Electronic Intifada: Sirhan Sirhan Did Not Kill Robert Kennedy (While Inadvertently Providing Proof He Did)

California Department of Corrections, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Anti-Israel propaganda site The Electronic Intifada has a length piece arguing that Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan should go free. Why? Because he is a palestinian Arab. Actually, that is my take. The author of the piece, Ashraf Nubani, spends most of the time arguing that he likely was not really the killer:

We do know the Los Angeles Police Department and government officials handling the case did a demonstrably poor job in investigating the crime.

However, their dereliction was mostly one of omission rather than commission. After all they had a suspect, murder weapon and a kitchen full of witnesses.

Eyewitness testimony was contradictory, however. Evidence was mishandled and some even disappeared.

Official forensic evidence left the door open to the possibility of a second shooter, one who was behind Robert Kennedy and fired at point-blank range, while the consensus of witnesses at all times places Sirhan in front of the senator and a few feet away.

Expert analysis of a long-ignored, poor quality audio recording of the incident registers 13 shots fired, five more than the eight-shot 22-caliber Iver Johnson revolver Sirhan was holding.

Further complicating the matter is that Sirhan does not remember the actual event itself. He recalls drinking that night, going to the hotel, meeting a woman, getting coffee and being agitated. He then remembers being grabbed, held down and almost choked to death.

Sirhan was never afforded the presumption of innocence. He would be conveniently labeled a Palestinian terrorist motivated by hatred of Kennedy’s support for Israel.

Although later upheld by higher courts, incriminating evidence was obtained at his mother’s home without a search warrant.

Sirhan’s lead lawyer during his trial, Grant B. Cooper, provided ineffective assistance of counsel.

Attorneys who have represented Sirhan in recent years contend that Cooper, who died in 1990, was compromised by the fact that he was under federal indictment for illegally possessing grand jury transcripts in an unrelated case, but that after Sirhan’s sentencing that indictment was dropped.

Cooper and the defense team failed to adequately challenge government evidence, seek expert testimony or pursue any avenue that tended to exonerate Sirhan.

Their strategy was to concede that Sirhan fired the shots that killed Kennedy, but to argue that he was innocent of murder due to diminished capacity.

Cooper’s team also negotiated with prosecutors a plea bargain in which Sirhan would admit to first-degree murder in exchange for not receiving the death penalty – a deal the judge rejected.

A key witness, Kennedy friend and victim of the shooting, Paul Schrade, now 96 years old, believes Sirhan was not the killer and that there was a second shooter.

In 2016, Schrade appeared at a parole board hearing, supporting Sirhan’s request to be released.

“The evidence clearly shows you were not the gunman who shot Robert Kennedy,” Schrade said, addressing Sirhan. “There is clear evidence of a second gunman in that kitchen pantry who shot Robert Kennedy.”

Schrade forgave Sirhan for injuring him and added, “I should have been here long ago.”

and at the same time has been a model prisoner who expressed remorse for the tragedy

He has served more than 50 years in prison. In that time, he has been a model prisoner. Psychiatric assessments place him at the lowest level of risk for violence. He has expressed remorse for the tragedy.

If you click on the link to Sirhan Sirhan expressing remorse for the assassination, you get to this interview with him, in which he clearly admits to killing Kennedy because of the latter’s support for Israel. Not only that, he makes it sound like he knew exactly what he was doing.

This is peak Electronic Intifada: cherry-picking information to demonize Israel/portray palestinian terrorists as innocents. Unfortunately for the author Nubani here, he may not have counted on people like me actually clicking on the links and discovering how the provided information actually undermines his case.

Did I mention that Nubani is an attorney? He seems to really suck at it.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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