Sirhan Was Hypnotized Before RFK Murder: Lawyers

And a bullet that convicted him was switched, attorneys say in push for appeal
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 29, 2011 2:38 AM CST
Sirhan Sirhan, 66, speaks at a California parole hearing earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
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(Newser) – Convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan was hypnotized before he fired shots when Robert F. Kennedy was killed, and a bullet used as evidence at his trial was switched, his lawyers are arguing in their latest push for an appeal. The attorneys cite reports from experts claiming Sirhan was programmed with hypnosis to squeeze off gunshots as a diversion for the person who actually murdered RFK in 1968, reports AP. They claim recordings reveal that 13 shots were fired that night, more than Sirhan could have fired from his pistol.

The lawyers also argue in their filing in a Los Angeles federal court that a bullet taken from Kennedy was switched to match a bullet from Sirhan's gun. “They put fabricated evidence into court before the judge and jury,” said attorney William Pepper. “We are satisfied that for the first time in 43 years of this case we think we have the evidence to set this conviction aside." When Sirhan was tried, he took the witness stand and said he killed Kennedy "with 20 years of malice aforethought." But he later recanted his confession. (Read more Sirhan Sirhan stories.)

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