Dr. Cyril Wecht Supports Accused RFK Killer's New Trial Petition

 

The famed forensic pathologist, author, consultant, and medical school professor Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D. released the following statement in conjunction with a petition by Sirhan Sirhan this week to the Organization of American States (OAS) seeking a new trial or evidentiary hearing on charges that Sirhan acted alone and fired the fatal shot killed U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

Dr. Cyril WechtDr. Wecht, shown at left in his lab, referenced the news conference July 20 at the National Press Club here featuring Dr. William F. Pepper, attorney for the imprisoned Sirhan. A jury convicted Sirhan in 1969 of fatally shooting Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy the previous year.

Pepper, a friend of the late senator, argued in the petition to the Inter-American Human Rights Council (IACHR), a unit of the OAS, that Sirhan failed to receive effective assistance of counsel.

The petition, which can be read here, argues that Sirhan's original attorney was conflicted because of a secret felony indictment against him regarding another case and should have defended Sirhan (shown last year in a California prisons photo) by challenging the government's evidence on many scientific, eyewitness and other grounds. A video of the 75-minute news conference is here.

Sirhan's current attorney concedes that his client, now 74 and last year rejected for parole for the 15th time, fired shots at RFK from the senator's front but says Sirhan did so only because he had been brainwashed by others to serve as an unwitting patsy while the real killer shot RFK from behind at close range and escaped.

Dr. Wecht's statement supports that argument as follows:

I strongly endorse and support the petition that Attorney William Pepper is submitting to the Organization of American States seeking a new trial for Sirhan Sirhan, who was convicted for the 1968 killing of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

As an official consultant in forensic pathology to Dr. Thomas Noguchi [shown at left], the Los Angeles Chief Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy on Senator Kennedy, I had the opportunity to visit the shooting scene at the Ambassador Hotel and subsequently review and analyze all the relevant forensic scientific evidence and investigative findings in this matter.

Based upon all the objective, indisputable physical and forensic evidence, there can be no doubt that Sirhan did not fire the bullet that caused Senator Kennedy’s death. That shot was proven to have been fired from a distance of approximately one to one and a half inches from Kennedy’s head with a forward trajectory. None of the eye-witnesses ever placed Sirhan in such a position as to have been able to fire that shot.  (The official published post-mortem protocol unequivocally sets forth these facts.)

Incredibly, these unchallenged forensic findings were never elicited at trial.  For whatever reason, Sirhan’s defense attorney, Grant Cooper, never retained forensic pathology and criminalist-ballistics experts to present these scientific facts, nor did he ever ask Dr. Noguchi about these findings in his cross-examination.

Various physical investigative findings, eye-witness statements, and acoustics analyses have further buttressed and corroborated the fact that a second shooter was responsible for Senator Kennedy’s death.

The truth regarding the murder of Senator Robert F. Kennedy needs to be uncovered, and justice for Sirhan Sirhan demands to be achieved.

-- Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.

  •     Forensic Pathologist and Medical-Legal Consultant
  •     Chair, Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA)
  •     Clinical Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine
  •     Adjunct Professor of Law, Duquesne University, School of Law, School of Health Science, and School of Pharmacy
  •     Past President, American College of Legal Medicine
  •     Past President, American Academy of Forensic Science

About Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA). Based in Washington, DC, CAPA is a non-partisan group that researches and reports on suspected political assassinations in the United States and around the world. CAPA is a co-sponsor of the July 20 news conference at the National Press Club featuring Dr. William F. Pepper, attorney for Sirhan B. Sirhan. Details of the materials provided at the press conference are on the CAPA website, with reporting also by co-sponsors at the Justice Integrity Project, and the Europe-based human rights magazine The Indicter.

Wecht has previously spoken out in the words below, regarding audio evidence in the case that is called "the Pruszynski Recording" that appears to prove 13 shots fired when Sirhan's gun could fire eight at most:

 

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About Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA)

Sirhan Sirhan

Based in Washington, DC, CAPA is a non-partisan group that researches and reports on suspected political assassinations in the United States and around the world. CAPA is a co-sponsor of the July 20 news conference at the National Press Club featuring Dr. William F. Pepper, attorney for Sirhan B. Sirhan. Sirhan, 74, is shown at right in a 2016 photo by the California Department of Corrections. He is being held in a facility near San Diego with an hour a day permitted outside his cell, according to his lawyer.

Details of the materials provided at the press conference will be on the CAPA website (www.capa-us.org), with reporting also by co-sponsors at the Justice Integrity Project (www.justice-integrity.org) and The Indicter (http://theindicter.com), a Europe-based human rights magazine. Additional supporting groups for the petition include Swedish Doctors for Human Rights.

 

Justice Integrity Project Assassination Readers Guides

Justice Integrity Project, Readers Guide To RFK Assassination: Books, Videos, Archives. Andrew Kreig, June 1, 2016. This "Readers Guide to the RFK Assassination" presents key books, videos, documents, websites and other archives most relevant to 1968 Democratic Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy's murder on June 6, 1968.

Robert F. KennedyThe materials focus heavily on remaining questions about responsibility and motive for Kennedy's shooting at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles shortly after his victory in the California Democratic primary appeared to pave the way for his presidential nomination. Shown below is his victory speech shortly before he was gunned down while leaving via a kitchen pantry to avoid crowds.

Included also in this guide compiled by our Justice Integrity Project is research that explores the assassination's current implications for the U.S. justice system and other governance.

The materials contain varied perspectives in a style common to other topics in our series, which includes guides to the assassinations of President Kennedy in 1963 and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968.

Readers of each can find abundant evidence of covert official involvement, including in the crimes and cover-up. But we provide also books and other evidence supporting Robert Kennedy Victory Speech Ambassador Hotel, June 6, 1968the official verdicts. In the case of RFK's murder, a jury found in 1969 that Sirhan Sirhan acted alone to kill Kennedy and wound five others with shots fired in the hotel's pantry.

Thus, our operative principle in this project is to raise informed questions aggressively but also to provide sufficient evidence for readers to reach your own conclusions.

The continued public suspicions about the deaths of JFK, MLK and RFK (as the victims were known) have been fostered by the highly irregular legal procedures involving each death, including suppression of relevant documents and fear among witnesses and investigators.