Updated: Jan 15, 2022
California Gov. Gavin Newsom denied parole to Sirhan Sirhan, who killed Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, the Associated Press reports. Newsom said Sirhan is still a threat to the public and will not admit wrongdoing. Sirhan asserts he was drunk and doesn't recall the killing. Newsom overruled a panel of commissioners who advocated for Sirhan's release. The commissioners' recommendation comes from decades of reports from prison psychologists and psychiatrists that Sirhan no longer poses a threat to society. The recommendation had support from two of Kennedy's family members, Douglass and Robert F. Kennedy while it was opposed by Kennedy's mother and siblings.
Newsom called the murder "among the most notorious crimes in American history". The Robert Kennedy killing marked a violent chapter in U.S. history, following the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy. Five others were injured in the Robert F. Kennedy shooting. Sirhan is a Palestinian immigrant from Jordan. His defense and recommendation for release have centered on his childhood trauma sustained from Middle East conflict. Sirhan, 77, will be scheduled for another parole hearing no later than February 2023.