Monday, January 21, 2019

Parole

When it comes to parole there is a slight distinction between Bruce Davis, Leslie Van Houten and the “Rest” (Manson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, Watson and Beausoleil). 

Davis was convicted of the murders of Shorty Shea and Gary Hinman as well as conspiracy to commit those murders and conspiracy to commit robbery. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. 

Van Houten was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the LaBianca murders. In her last trial she was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole and had a minimum eligible parole date (MEPD) of seven years. Inmates who committed life
crimes prior to November 8, 1978 all had an MEPD of seven years. 

The rest were sentenced to death. The death penalty was temporarily abolished in California as being unconstitutional (cruel and unusual punishment) in 1972. At that time Manson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, Watson and Beausoleil all had their sentences commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole. 

Perhaps being a little too legally technical, their sentences were commuted to the available alternative sentence for murder that existed at the time of their original convictions: life in prison with the possibility of parole. In 1977 California added the alternative sentence for murder of life without parole. 

If Manson et al had been convicted under the sentencing laws that have governed California since 1977 their sentences would have likely been commuted to life without parole. It is possible that this fact plays a role in the parole denials that have come down from the Governor, even if the notoriety of the case was not a political factor. Put another way the Governor, in part, may be saying “if this happened today (conviction-death sentence-commuted sentence) they would never get out, so why let them out.”

Regardless, after 1972 all of them were serving the same sentence. 

Parole Suitability


The key to parole suitability is section 2281 of the California Code of Regulations cited as 15CCR section 2281. The general standard for parole suitability is set forth in section 2281(a). 
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(a) General. The panel shall first determine whether a prisoner is suitable for release on parole. Regardless of the length of time served, a life prisoner shall be found unsuitable for and denied parole if in the judgment of the panel the prisoner will pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society if released from prison.
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The controlling standard is the underlined words also called "current dangerousness". 

Within section 2281 the key regulations for determining current dangerousness are 2281(c) and (d). These set out the factors the panel is to consider for crimes committed before November 1977. 
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(c) Circumstances Tending to Show Unsuitability. The following circumstances each tend to indicate unsuitability for release. These circumstances are set forth as general guidelines; the importance attached to any circumstance or combination of circumstances in a particular case is left to the judgment of the panel. Circumstances tending to indicate unsuitability include:

(1) Commitment Offense. The prisoner committed the offense in an especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner. The factors to be considered include:

(A) Multiple victims were attacked, injured or killed in the same or separate incidents.
(B) The offense was carried out in a dispassionate and calculated manner, such as an execution-style murder.
(C) The victim was abused, defiled or mutilated during or after the offense.
(D) The offense was carried out in a manner which demonstrates an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering.
(E) The motive for the crime is inexplicable or very trivial in relation to the offense.

(2) Previous Record of Violence. The prisoner on previous occasions inflicted or attempted to inflict serious injury on a victim, particularly if the prisoner demonstrated serious assaultive behavior at an early age.

(3) Unstable Social History. The prisoner has a history of unstable or tumultuous relationships with others.

(4) Sadistic Sexual Offenses. The prisoner has previously sexually assaulted another in a manner calculated to inflict unusual pain or fear upon the victim.

(5) Psychological Factors. The prisoner has a lengthy history of severe mental problems related to the offense.

(6) Institutional Behavior. The prisoner has engaged in serious misconduct in prison or jail.
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(d) Circumstances Tending to Show Suitability. The following circumstances each tend to show that the prisoner is suitable for release. The circumstances are set forth as general guidelines; the importance attached to any circumstance or combination of circumstances in a particular case is left to the judgment of the panel. Circumstances tending to indicate suitability include:

(1) No Juvenile Record. The prisoner does not have a record of assaulting others as a juvenile or committing crimes with a potential of personal harm to victims.

(2) Stable Social History. The prisoner has experienced reasonably stable relationships with others.

