For the second time in two years, a California panel has recommended parole for Leslie Van Houten, the youngest former Charles Manson follower imprisoned for the 1969 murder spree that horrified Los Angeles.
Murderous Manson family member Leslie Van Houten, now 68, was granted parole by a California board on Wednesday. The state will now conduct a 120-day review of the parole panel's decision, after which Brown will have 30 days to "uphold, reverse or modify the decision".
While she's been a model prisoner for over 40 years and told the board she's deeply ashamed of the murders, Governor Brown said her crime left a lasting mark on society that its equally disturbing the murders were meant to start a race war. "I don't find parts in any of this that makes me feel the slightest bit good about myself", Van Houten said. Van Houten was 19 when she and fellow cult member Patricia Krenwinkel fatally stabbed Rosemary LaBianca. She was pardoned for the first time a year ago but Brown refused to let her go, saying she was "an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison".
Leslie Van Houten, shown in 2002, has repeatedly been denied parole.
Later, she stabbed Rosemary La Bianca over a dozen times in addition to holding a pillowcase over her head as others stabbed her.
Manson Follower Leslie Van Houten Granted Parole by State Board; Decision Subject to 150-Day Review Process
Tate has spent years pushing for Manson and his associates to stay behind bars.
Wednesday was her 21st time before a parole board. But release has been strongly opposed by the families of the victims as well as prosecutors and many others.
Van Houten, Manson and three others were convicted and sentenced to death, but after the California Supreme Court struck down the death penalty, their sentences were commuted to life in prison. She testified that Van Houten was so young and impressionable that she was afraid to leave the cult. She said she regretted encouraging her to join the cult.
Brown has also denied parole on four occasions to Bruce Davis, another Manson follower.
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