Former congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, the oldest son of Robert F. Kennedy, denounced the possible parole of the man convicted of killing his father in California in 1968.

Kennedy stated in an emailed statement that Sunday, “Two California Parole Board commissioners made a grave error last Friday when they recommended the release of the man who killed my father.” I understand that there are many opinions about the execution of this killer, even within my family. Emotions and opinions don’t change history or facts.

On Friday, Sirhan Sirhan, age 77, was found not to be a threat to society. He had also enrolled in over 20 programs, including anger management classes and Tai Chi, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The board’s staff will review the ruling over the next four month. It will then be reviewed by the board’s staff. The governor will have 30 days in which to approve, reverse, or modify it.

Kennedy wrote that he hoped the full parole board would reverse its decision regarding the ongoing review period, and that the California governor will keep him in prison for the duration of his entire life sentence, if he is forced to make the choice to release Kennedy.

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.

Joe Kennedy II, one of RFK’s 11 children with Ethel Kennedy, is still alive. Douglas Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. both said that they supported Sirhan’s release.

Joe Kennedy and five siblings stated Friday that they opposed parole and promised to fight the process at every stage. Courtney Kennedy was there, as well as Kerry Kennedy, Christopher G. Kennedy (Maxwell T. Kennedy), Maxwell T. Kennedy, and Rory Kennedy.

Joe Kennedy stated Sunday that anyone who commits murder for political reasons must “know that he will at the minimum spend his life in prison without parole.” 

Kennedy made a separate statement, writing that “the prisoner murdered my father because he supported Israel.” The man was tried and convicted, and sentenced to the death penalty. He may now walk free to the cheers and support of his views. It is clear that those who believe that a gun can solve political disputes will celebrate the release of the prisoner.

Kennedy spoke out about growing up without a father on a personal note.

“The prisoner left behind a mother of ten with no husband and soon to be 11 children without a father.

He said, “We miss him every day and struggle to understand how the prisoner should be allowed to enjoy the golden years in his life after he so brutally stole them from my father.”

Kennedy noted that Sirhan was originally sentenced for death, but that this has been reduced to life imprisonment.

“My mother Ethel Kennedy and my uncle Sen. Edward M. Kennedy asked for his death sentence to be reduced to life imprisonment in a gesture of mercy. Kennedy wrote that he received this mercy. “No one should be allowed to change the sentence that my father requested. It was his wife. His last child would not have known a father’s touch. This reality will not be altered by anything written, spoken or done.”