(3) Signs of Remorse. The prisoner performed acts which tend to indicate the presence of remorse, such as attempting to repair the damage, seeking help for or relieving suffering of the victim, or the prisoner has given indications that he understands the nature and magnitude of the offense.

(4) Motivation for Crime. The prisoner committed his crime as the result of significant stress in his life, especially if the stress had built over a long period of time.

(5) Battered Woman Syndrome. At the time of the commission of the crime, the prisoner suffered from Battered Woman Syndrome, as defined in section 2000(b), and it appears the criminal behavior was the result of that victimization.

(6) Lack of Criminal History. The prisoner lacks any significant history of violent crime.

(7) Age. The prisoner's present age reduces the probability of recidivism.

(8) Understanding and Plans for Future. The prisoner has made realistic plans for release or has developed marketable skills that can be put to use upon release.

(9) Institutional Behavior. Institutional activities indicate an enhanced ability to function within the law upon release.
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The board then weighs these factors to determine parole suitability. One factor can lead to a parole denial, for example, getting into recurring trouble while in prison. Relatively minor problems with many factors can also lead to a parole denial. 

However, the key to what has transpired with Manson et al over the years really boils down to one factor: unsuitability factor 2281(c)(1), the nature of the original commitment offense.  
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(1) Commitment Offense. The prisoner committed the offense in an especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner. The factors to be considered include:

(A) Multiple victims were attacked, injured or killed in the same or separate incidents.
(B) The offense was carried out in a dispassionate and calculated manner, such as an execution-style murder.
(C) The victim was abused, defiled or mutilated during or after the offense.
(D) The offense was carried out in a manner which demonstrates an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering.
(E) The motive for the crime is inexplicable or very trivial in relation to the offense.
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This also has been the basis for the Governor’s decision to reverse parole grants. 2281(c)(1) is tailor-made for the Governor. It allows him, by its terms to consider the heinous nature of the crime, regardless of how long ago it was committed. There is no time limitation in 2281(c)(1). 

The Governor


Since 1988, California’s state constitution allows the Governor to grant or deny parole regardless of what the parole board panel does. Specifically, Article V, section 8(b) says this:
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(b) No decision of the parole authority of this State with respect to the granting, denial, revocation, or suspension of parole of a person sentenced to an indeterminate term upon conviction of murder shall become effective for a period of 30 days, during which the Governor may review the decision subject to procedures provided by statute. The Governor may only affirm, modify, or reverse the decision of the parole authority on the basis of the same factors which the parole authority is required to consider. The Governor shall report to the Legislature each parole decision affirmed, modified, or reversed, stating the pertinent facts and reasons for the action.
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[Aside: It should be noted that since 1988 not a single denial of parole by the board panel has been overturned by the any Governor.]

So, how is the Governor supposed to “only reverse [the parole authority] on the basis of the same factors the parole authority is required to consider”? That is covered by California Penal Code Section 3041.2(a). 
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(a) During the 30 days following the granting, denial, revocation, or suspension by the board of the parole of an inmate sentenced to an indeterminate prison term based upon a conviction of murder, the Governor, when reviewing the board's decision pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 8 of Article V of the Constitution shall review materials provided by the board.
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So, the Governor’s job is to apply the same suitability factors as the panel and review the same materials submitted to the panel. He or she is essentially repeating the job of the panel except that he does not have the benefit of being at the actual hearing.

Both Davis and Van Houten have seen their parole grants reversed by the Governor. In order to understand why or how it is necessary to understand the case law that has been decided by the California Supreme Court as it relates to parole denials. 

The Courts 


What happens after the Governor denies parole and reverses the board is where the issue gets legally.... well….. muddled. In fact, it is a mess. 

Once a parole grant is reversed, someone like Van Houten appeals the Governor’s decision to the courts by filing a writ of habeas corpus. That literally means 'you have a body [inappropriately]'. The court then reviews the decision of the Governor. 

