Her testimony follows news that Douglas Kennedy, a toddler when his father was shot dead in California in 1968, told a two-person board of directors that he was moved to tears by Sirhan’s remorse.
“I am overwhelmed by the mere chance of seeing Mr. Sirhan face to face,” he said. “I’ve lived my life out of fear of both him and his name in one way or another. And today I am grateful to see him as a person who deserves compassion and love. “
Another sibling, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-violence advocate, wrote a letter supporting Sirhan’s parole.
RFK’s eldest daughter Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and his widow Ethel Kennedy have not spoken publicly about the parole board’s decision. Two other children have died.
The larger parole board staff will review the recommendation for Sirhan’s release within the next 90 days before being sent to Governor Gavin Newsom, who will then have 30 days to decide on the grant.
Robert F. Kennedy was a United States Senator from New York who was running for Democratic presidential nomination in 1968 when he was shot and killed by Sirhan at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Five others were injured. The nation staggered after witnessing the assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963.
Sirhan, who said he was drunk and did not remember shooting RFK, was convicted of first degree murder. He was sentenced to death, but that sentence was commuted to life when the California Supreme Court temporarily banned the death penalty in 1972.