhan was sentenced to 53 years in prison.
The board’s staff will review the ruling over the next four-months. It will then be sent to the Governor. Gavin Newsom will then have 30 days to decide whether or not to grant it, reverse it, or modify it.
Robert F. Kennedy was an American senator from New York. He was also the brother of President John F. Kennedy who was assassinated on December 31, 1963. RFK was a Democratic presidential nominee and was attempting to win the nomination. He was shot dead at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after delivering a victory address in the crucial California primary. Five other people were also wounded.