Showing posts with label Leslie Van Houten Parole Hearing 2013. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leslie Van Houten Parole Hearing 2013. Show all posts

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beating a Dead Horse...


Katie said:
"How do these killers get a pass?"

Do you realize how long these people have been in jail?
How is four decades in prison, a pass?

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Katie said:
"The punishment really has nothing to do with Manson. It has to do with the violent nature of the aggressive killing of the parties."

I agree, their original convictions were based on their own personal crimes and actions (and rightfully so)… but (I also believe) their continued incarceration (in some cases) is based on the notoriety of this case.
You speak as though, these folks have never been punished.
They've been in jail since Richard "Milhous" Nixon was president.

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Look...
In order to discuss this situation intelligently, it's impossible to lump all these inmates together.
Comparing Tex Watson to Leslie Van Houten is absurd.  It’s apples and oranges.

Tex Watson:

In regards to Tex Watson, I agree with You and Patrick Sequiera.

I believe the nature of Tex Watson's crimes are so abhorrently disgusting, that he should never be released... under any circumstances.

I believe as Sequiera stated, that Tex Watson's crimes are truly, an exception to the law guaranteeing the possibility of parole.

Pat Krenwinkel:

I believe Pat is genuinely remorseful.
I also believe, that she's no longer a threat to society.
I also believe, that she's well-grounded and intelligent.

Notwithstanding...
I believe the nature of her crimes (much like Tex) are prohibitive.

Again, I agree with You and Sequiera.

If they kept Pat Krenwinkel incarcerated forever (based solely on the gravity of her original crimes), I wouldn't have a problem with that.
In fact, I feel that would be just.

Charles Manson:

It all ended for him at the trial.

IF he played his cards correctly at the trial (and that's a BIG "IF"), he may not have been convicted so heavily.

As it turns out, he made every mistake imaginable during the trial.
So much so, one might even assume it was intentional.

Consequently, Bugliosi slammed him with 10 convictions.
NINE counts of first degree murder, and one count of conspiracy.
At that point, is was over.

Even if Manson served only ten years for each murder charge... that would be 90 years!
(And then, of course... there's that nasty conspiracy thing)

Manson is not worth discussing, from a "parole" standpoint.
He never was.

Bobby, Bruce and Leslie:

This is where it becomes subjective, with several questions to answer.

What is the "magic number"?
When is "enough" enough?

How much time does the average murderer actually serve in this country?
(Their "time served" should parallel that of their "criminal peers")

Are we honestly considering these folks for parole, or simply going through the motions?

But the "KEY" question is this:
Do Bobby, Bruce and Lesie fit the same description as Tex and Pat?
Are there crimes SO over-the-top heinous, that their right to a sincere parole consideration can be (for all intents and purposes) waived?
Most specifically... are their crimes SO heinous, that they should be considered an exception to the law guaranteeing the possibility of parole?? (as Seuqeira stated)

My answer to that question, is "NO".
Katie's answer to that question, would obviously be "YES".
That's our main "sticking point".

I think everyone would agree, that ten years in prison is certainly not enough "time served" for these crimes.

At 20 years?
You'd still get a nearly unanimous vote.  Not enough "time served".

At 30 years?
You'd get some discussion.

At 40 years?
The vote becomes split.
(That's a LOT of fucking time behind bars)

At 50 years?
Wow!

For me personally, 50 years is my cut-off.
At 50 years served (and that day WILL come), I truly believe, we will have embarked on the absurd.

When these folks have served 50+ years… there will be absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind, that these folks are truly "political prisoners".

Bottom Line folks:
The original crimes will never change… and the behavior of these inmates (in prison) will continue to be positive.  We have no reason to believe otherwise.
The ONLY "variable" left, is the passing of time.  How much time is really “enough”?  YOU decide!

Peace!
LynyrdSkynyrdBand

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ADDENDUM

Every time this conversation arises, Katie asks me the following question:
“Do you really believe these killers DESERVE to be released?

It’s a fair question, and here’s my answer:

No murderer truly deserves release, from a purely empirical standpoint.

(Empirical: Relying on experience or observation alone, without due regard for system and theory.) 

If we assume one life, equals one life... (which is a very safe assumption)... then quite simply, the answer is no.  No murderer deserves release.

Thing is...
The concept of parole (for murderers), is based upon a certain degree of "mercy", or "pardon".
Bugliosi has stated that himself, in the past.

If we gave murderers what they truly deserve... they would all be murdered upon conviction.
(And yes, some societies have operated that way)

But, as Mahatma Gandhi once said:
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".

If we have no interest in extending mercy... then we shouldn't hold parole hearings for murderers at all.
(And, that's an option too)

I simply feel, that if we're going to offer an inmate the possibility of parole... we must observe that consideration in earnest.  To do otherwise, is to ignore our own laws.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Aftermath of these "Parole Hearings"....


