Sirhan Sirhan in custody in 1968
Sirhan Sirhan in custody in 1968 Keystone/Getty Images
Robert Kennedy's assassin Sirhan B. Sirhan gets a hearing before a California Board of Parole on Wednesday. William Weisel, a TV journalist hit by a bullet during the 1968 attack, tells CNN that he would not oppose Sirhan's release if the parole board granted it.
Sirhan, 66, is serving a life sentence and has failed to win parole on 13 other occasions since his conviction for shooting and killing Kennedy on the night that the brother of slain President John F. Kennedy won California's Democratic presidential primary.
Sirhan lawyer William F. Pepper says the gunman has no memory of the June 4 evening at the Ambasador Hotel in Los Angeles. The AP reports that could undermine any hope of parole based on the criteria the board looks at when considering cases:
At issue is whether Sirhan, 66, remains a threat to others or to himself, whether he has accepted responsibility for the crime and expressed adequate remorse and whether he has an acceptable parole plan if he is released.
His lack of memory makes expressions of remorse and accepting responsibility difficult.
Pepper, however, argues that his client's loss of memory stems from "hypno-programming" and that he was just one part of a larger conspiracy. ABC News reports:
Pepper says he believes he knows who ordered Sirhan to shoot Kennedy, but won't yet say who it is. He said in addition to the parole hearing, he is preparing an appeal.