Lot 51: Kennedy, Edward M. Extraordinary autograph letter signed 5 pages, (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.)
December 18, 2012
Calabasas Hills, CA, USALive Auction
51. Kennedy, Edward M. Extraordinary autograph letter signed 5 pages, (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.), [Boston or Washington], 18 May 1969, to Mr. Evelle Younger, Los Angeles County District Attorney; in pristine condition.
Edward M. Kennedy expresses his views on the sentencing of Sirhan Sirhan after his conviction in the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, evoking Martin Luther King.
In this heart-wrenching letter to Evelle Younger, Los Angeles County District Attorney, Edward M. Kennedy expresses his views on the possible penalties available to the court under law, in the trial of Sirhan Sirhan.
Kennedy writes, in part: My brother was a man of love and sentiment and compassion. He would not have wanted his death to be a cause for the taking of another life. You may recall his pleas when he learned of the death of Martin Luther King. He said what we need in the United States is not division, what we need in the United States is not hatred, what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom and compassion towards one another. Moreover he was a young man totally committed to life and living. He stood against injustice, poverty and discrimination for those evils lessened life. He grew to despise war for war denies the sacredness of life. And he had a special affection for children for they held the promise of life.
We all realize that many other considerations fall within your responsibility and that of the court. But if the kind of man my brother was is pertinent we believe it should be weighed in the balance on the side of compassion, mercy and God’s gift of life itself.
Sirhan Sirhan was convicted on 17 April 1969 and sentenced to death on 23 April 1969. The sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972 after the California Supreme Court, in its decision in California v. Anderson, invalidated all pending death sentences imposed in California prior to 1972.
An emotive letter from Edward M. Kennedy on the punishment of Sirhan Sirhan for the assassination of his brother, Robert F. Kennedy.
Together with: Autograph notes in the hand of Edward Kennedy, 1 page, legal folio, 21 June 1968 being his notes upon hearing his brother Robert F. Kennedy had been shot. With arrow marks for dividers, his notes read in full: Hamilton AFB, Ambass[ador],Central Receiving Hospital, 483- 7311, Good Samaritan Hospital, Hu-2-8111
A Kennedy aide marks the letter with a brief notation: These notes were made by Senator Edward M. Kennedy in his suite in the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, Calif. early on Wednesday morning, June 5, 1968 shortly after returning to his room from a TV broadcast. (He had been in Calif. campaigning for his brother Senator Robert F. Kennedy). When he turned on his hotel TV set he heard the report that his brother, Bobby had been shot in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He got on the telephone to try to reach the various places where his brother had been taken -- Ambassador Hotel, Central Receiving Hospital, L.A. where he was first treated, Good Samaritan Hospital, and finally Hamilton Air Force Base, San Raphael, Calif. where it was arranged to have an Air Force Lear jet fly him to Los Angeles. I drove in a police car with him & his staff to Hamilton A. F. Base. V. M.G.
An extraordinary record of one Kennedy brother learning of the shooting of another Kennedy brother.