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Simpich writes: "Sirhan Sirhan, the accused killer of Robert F. Kennedy, was denied parole for the 15th time on Wednesday, February 10. After 48 years in prison, he has done everything he could to change his life. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called not only for his release but for a new investigation of his father's death."

Paul Schrade at the Sirhan parole hearing. Schrade, a victim at the Robert Kennedy assassination in 1968, testified in Sirhan's defense. (photo: Washington Post)
Paul Schrade at the Sirhan parole hearing. Schrade, a victim at the Robert Kennedy assassination in 1968, testified in Sirhan's defense. (photo: Washington Post)


Sirhan Denied Parole: It's a Broken Criminal Justice System

By Bill Simpich, Reader Supported News

25 February 16

 

ernie Sanders keeps driving it home. “We have a broken criminal justice system.” Sanders thunders that the focus is on incarceration, not rehabilitation. The above photo is introduced as Exhibit A.

Sirhan Sirhan, the accused killer of Robert F. Kennedy, was denied parole for the 15th time on Wednesday, February 10. After 48 years in prison, he has done everything he could to change his life. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called not only for his release but for a new investigation of his father’s death.

One of the men Sirhan shot, UAW organizer Paul Schrade, testified on Sirhan’s behalf at the hearing. Schrade, 91, expressed his confidence that a second gunman shot Bobby. Sparks flew when Schrade turned to Sirhan and said, “Sirhan, I forgive you.” The parole board told Schrade he had no right to speak to the prisoner.

Schrade is one of the victims of Sirhan’s bullets. Schrade has spent more than 40 years mastering the evidence in the RFK murder. Under California law, a victim can speak at the parole hearing for as much time as he or she wants. How dare these people say that Schrade cannot look into a man’s eyes and speak to him?

Because the people who run the criminal justice system are powerful, well-connected, and above the law. The RFK murder was figured out a long time ago. There was a second gunman, but the California criminal justice system has no interest in looking for the killer. 

The cover-up in the RFK case is well-documented. Review the evidence at sirhanbsirhan.org or at any number of competent websites. We live in a society that has lost its way. We need a mighty burst of outrage to turn things around.

Sirhan has determined attorneys, but they have little power in the face of a determined law enforcement machine that is unaccountable to its citizens.

Bernie Sanders puts his finger right on it when he talks about the outrageous number of people of color facing criminal charges while the fraud artists on Wall Street walk free. A steadily increasing percentage of prisons are now run for profit by the private sector – Sanders says this also must end.

The political battle must be waged – justice cannot depend on dollars.

Ever try to research the funding sources of the criminal justice system? Good luck. You will find a series of opaque sources.

The district attorneys are an incredibly conservative bunch with seemingly unlimited budgets. The public defender’s office is traditionally stretched like a tightrope with an inherently unmanageable caseload. 

Want a private lawyer? Good luck. Most people facing criminal charges cannot afford counsel except in the simplest of cases.

A look at the police department is like a look at the DA’s office. In most cities, police budgets are considered sacrosanct. Police associations run roughshod over citizens’ review boards that attempt to actually discipline officers.

In this bleak landscape, how did Black Lives Matter get traction? Great organizers, yes. And cell phones. Videos showing people of color being lynched broke out across the Internet and into the evening news. People fighting back on this front is reason to rejoice.

But go to the courthouse some morning for a wake-up call when they announce the criminal calendar.

The attack on people of color and the poor is a never-ending campaign. The latest wrinkle is that now the Feds seem to have found the perfect tool to harass the political dissidents.

Last June, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling in Holder v. the Humanitarian Law Project. The court decided that nonviolent First Amendment speech and advocacy “coordinated with” or “under the direction of” a foreign group listed by the Secretary of State as “terrorist” was a crime.

In this case, human rights workers wanted to teach members of the Kurdistan PKK, which seeks an independent Kurdish state, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which sought an independent state in Sri Lanka, how to use humanitarian and international law to peacefully resolve disputes.

Despite the nonviolent, peace-making goal of this speech and training, the Supreme Court interpreted the law to make such conduct a crime.

The Court held that any “material support,” even if it involves nonviolent efforts toward peace, is illegal under the law since it “frees up other resources within the organization that may be put to violent ends,” and also helps lend “legitimacy” to foreign terrorist groups.

This means Obama could have been prosecuted for supporting Nelson Mandela. Jimmy Carter could be facing charges for monitoring Lebanese elections. But this is not going to happen to the rich and powerful – which includes people like Obama and Carter.

Here’s what is happening, as reported by Michael Deutsch of the People’s Law Office in Chicago: 

“In late September the FBI carried out a series of raids of homes and anti-war offices of public activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Following the raids the Obama Justice Department subpoenaed 14 activists to a grand jury in Chicago and also subpoenaed the files of several anti-war and community organizations ...

