Should She Stay Or Should She Go

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One of the biggest issues in America’s past was the Manson murders. Charles Manson and his followers murdered several people in an attempt to start a race war.  A new problem is whether Leslie Van Houten, one of the members of the Manson Family, should be given parole after her 40+ years of incarceration.  Former governor Jerry Brown was opposed to the release of Van Houten, but the new governo,r Gavin Newsom, may let her off on parole. She was given a seven year to life sentence for the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and has served her sentence in a California penitentiary.

Background

Members of the Manson Family during their spree of murders.

Charles Manson and his followers were a group of murderers in California; Manson’s group, or “family”, was responsible for several murders including: Sharon Tate and  Roman Polanski in 1969. The group had around 100 members and the majority were women who were treated like servants and committed cult and drug related actions along with the murders. Of the group members, only six are still alive: Patrica Krenwinkel, Charles “Tex” Watson, Leslie Van Houten, Bruce Davis, Bobby Beausoleil, and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme.

Opposed

People across the country feel that she is too much of a danger to the public to be given the opportunity of parole. These sentiments are based upon the nature of her crimes and her willingness to commit them. Judge William C. Ryan stated “Unless the inmate can demonstrate that there is no evidence to support the governor’s conclusion that the inmate is a current danger to public safety, the petition fails to state a prima facie case for relief and may be summarily denied.” This statement is the primary reason that Van Houten is still incarcerated. Among those opposed are former governor Jerry Brown, Alice LaBianca ex-wife of Leno LaBianca, and the three children of Leno LaBianca. Bo Metzger stated “If you end someone’s life you don’t deserve the rest of yours,” and an anonymous source claimed “I believe that murders shouldn’t get parole. She was willing and knew the consequences of her actions and doesn’t deserve parole.”

Release

Leslie Van Houten being taken in for one of her three court appearances.

Some people are for her release back into society. They use her remorse and time spent in prison as a basis for how much she has reformed. There is a even a website devoted to her and Susan Atkins. Kaleb Boyer stated “Forty years is a long time to be locked away. A lot can change in forty years. I feel that she should at least be given a chance back in society.”

No answer has been given to her request yet, but the expected answer is no based on her past attempts. What may happen is impossible to determine but anything can happen.

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