Anytime a court reviews an executive branch decision it applies what is known in the law as a standard of review. In all cases they get to look and see if some level of evidence supports the decision. The 'level' can be anything from 'eh, good enough' to 'it better be cast iron'. Each of these standards has a name like rational basis or substantial evidence. 


In re Rosenkrantz


In California, the courts do not have the authority to review the basis of the parole reversal. In other words, they don’t perform a new parole suitability review. Instead they review the decision of the Governor (or the board for that matter) based upon what is known as the ‘some evidence’ standard. 

And that originates from the case of In re Rosenkrantz, 59 P.3d 174 (Cal. 2002). Prior to 2002 it was an open question whether a court had the authority to review the Governor’s decision at all.
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“Although neither the California Constitution nor any statute authorized judicial review of the governor’s parole decisions, Rosenkrantz also subjected the governor’s decisions to the some evidence standard. Because the governor’s decision “must be based upon the same factors that restrict the [BPH] in rendering its parole decision[s],” the inmate’s liberty interest in the parole decision was the same whether the BPH or the governor made the decision. When the governor conducted his “independent, de novo review of the prisoner’s suitability for parole,” the court concluded that the judiciary had to protect the inmate’s liberty interest and ensure due process of law through the some evidence standard.” 

(Charlie Sarosy, Parole Denial Habeas Corpus Petitions: Why the Supreme Court Needs to provide More Clarity on the Scope of Judicial Review, 61 UCLA Law Review 1134 (2014).
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I hope it is obvious that the critical inquiry then becomes what does some mean or, if you will, how much is some evidence? 

Rosenkrantz drove a pretty big nail into the parole possibility coffins of Manson et al. Rosenkrantz explicitly stated that the nature of the crime could be enough evidence to deny parole. The severity of the crime can be some evidence. 

The second issue decided in Rosenkrantz was how the court should review whether there was some evidence to support the Governor's decision. The court concluded that the some evidence standard is to be “extremely deferential” to the Governor or the board and not an independent review of the merits. 

For the next six years in most cases the basis for the Governor’s reversal was the nature of the original offense. Court’s reviewing the Governor’s decision would frequently drift into comparing the heinous nature of this crime to that crime. While it remained predictable that the Governor's decision would be upheld, different courts got there from different directions


In re Lawrence


Then along comes In re Lawrence 190 P.3d 535 (Cal 2008) which gave hope to those who had either been denied parole by the board panel or who had been granted parole only to see it reversed by the Governor. 

Governor Schwarzenegger reversed Sandra Lawrence’s parole grant even though she was a model prisoner, had been granted parole four times and declared not to be a significant danger to the public the board panel and by five psychologists. He did so based solely on the nature of the offense thereby finding her to be currently dangerous.

The California Supreme Court determined that there had to be a rational connection between the nature of the original offense and the conclusion that the inmate is currently dangerous. To the Lawrence court the nature of the crime alone could provide an implication of current dangerousness but that implication had to be confirmed with some other evidence. A many decades old crime, the Lawrence court said would rarely be enough to show that connection without something more. Court’s after Lawrence then, could review the merits of the Governor’s decision to ensure the existence of the connection. 

After Lawrence this meant that in Van Houten's case, for example, just because she participated in the "Manson Murders" and all their horror that wouldn't be enough, alone to establish that she was currently dangerous. There had to be something about her now, today that established that connection. 

The problem with the Lawrence opinion was that the court failed, again, to say how much evidence the Governor (or board panel) had to have to establish that connection. 

Lawrence resulted in the sudden explosion of parole board panel and Governor reversals based upon "lack of insight". This became the other evidence of the connection and typically was taken from the hearing transcript. 


Shaputis II


Then along comes In re Shaputis, 265 P.3d 253 (Cal. 2011)(also known as Shaputis II).This time the court addressed the issue of how much evidence the board panel or the Governor had to have to deny parole. It did not go well for inmates. 

The court decided that a reviewing court “must consider the whole record in the light most favorable to the determination before it”. This means the court is really looking for a way to uphold the determination. 