“Federal prosecutors are intent on accusing public non-violent political organizers, many affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), of providing ‘material support,’ through their public advocacy, for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

“The Secretary of State has determined that both the PLFP and the FARC ‘threaten US national security, foreign policy or economic interests,’ a finding not reviewable by the Courts.”

It’s a whole new exception to the First Amendment.

Do you need any more evidence that we have a broken criminal justice system? It’s astounding that we have a presidential candidate who gets this right. Most of the members of Congress don’t have a clue. We have to stand up in large numbers and wade into the fight.



Bill Simpich is an Oakland attorney who knows that it doesn't have to be like this. He was part of the legal team chosen by Public Justice as Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2003 for winning a jury verdict of 4.4 million in Judi Bari's lawsuit against the FBI and the Oakland police.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

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+21 # PaulK 2016-02-25 18:29
The justice system isn't broken, not precisely. It's the gun-wielding tyrants' abettor and the whole of the American citizenry's foe.
 
 
+47 # REDPILLED 2016-02-25 22:55
It's not broken.

It's FIXED!
 
 
-32 # Caliban 2016-02-26 02:17
Our justice system has flaws for sure. What justice system doesn't? But from my own pretty extensive reading back in the day and since, I do not see the conviction of Sirhan Sirhan for the murder of Robert Kennedy as a flawed decision. Frankly, the evidence is so overwhelming that any other verdict would itself have been massively flawed.
 
 
+33 # lewagner 2016-02-26 02:46
Quoting Caliban:
Our justice system has flaws for sure. What justice system doesn't? But from my own pretty extensive reading back in the day and since, I do not see the conviction of Sirhan Sirhan for the murder of Robert Kennedy as a flawed decision. Frankly, the evidence is so overwhelming that any other verdict would itself have been massively flawed.

Right, and showing no interest whatsoever in the other guy that fired the killing shot behind the ear is NOT massively flawed?
 
 
+9 # wantrealdemocracy 2016-02-26 12:32
There was also no interest whatsoever in who killed our last legally elected President of the United States. The crooks now in control of our nation are suppressing information about the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11.

No interest in any complete investigation of the Boston Marathon event, the Sandy Hook hoax or all the 'Muslim terrorist attacks' in our Homeland.

It is time for the people of this nation to rise up in rebellion against our corrupt government -- which is in NO WAY a democracy.

Get out and vote!! Yeah, right---on a corporately controlled voting machine.
 
 
+18 # fletch1165 2016-02-26 09:03
Did the forensic evidence show what sort of drugs they put him on to wipe his memory and make him zombie-like? And if the evidence is so overwhelming what is the fear of re-opening the investigation? The 91 year old's testimony seems highly credible too. He seems in sound state of mind and a key eyewitness since he was one of the victims shot. Evidently the court ruling you refer did not hear all the facts and see all the evidence. Why not revisit with new evidence included?
 
 
+19 # reiverpacific 2016-02-26 10:41
Quoting Caliban:
Our justice system has flaws for sure. What justice system doesn't? But from my own pretty extensive reading back in the day and since, I do not see the conviction of Sirhan Sirhan for the murder of Robert Kennedy as a flawed decision. Frankly, the evidence is so overwhelming that any other verdict would itself have been massively flawed.


48 Years isn't enough already? -when the evidence is so shaky.
S-S wasn't there for any good purpose for sure but when a conviction isn't "Beyond reasonable doubt" it HAS to be re-considered, especially as evidence is available which contradicts the conviction.
A patsy is easily produced after all, as Lee Harvey Oswald showed.
Remember that the Kennedy Bro's wanted to "Rip the CIA up into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the winds" a good motive and possible reason why no further action was taken by "The authorities".
There's plenty precedence for this type of thing in US history after all.
 
 
+21 # Archie1954 2016-02-25 23:42
Vengeance is unworthy of a just and humane judicial system.
 
 
+32 # Anonymot 2016-02-25 23:59
This is not about a humane judicial system, it's about the badly damaged one we've got.

This is not about vengeance, it's about covering up who killed Bobby Kennedy - as well as JFK. Only 3 organizations in America were capable of carrying out such assassinations and keeping it under wraps for 50 years. Two are known by their 3-letter acronyms, one is a 4-letter word. They have been known to act in concert on occasion.

Now let's talk about what really matters in America, the Jenners & Kardashians, the Duggans and whatever happened to Paris Hilton.
 
 
+13 # futhark 2016-02-26 07:15
Quoting Anonymot:
Now let's talk about what really matters in America, the Jenners & Kardashians, the Duggars and whatever happened to Paris Hilton.


And football!!!
 
 
+2 # Anonymot 2016-02-26 12:22
You betcha!Plus...........

Above all, don't tire your brain watching this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1Qt6a-vaNM
 
 
+29 # Thomas Martin 2016-02-26 00:10
Archie - you're totally right that vengeance is immoral, but this goes beyond vengeance - it goes to framing someone for the assassination of RFK, making sure that the assassin gets away clean!!! We can read the recent report by Paul Schrade, who was there, and who was shot, and who can clearly see and tells us that that Sirhan was set up! -

(http://stuartjeannebramhall.com/2016/02/14/explosive-testimony-in-sirhanrfk-assassination-parole-hearing/

And if we don't think the CIA was pulling strings, as it was in JFK's and MLK's assassinations, well, we've got our heads in the sand!
 
