Catching up on the headlines on CNN this morning, I came across this story. Apparently, Sirhan Sirhan, the man who was convicted in the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, is coming up for a parole hearing.
Not only does he have a coming parole hearing, but Sirhan also has the support of two respected psychologists, and William Weisel, a reporter who was struck by a stray bullet when RFK was attacked.
Now admittedly, I know very little about the circumstances surrounding RFK's assassination. I know the man took the California Primary, and was shot that night. I had assumed that a man who was convicted of murdering a presidential candidate would be a prime subject for capital punishment. According to this article, those responsible for presiding over his case agreed with me at one time, and originally sentenced the man to death only to flip the decision 3 years down the road and slap him with life in prison.
Now I am not saying that I am a huge supported of the death penalty, I'm just saying that it would be nice if we had a little consistency about these kinds of things. A man shoots and kills a presidential candidate and wounds 5 others, and is given life in prison, while California has executed a man as recently as 2006 for a triple murder.
Clarence Ray Allen was convicted of the murder of a young woman who had ratted him out concerning a burglary Allen had committed with his son and some other conspirators. Later, in prison, he organized the murders of 3 other people who were to testify as witnesses in the original case against him by persuading his former cellmate to commit the crime once he was released.
So why was this man, who only personally killed one person, given the lethal injection for a crime that was committed 10 years after Sirhan shot Kennedy. Sirhan not only shot RFK 3 times and killed him, but also severely injured 5 members of his entourage. Yet Allen is dead, and the state is still paying to keep Sirhan alive and entrenched in the black morass of the legal system.
But back to this article. Beyond that fact that Sirhan is being considered, and in certain circles supported for parole, the article from CNN drops a few other snippets in its body that raise an alarming eyebrow. As I mentioned earlier, I know virtually nothing about the circumstances surrounding RFK's death, but I certainly found this interesting. The article talks about an audio recording that survived the event, the only recording of any kind of the assassination.
The Pruszynski recording "clearly showed that 13 shots were fired in the pantry, and Sirhan's gun had only eight shots, so it definitely means there was a second shooter,"
Ho Ho! The time-honored "Magic Gun" theory! Not only that, but Sirhan's attorney is claiming, and supported by certified psychologists, that Sirhan may not be guilty, and had probably not been working alone. According to his attorneys, Sirhan has literally NO recollection of any of the events that transpired that evening. He confessed to the crime as he was there that night, had a pistol with him, and that pistol had been proven to be fired, but according to the defense Sirhan confessed only because he had been told he committed the murder, and due to his memory loss simply believed the accusations.
Now I am going to stop before I start drawing wild conclusions. But it wasn't all that long ago that I schlepped myself through the public compulsory education system of this country, and I want to know why I never learned about any of this. Hell, I didn't even know about anything surrounding John F Kennedy's assassination until I started looking into it myself. Why are we not discussing these things in the classroom? Why are we not exposing our children to the honest reality of whats happening in this country? I understand the importance of having a working knowledge surrounding how this country was formed, but we are reaching a point in our national history where our time line is too long to be effectively covered during our formative educational years. We need to start making decisions on what is important to be covered in history lessons. Personally, I think I would have been better served being exposed to the details surrounding both of the Kennedy assassinations than week long focus studies on Eli Whitney and the cotton gin. Call me crazy.
I dunno, waxing insanity over here in my discourse without a doubt. Thank god this story will be lost in a matter of hours, if not minutes, as we get bombarded with more madness from Charlie Sheen. And the media circus continues, dragging the national eye away from things like Sirhan, Egypt, and Libya. You know, the boring stuff. But it's alright, we all really gotta get an inside look at how Mr. Sheen is delivering the goods every god damn day.
Thanks Charlie. Keep delivering the goods. We're all "bi-winning" now.