As we reported a few weeks ago, a California appeals lawyer is trying to get Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted in the assignation of Robert Kennedy, released from prison, or at the very least get him a new trial. Amongst other things, the appeals attorney is not only citing new analysis of an audio recording, but according to documents released by the courts, is also claiming that the prosecution in the original case used substitute bullets instead of the actual bullets pulled from Kennedy and another survivor.
The use of substitute bullets alone could be seen as grounds to grant an appeal, and the California Attorney General even conceded that Sirhan’s appeals attorneys might be able to prove that there was indeed a second gun involved in the shooting. However, they argue that there is no need for a second trial as Sirhan’s conviction was based heavily on eyewitness testimony rather than ballistics evidence.
The most controversial aspect of Sirhan’s appeal is the notion that he was hypnotized into the attempted assassination. For years, Sirhan maintained that he had no recollection of the shooting. While hypno-programming is a real thing, many people view the notion as a bit too conspiracy theory to be rooted in reality. That said, a Harvard psychologist claims to have resurrected Sirhan’s memory of the shooting and claims that Sirhan believed he was actually shooting at paper targets, not Kennedy, on the day of the assignation.
Whether or not Sirhan is granted an appeal, and ultimately a new trial remains to be seen. If Sirhan was to be granted a new trial, the new evidence would raise more questions than answers in what is one of the most infamous days in US history.