[Aside: Shaputis’s case it was a parole board panel denial.]

According to the California Supreme Court a reviewing court need find only a “modicum of evidence” supporting the conclusion that the inmate is currently dangerous. 

A parole denial (or a Governor's reversal) failed the some evidence standard only if it “lacks any rational basis” or is “arbitrary.” When deciding if the denial was “arbitrary”, the reviewing court cannot reweigh the evidence or assess the inmate’s current dangerousness, but only determine the existence of a rational connection between the nature of the crime and current dangerousness.

These three cases play out in Leslie Van Houten’s appeal of her last parole reversal in the ruling of Judge William C. Ryan, available here: http://www.cielodrive.com/Lvh-2018.pdf

First, Judge Ryan acknowledges that the Governor relied primarily on the nature of the offense unsuitability factor 2281(c)(1) and notes that this is permissible. 
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“The Governor based his decision on Petitioner's commitment offense, finding that the "crimes stand apart from others by their heinous nature and shocking motive." (Reversal at p. 4.) A commitment offense that is perpetrated in an especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner is a circumstance tending to show unsuitability for parole. (§ 2281, subd. ( c )( 1 ). ) The commitment offense may be considered especially heinous, atrocious or cruel when: (A) multiple victims were attacked, injured, or killed in the same or separate incidents; (B) the offense was carried out in a dispassionate and calculated manner, such as an execution-style murder; (C) the victim was abused, defiled, or mutilated during or after the offense; (D) the offense was carried out in a  manner which demonstrates an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering; and (E) the motive for the crime is inexplicable or very trivial in relation to the offense. (§ 2281, subd. 22 (c)(l)(A}-(E).) In this case, all five factors are present.”
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Ryan then went on to factually establish the five factors including (E) which was the Helter Skelter motive. 

This is drawn from Rosenkrantz

Then Ryan addresses In re Lawrence and the requirement that there be a connection between the nature of the offense and current dangerousness. He notes, consistent with Lawrence that seldom, after so long a period of time, is there such a connection. But he also says something rather startling, suggesting, contrary to Lawrence, that some crimes are so bad they might not need the connection.
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“Ordinarily, after a long period of time, immutable factors, such as the commitment offense, typically no longer indicate a current risk of danger to society in light of a lengthy period of incarceration. (Lawrence, supra. 44 Cal.4th at p. 1221.) The Governor normally may base a reversal of parole upon immutable facts only if something in Petitioner's pre- or post-incarceration history, such as her current demeanor or mental state, demonstrates that she remains a continuing threat to public safety. (Id. at p. 1214.) 

However, Lawrence, supra, actually holds that "the underlying circumstances of the commitment offense alone rarely will provide a valid basis for denying parole when there is strong evidence of rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness," leaving open the possibility that, in a rare circumstance, the commitment offense alone can provide evidence of current dangerousness and unsuitability for parole. (Lawrence, supra, 44 Cal.4th at p. 1212, emphasis added.)

Petitioner's crimes terrified a generation, and remain imprinted on the public consciousness to this day. If any crimes could be considered heinous enough to support a denial of parole based on their circumstances alone years after occurrence, they must certainly be the crimes perpetrated by the Manson Family, including the LaBianca murders for which Petitioner was convicted. Indeed, if not Petitioner's case, then it is hard to envision what sort of case would support parole denial on the facts of the offense alone. This was one of a series of sickening, "grotesque," brutal, and literally senseless murders, which were at the time the most horrific in California at least since World War II, and are among the most horrific since their commission.”
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Judge Ryan is actually going out on a limb here to support the Governor. The 'rarely' reference was not intended by the Lawrence court to leave a window open. It was meant to close the door on the details of a decades old crime being the sole the basis for a parole denial or reversal. Admittedly, the choice of the word rarely by the court left the door ajar.