Statement by LA County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequiera regarding Leslie Van Houten:

"Some crimes may be an exception to the law guaranteeing the possibility of parole".
"There are certain crimes that are so heinous, so atrocious, so horrible, that it should cause denial of parole"


Written statement by Governor Edmund G. Brown regarding Bruce’s Davis:

“As our Supreme Court has acknowledged, in rare circumstances, a murder is so heinous that it provides evidence of current dangerousness by itself.  This is such a case.”

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The meaning of these statements are obvious, and the implications blunt.

The "Powers that Be" maintain that the "heinous nature of these crimes" will always be sufficient reason for parole denial… and that’s indefinitely (i.e., forever).

I say "indefinitely" with confidence, because “the past” is one variable none of us can ever change.
These inmates can never "go back" and change the nature of their crimes.

In a nutshell… what Attorney Sequiera and Governor Brown are saying, is that NOTHING these inmates can ever do (or achieve), will supersede the gravity their crime(s).

Read Attorney Sequiera’s words.
He explains things point-blank.
These Manson Associates  are "the exception to the law guaranteeing the possibility of parole".

Bottom Line Friends:
These inmates can never change the past, and their good deeds and accomplishments will never eclipse the gravity of their crimes.
These inmates are truly "'the exception to the law' guaranteeing the possibility of parole".

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Onward and Upward!

So what now, you ask?  Where do we go from here?

The only humane way to deal with this situation, is to change the law (for these individuals) and discontinue these parole hearings completely.
That will never happen… but, that would be the most humane decision.

These hearings are horrible for the victims' families, and the inmates.
These hearings open old wounds needlessly (again and again).
I say “needlessly“, because the outcome of these hearings is a foregone conclusion.
These hearings serve no other purpose, than to promote stress, misery and disappointment.

I’m starting to believe that the Parole Board is finally beginning to embrace, my opinion.
That’s probably why the Board handed Leslie a five-year denial.
Let's get real.
The Parole Board doesn’t want to face Leslie Van Houten (again) in 12 short months!

Let’s be frank:
It was easy to deny these inmates a parole date (with a straight face), when they had only 10-25 years under their belt.
Now that these folks have been in jail for almost a half century… these parole denials are becoming an embarrassing experience for everyone.

This (uncomfortable situation) is also (most likely) why, the Parole Board sent the Bruce Davis’ decision to Governor Brown.
These Parole Board members don’t know whether to shit or swim, at this point.
They figure… send this crap to the Governor… let him handle this miserable situation.
Let him do the “dirty work”.

Yes… these “parole hearings” (and consequent denials) have become an embarrassing “hot potato”, which no one wants to touch.

Long denials and/or Governor vetoes, will probably be the norm going forward.

The outcome of these "parole hearings" is clearly a foregone conclusion, when the decision is based on the nature of the original crime(s).

The nature of the original crime, is a variable which no one can change… and when the attorneys and politicians make that a primary condition for release, it truly becomes a “carrot on a stick” situation, if ever there was one!

Peace!
LynyrdSkynyrdBand, Esquire

Glossary
Foregone Conclusion
n.
1. An end or a result regarded as inevitable: 
2. A conclusion formed in advance of argument or consideration.
3. A result that is obvious to everyone even before it happens

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Parole Denied for Leslie Van Houten


By LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent 5:42 p.m.June 5, 2013
— Former Charles Manson follower and convicted murderer Leslie Van Houten has been denied parole once again.

A California panel rejected Van Houten's bid for release from state prison Wednesday at her 20th parole hearing.

The 63-year-old was convicted of murder and conspiracy for her role in the August 1969 slayings of a wealthy Los Angeles couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. They were stabbed to death the night after Manson's followers killed actress Sharon Tate and four others.

The killings are among the most notorious murders of the 20th century.
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A parole panel refused an emotional bid by former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten to release her from prison 44 years after she participated in a notorious set of murders.
The denial came at the 63-year-old's 20th parole hearing on Wednesday, where the panel heard from relatives of the victims who were opposed to her release.

Board of Parole Hearings Commissioner Jeffrey Ferguson told Van Houten she had failed to explain how someone as intelligent and well-bred as she was could have committed the "cruel and atrocious" murders of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca. She won't be eligible to ask for parole again for five years, but Ferguson said she could request another hearing sooner if circumstances change.

"The crimes will always be a factor," he said. "The question is whether the good will ever outweigh the bad. It certainly didn't today."

With survivors of the LaBiancas sitting behind her at the California Institution for Women, Van Houten acknowledged participating in the killings ordered by Manson.

The ruling came after a full-day hearing at which six representatives of the La Bianca family spoke in anguish about the loss of the couple.

