Los Angeles, CA – Leslie Van Houten spent 46-years in prison after taking part in the Charles Manson murder spree in 1969. She was just nineteen at the time, but court documents state she was the least blameworthy member of the cult. Van Houten was granted parole after her 19th parole hearing. There is a reason people have sentences that give them hope of being released at some point in their life — exactly what the system stands for. Justice. If the parole board doesn’t have the right to release a prisoner, especially after 46-years, then what’s the point of even going before them? What’s the point of having tax money spent on their salaries?
PAROLE HEARING IN APRIL
On the week of April 14, the California Board of Parole Hearings recommended parole for former Charles Manson “family” member Leslie Van Houten
Van Houten was convicted along with other members of the cult in the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca
Van Houten had been denied parole 19 times by the state parole board since being convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison
Towards the end of the five-hour hearing, Commissioner Ali Zarrinnam told her: “Your behavior in prison speaks for itself. Forty-six years and
not a single serious rule violation.”
“You were 19 years old when you committed this life crime, and you’re currently 66 years old. You’re now much older, less susceptible to peer pressure, and you have significantly matured, not only in age, but also through work you’ve done and the maturation process, the self-study, education and the like,” the board added in their decision.
“I don’t let myself off the hook. I don’t find any parts in any of this that makes me feel the slightest bit good about myself,” Van Houten told the board
DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S RESPONSE
The Los Angeles County District Attorney is urging Gov. Jerry Brown to keep Van Houten behind bars
Jackie Lacey, the District Attorney penned a five-page letter to the governor, stating that Van Houten “poses an unreasonable risk to public safety. She clearly lacks insight, genuine remorse, and an understanding of the magnitude of her crimes.”
Van Houten was the youngest woman in California history to be sentenced to death
The youngest of Manson’s followers, Van Houten has been the least blameworthy member of the group and has been portrayed by supporters as a misguided teen under the influence of LSD on the night of the slayings
Van Houten was 19 at the time of the murder
An appellate court overturned Van Houten’s conviction in 1976, and a second trial the following year ended in a hung jury
She was conceited after three trials and sentenced to seven years to life in prison
The District Attorney should stay out of this & let the system run it’s course
If one is granted parole, they should be granted parole. It’s as simple as that
The District Attorney stated that she doesn’t understand the magnitude of her crimes, yet she has never lied to the parole board nor showed a lack of empathy. Van Houten has taken full responsibility for her part in this
If she was to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole, that would be justice. However, she was sentenced to 7-years to life in prison. If she is forced to die in prison after 46-years of incarceration, the court system will once again prove that it is flawed. Hope will be taken from those that are serving terms wrongfully. This is not justice. This is “just-us”
If the governor has the final say and decides to keep her imprisoned — a petition should be circulated to cut funding for parole boards and have the governor personally handle all parole hearings
We believe Van Houten has paid her debt for society in her part in these murders as she was the least blameworthy of the cult & should be granted parole to keep hope in the criminal justice system
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