But then Judge Ryan finds the the belt to go with his suspenders. He finds the other evidence that supports connecting the nature of the crime to current dangerousness as required by In re Lawrence. And it is Van Houten's lack of insight. 
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“The Governor's decision was also based on Petitioner's minimization of her role in the commitment offense. (Reversal at pp. 3-4.) An inmate's lack of insight, minimization, or lack of remorse are not listed as unsuitability factors in either Penal Code section 3041 or its  corresponding regulations. However, section 2281 allows the Board to consider "[ a ] relevant, reliable information available," including the inmate's "past and present mental state" and her "past and present attitude toward the crime .... " (§ 2281. subd. (6).) As articulated by the California Supreme Court, "the presence or absence of insight is a significant factor in determining whether there is a 'rational nexus' between the inmate's dangerous past behavior and the threat the inmate currently poses to public safety. '' (Shaputis II, supra, 53 Cal.4th at p.16 218.) Lack of insight "can reflect an inability to recognize the circumstances that led to the commitment crime; and such an inability can imply that the inmate remains vulnerable to those circumstances and, if confronted by them again, would likely react in a similar way."
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Notice Judge Ryan doesn't analyze whether there is any evidence of van Houten's lack of insight. That is because Judge Ryan, following, although not citing Shaputis II, concludes that his job is not whether he agrees with the Governor. His job is not whether he believes there is enough evidence of a connection between the nature of the offense and current dangerousness nor does he look at whether there was any, let alone sufficient evidence of Van Houten's lack of insight. His job is simply to see if there is any evidence at all. 
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“This court is not entitled to reweigh the evidence before the Governor; rather it is tasked with determining whether the record contains some evidence in support of the Governor's decision. (In re Rosenkrantz, supra, 29 Cal.4th at pp. 656, 665-677.) This court finds that it does, and that there is a rational nexus between the evidence in the record and the Governor's determination of Petitioner's current dangerousness.”
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This, of course means that the court is not actually 'judging' the Governor’s decision. There is no standard being applied to the decision. No one is making the Governor prove his point ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ or ‘clear and convincing evidence’ or even by a 'preponderance of the evidence'. Nor is the Governor's decision being reviewed to see if it is supported by some level of evidence. There is no, "well, he needed two pounds of evidence and he only had one" analysis going on here. The test being applied to that decision is: is there any evidence at all or was the Governor’s decision completely arbitrary.

And that means the Manson Clan is likely not going anywhere.

The Prognosis for Parole: Very Bleak


The basis for nearly every parole reversal by any Governor of California has been that section up there that focuses on the commitment offense. The murder crew here have a whopper of an offense. There are movies about it (two more in production), TV shows, TV whatever they are, like Dateline that pop up about twice a year.  There are dozens of books including the original best seller, Helter Skelter. The original crime scene photos in all their gory detail are all over the internet. There are blogs like this one and at least one author subsequently quoted by several other writers has said that this crime ended the sixties. Judge Ryan describes the crimes as "terrifying a generation". 

Combine this with the politics of parole reversals. Why would a governor ever allow a murderer to be paroled? There is no political upside. While actual paroled inmates who kill again are very rare, when they do, they garner headlines. The 1400 or so others who fade into obscurity do not make good headlines. In fact, as to every high profile convicted murderer, as the Governor, it is far better to reverse parole and have a court overturn you than to ever let one pass. Then you can blame those damned unaccountable judges. 

Then there is the argument that but for one of those damned courts the death penalty would have been applied and none of them would be appearing at parole hearings. 

[Aside: In researching this post I was struck by how many current era articles about Leslie Van Houten actually lump her in with the rest saying she was sentenced to death, her sentence was commuted and she became eligible for parole. While all that is true her conviction was overturned and that is seldom mentioned.]

The 'they should be dead' argument doesn't help them. 

Finally, there is no real judicial review. There is no court watching over the process. The ‘some evidence’ standard might best be described post- Shaputis II as the “the Governor says there is evidence, so there is” standard. 

