The California Parole Board recommended release after Sirhan’s 16th appearance before the board last August. Two members of the Kennedy family, sons Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Douglas Kennedy supported Sirhan’s release. Other family members felt he should remain imprisoned.
Through the review process, Newsom has noted his penchant for Kennedy, telling reporters he keeps a framed photo of the former senator at the entrance of his office.
Sirhan has spent 53 years in prison for Kennedy’s 1968 killing when he was ambushed in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles following a presidential campaign event.
Originally sentenced to death, Sirhan’s sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972 after the California State Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional.
CNN has reached out to Sirhan Sirhan’s attorney for comment.