LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The assassin who killed US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 was denied parole Wednesday, and will have to wait another five years to make another request, officials said.
Sirhan Sirhan was initially sentenced to death, but the sentence was changed in 1972 to life in prison after the death penalty as it existed at the time was ruled unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court.
His last parole hearing was in 2006, when he opted not to attend and did not send anyone to represent him.
This time he was represented by lawyer Bill Pepper at the parole hearing, held at the Pleasant Valley prison in Coalinga, half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
But his request was rejected. “The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation?s Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) today denied a grant of parole for Pleasant Valley State Prison inmate Sirhan Sirhan,” it said.
“Inmate Sirhan will be considered for another parole review in five years,” it added in a short statement.
The Palestinian immigrant shot Kennedy after he won the California presidential primary. Sirhan reportedly killed the New York senator because he backed selling warplanes to Israel.
Robert Kennedy’s brother, president John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1963.