A two person parole board granted Sirhan’s request after a hearing, but it still must be approved by the board’s staff and then by the California governor, according to the Associated Press.
Sirhan, 77, had sought parole more than a dozen times since he was convicted of killing Kennedy.
Kennedy’s youngest son, Douglas, spoke in favor of Sirhan’s parole, according to the AP.
“I’m overwhelmed just by being able to view Mr. Sirhan face to face,” Kennedy said, according to the AP. “I think I’ve lived my life both in fear of him and his name in one way or another. And I am grateful today to see him as a human being worthy of compassion and love.”
Robert Kennedy was mortally wounded on June 5, 1968, shortly after speaking to exuberant supporters following his victory in the California presidential primary. Kennedy died just over a day later at the Hospital of the Good Samaritan. He and his wife, Ethel, had 10 children, and an 11th was born following his death.