Joe Kennedy III Says No To Parole For His Grandfather’s Killer

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Former U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) doesn’t think it’s time for his grandfather’s killer to get parole.

Kennedy posted his thoughts on the matter on Facebook on Wednesday evening. It comes in the wake of news that a parole board in California  recommended Sirhan Sirhan for parole.

Sirhan assassinated Robert F. Kennedy just moments after the then-Democratic presidential candidate gave his victory speech following a win in the California presidential primary  on June 5, 1968. Sirhan shot and killed RFK because Kennedy supported Israel in the Six Day War of 1967.

Here is what RFK’s grandson, who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts last year, had to say on the matter Wednesday, September 1:


I believe deeply in the possibility of parole in the American justice system. I also believe deeply that the man who murdered my grandfather does not deserve it.

I echo the anger and heartache of my father, the majority of his siblings, and my grandmother at the California Parole Board’s recent recommendation. For our family, there has been no apology, no acceptance of responsibility, and no remorse. For our country, there has been no justification for letting the perpetrator of one of our most devastating political assassinations walk free.

This country cannot accept violence as an answer to political disagreement. Not now. Not ever.

Our criminal justice system has been plagued by inequities since our founding. A movement towards rehabilitation, compassion and understanding is long overdue. But for those who have committed heinous acts of violence and continue to shirk responsibility, reject accountability and resist any sort of empathy, there should be no such accommodation.


There is a split among RFK’s children on the matter. Joseph P. Kennedy III’s father, former Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, is among the group of RFK’s children that don’t support parole. Courtney Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Christopher Kennedy, Maxwell Kennedy, and Rory Kennedy are also in that category.

“We are in disbelief that this man would be recommended for release,” they said in a statement given to the parole board, according to MSN. “We urge the Parole Board staff, the full Board, and ultimately, Governor Newsom, to reverse this initial recommendation. It is a recommendation we intend to challenge every step of the way, and we hope that those who also hold the memory of our father in their hearts will stand with us.”

Meanwhile, Douglas Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. say they are ready to forgive Sirhan for what he did and support granting him parole.


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