"Today after 44 years, your crimes still instill fear in innocent people," said Ferguson. "The motive was the worst I can imagine, to incite a race war. Your crimes were gruesome and bloody."

During her comments, Van Houten repeatedly said that she was traumatized by her parents' divorce when she was 14, her pregnancy soon after and her mother's insistence that she have an abortion.

"Many people have traumatic childhoods," said Ferguson. "You have failed to explain at this time what would cause you to commit such horrific atrocities."

Van Houten showed no reaction to the ruling and quickly was escorted out of the room. In her final statement, Van Houten apologized to everyone she harmed.

"I know that the pain goes on generationally. I want the victims to know I'm deeply ashamed of what I have done," she said. After years of therapy and self-examination, she said, she realizes that what she did was "like a pebble falling in a pond which affected so many people."

"Mr. and Mrs. La Bianca died the worst possible deaths a human being can," she said.

Arguing to the board, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequiera said some crimes may be an exception to the law guaranteeing the possibility of parole.

"There are certain crimes that are so heinous, so atrocious, so horrible that it should cause denial of parole," he said, elaborating on Van Houten's contradictions over the years.

In response, Van Houten's lawyer, Michael Satris, said his client "sank to the depths of Dante's inferno and she put herself there by consorting with the devil himself, Charles Manson." However, Satris said his client has totally reformed herself.

"Leslie committed a great sin, a great crime in 1969, and in that time (in prison) she has developed into the equal of a saint," he said. "Everything she does is for humanity."

Van Houten was portrayed at trial by her defense lawyers as the youngest and least culpable of those convicted with Manson, a young woman from a good family who had been a homecoming princess and showed promise until she became involved with drugs and was recruited into Manson's murderous cult.

Now deeply wrinkled with long gray hair tied back in a ponytail, Van Houten at times seemed near tears but did not break down at the Wednesday hearing.

Asked if she would have done the same had children been involved, she answered, "I can't say I wouldn't have done that. I'd like to say I wouldn't, but I don't know."

Asked to explain her actions, she said, "I feel that at that point I had really lost my humanity and I can't know how far I would have gone. I had no regard for life and no measurement of my limitations."

Van Houten has previously been commended for her work helping elderly women inmates at the California Institution for Women. She earned two college degrees while in custody.

AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch covered the Tate-LaBianca killings and the Manson trial as well as multiple parole hearings for Manson family members.

Leslie Van Houten's 20th Parole Hearing

Current Excerpts from Today's Hearing.

Leslie:
"I know I did something that is unforgiveable, but I can create a world where I make amends.  I'm trying to be someone who lives a life for healing rather than destruction."  

"Manson could never have done what he did without people like me," said Van Houten, who has been in custody for 44 years.

After years of therapy and self-examination, she said, she realizes that what she did was "like a pebble falling in a pond which affected so many people."


"Mr. and Mrs. La Bianca died the worst possible deaths a human being can," she said. "It affected their families. It affected the community of Los Angeles, which lived in fear. And it destroyed the peace movement going on at the time, and tainted everything from 1969 on."


Now deeply wrinkled with long gray hair tied back in a ponytail, Van Houten at times seemed near tears but did not break down at the Wednesday hearing.


She said in strong terms that she had never resisted Manson's call to participate in fomenting a race-based revolution.  She said that when she heard the Manson family had killed Tate and others, she felt left out and asked to go along the second night.


Parole board commissioner Jeffrey Ferguson asked her, "You felt left out and you wanted to be included the next time, is that correct?"


"Yes," Van Houten said, adding that another of the women tried with Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel, had been like a sister to her and she knew that Krenwinkel had participated in the first round of killing.


"She had crossed the line in her commitment to the race war and I wanted to cross the line, too. ... It was something that had to be done," she said.


Van Houten said she was heavily into drugs at that time, using everything from marijuana to LSD and methamphetamines. But she said on the night the La Biancas were slain she was not on drugs.


Ferguson asked if she had any moral compunction about what she was doing.  She said she did not.


"I twisted myself to the point where I thought this had to be done and I participated," she said.Asked if she would have done the same had children been involved, she answered, "I can't say I wouldn't have done that. I'd like to say I wouldn't, but I don't know."


Asked to explain her actions, she said, "I feel that at that point I had really lost my humanity and I can't know how far I would have gone. I had no regard for life and no measurement of my limitations."


Van Houten has previously been commended for her work helping elderly women inmates at the California Institution for Women where she and other Manson women have been incarcerated. She earned two college degrees while in custody.


If paroled, she would be reversing a trend. Other members of Manson's murderous "family" have lost bids for parole.


The panel was also set to hear from a prosecutor and relatives of the victims opposed to parole. A decision could be made later in the day.

By LINDA DEUTSCH 06/05/13 03:34 PM ET EDT