 
+4 # reiverpacific 2016-02-26 16:26
Quoting Archie1954:
Vengeance is unworthy of a just and humane judicial system.

Right; just ask Leonard Peltier, Troy Anthony Davis and at the the end of the scale, Trayvon Martin, just for a few.
But then the US of Anger has very little claim to a humane judicial system.
 
 
+14 # nancyw 2016-02-26 00:33
So everyone, what do we do about it? We read these articles and we get miffed but we are still left with the status quo.

Can anyone who goes against the almighty survive? Not be blackmailed? not be assassinated? not be jailed? not be silenced?

Maybe, but at a great personal expense. Not fair. Not right. It still doesn't change anything.
 
 
+16 # Thomas Martin 2016-02-26 01:25
nancyw - you're right, if we only get miffed, we're left with the status quo, but if we do something, even if we can't see immediate, tangible results, we accomplish something ... we ourselves are changed, for one thing, and others who see us stand up are changed too ... that's how we can, and hopefully will, progress
 
 
+9 # dlet60 2016-02-26 03:32
It cannot stand without our support.
 
 
+18 # Scott Griffith 2016-02-26 04:06
This case alone, without even mentioning others very similar, justifies, for me, the calls coming now from political candidates, for revolution.
 
 
+8 # maverita 2016-02-26 07:43
the internet and new technology in the hands of people are making it harder for corruption to hide. coverups are harder and harder to enact. i think we are in the battle of our lifetimes now. the elite are scrambling to regain power over our world. buying up all our media. but truths are spreading across the world almost as fast as the celebrity bs. i believe that we WILL soon reach a critical mass, where the wool has been removed from so many eyes that we truly see how we are held down. and we will see how we the people truly have the power, because even the security apparatus the elite surround themselves with is made up of we the people. of the world. i hold out hope.
 
 
+7 # Anne Frank 2016-02-26 11:51
Yes, and that is exactly why the TPP will stop the free flow of information by characterizing information and access to the new technology as "intellectual property."
 
 
+2 # fletch1165 2016-02-26 08:51
Look at the public defenders. The vast majority, particularly the ones at the top in charge of the junior ones, are in collusion with the district attorney and should be disbarred. The fact the state bars sit on their asses and are not proactive is proof in itself when we know the corruption is widespread.
 
 
+3 # davehaze 2016-02-26 09:28
This whole new exception to the 1st ammendment is put forth by whom exactly? A constitutional scholar, a Democrat, probably someone you voted into the Whitehouse. If you did you should feel poorly about it and give him a call to point out your umbridge to his behavior.
 
 
+4 # afmeyers 2016-02-26 12:25
EVERYONE should watch the film _RFK Must Die_. NO QUESTION that Sirhan was hypnotically "programmed". See the film if you doubt it.
 
 
-4 # JSRaleigh 2016-02-26 13:26
I just don't believe the "I was drugged, hypnotized and brainwashed" defense.

There is overwhelming evidence in Sirhan's own hand writing from his journals that he intended to murder Robert Kennedy on or before June 5, 1968 - the one year anniversary of the beginning of the June 1967 "Six Day War" - because of Kennedy's support for the State of Israel.

If there was indeed another shooter, Sirhan knows who it was.

Sirhan's refusal to either identify this mysterious other shooter or to accept responsibility for his own actions demonstrates his lack of remorse for the crime.

As long as he cannot accept his own guilt, he should not be eligible for parole.
 
 
0 # justincaise 2016-02-26 15:00
One of the biggest reasons JFK was killed was his OPPOSITION to Israel getting nukes!
 
 
+1 # humanmancalvin 2016-02-28 07:50
JSR, You have a few red down votes for your comments which must come from those that have all the answers. I sure do not. I have zero clue as to whether SS knows the other shooter or not, I'm afraid you cannot know that as well but he did indeed intend to kill RK so for that he will never see light of day.
Those that voted your post down must have a lot of answers that the rest of us do not similar to your comment the SS knew the other shooter. I try not to judge with only partial evidence to back up my claims, a lesson that we all should adhere too.
 
 
+6 # PABLO DIABLO 2016-02-26 13:40
VOTE and get your friends to VOTE. Bernie may be our last chance. WAKE UP AMERICA.
See Raznikov and Turner (sp?) for who the second shooter was.
 
 
+4 # Blackjack 2016-02-26 16:34
Well, that's part of the problem. The powers that be do not want another investigation into RFK's death and releasing Sirhan might make that possible.
 
 
+2 # elkingo 2016-02-27 19:30
This is a desiccated, archaic system which looks good on paper. Take your choice:
guilty until proven guilty, or guilty until proven rich.
 

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