RFK Murderer Sirhan Sirhan Appeals for Freedom

December 4, 2011  

Attorneys for the convicted Arab murderer of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy say he is innocent and hope to set him free.

William F. Pepper and Laurie Dusek have filed another in a series of countless such appeals, this one claiming that Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, an immigrant to the United States born in British Mandate Jerusalem in 1944, was hypnotized to shoot a gun at the same time as the “real” killer, as a diversion.

Due to the “difficulty of retrying a case of this vintage,” — RFK was murdered in 1968 — the lawyers have asked the court to set aside his sentence and let the convicted murderer, now 67, go free.

The two lawyers claim that 13 shots were fired from multiple weapons the night that RFK was killed, although authorities said only eight bullets were fired. Three of the shots hit Kennedy, who died within 24 hours. Five other bullets ricocheted around the kitchen at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where the victorious senator had tried to take a shortcut while leaving after delivering a speech following California’s Democratic presidential primary.

At his trial, Sirhan said bluntly on the witness stand he killed Robert F. Kennedy with “20 years of malice aforethought.” Handwritten diaries in which he wrote “RFK must die” were introduced into evidence by the prosecutors as well. He later recanted his confession.

In their appeal, the two lawyers argue that the bullet that killed RFK — the one taken from the senator’s neck — did not match Sirhan Sirhan’s gun. They suggest there was a second gun used in the assassination, but do not offer any ideas as to who may have fired it. And Sirhan now says he has no memory of shooting RFK.

“Petitioner fully understands he is likely to be deported to Jordan where he would hope to quietly live out the rest of his life with family and friends, but at long last he would, at least, have received long-delayed justice,” the lawyers stated in the brief filed in a Los Angeles federal court last week.

Both are optimistic they perhaps this time they may succeed in their effort to free Sirhan Sirhan.

Pepper told the Associated Press, “They put fabricated evidence into court before the judge and jury. We are satisfied that for the first time in 43 years of this case we think we have the evidence to set this conviction aside.”

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