The Impact of The Manson Mystique


Does anyone really believe that being associated in a general or broad sense with the “Manson Murders” doesn't impact the possibility of receiving a parole grant? Whether you murdered Shorty Shea or Gary Hinman or conspired to do so lumps you into the "Manson Murders" as soon as his name is mentioned. This is the case even though probably only the people who read this blog (and others) and a few dozen other people could actually name all nine victims.

Many of the factors reviewed by a 2011 study conducted by the Stanford Criminal Justice Center suggest that the Manson Mystique does impact their parole possibilities. Here are a few quotes and data from that study. 

[Aside: A ‘lifer’ is an inmate sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of life. In other word, they were sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.]
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“For the 1499 individuals who served term-to-life sentences who were released from custody between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 2010, the average amount of time served was 225 months or 18.75 years. Of approximately 1,000 lifers who had been sentenced for murder and were released from custody during the 20-year period from 1990-2010, the average number of years served was about 20 years. 

The average length served by the largest categories of crime type is depicted in Chart 9.”
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Manson et al have served (or served prior to their deaths) far longer than the average lifer. In fact, they have served more than twice as long as others convicted of the same offense and more than twice as long as their peers, those convicted in the 1970's. 

The parole rate for female lifers is far higher than males. About 25% of women lifers are paroled. The parole grant rate for lifers at the California Institute for Women was 33% for the period 2007-2010.

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“A major—perhaps the major—question in public debate about the current lifer population is their risk of recidivating. While data is limited, interim information suggests that the incidence of commission of serious crimes by recently released lifers has been minuscule, and as compared to the larger inmate population, recidivism risk—at least among those deemed suitable for release by both the Board and the Governor—is minimal.”

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“In a cohort of convicted murderers released since 1995 in California, the actual recidivism rate is in fact minuscule. In particular, among the 860 murderers paroled by the Board since 1995, only five individuals have returned to jail or returned to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations for new felonies since being released, and none of them recidivated for life-term crimes. This figure represents a lower than one percent recidivism rate, as compared to the state’s overall inmate population recommitment rate to state prison for new crimes of 48.7 percent.”
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It should be noted that the study believed but couldn't prove, because of the limited data, that the twenty year term and thus the age of the lifer upon release contributed to these figures. 

This statistic also raises a question about the whole notion of current dangerousness being at all related to the original crime. Lifers don't commit new murders. Of course, the counter argument as to the Manson Crew is that we don’t really know that because Manson Family murderers have not been released yet (except, of course, Steve Grogan, who is one of those successful statistics). 

You certainly don’t want the victims to show up at your hearing like they do at the parole hearings of Van Houten and the rest.
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“When victims attend hearings, the grant rate is less than half the rate when victims do not attend.”
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However, Van Houten and Davis are far from being the only ones who have had their parole grants reversed. Unfortunately, the data in the study ends in 2010. 
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“But, the likelihood of any lifer convicted of murder being granted parole by the Board and not having the decision reversed by the Governor is and always has been slim. In 2010, the probability was approximately six percent.”





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All quotes and charts are from: Robert Weisberg, Debbie A. Mukamal and Jordan D. Segall, Life In Limbo: An Examination of Parole Release for Prisoners Serving Life Sentences with the Possibility of Parole in California, Stanford Criminal Justice Center (2011) (Permission is granted for reproduction of this document, with attribution to the Stanford Criminal Justice Center.)

It is, in my opinion, highly unlikely any of the Manson Family will be granted parole and not have it reversed by the Governor. As stated, the Governor has nothing to lose and would likely rather be reversed by a court than be the guy who let out a murderer. 

But section 2281(c)(1) is really the key to understanding what has happened to Van Houten and Davis. On its face 2281(c)(1) allows the board panel or the Governor to look at the heinous nature of the original crime regardless of how many years have passed. He, like Judge Ryan, needs only recite the details of the murders. Then he can pay lip service to the Lawrence connection by citing lack of insight and use any fact he can find to support that. In Van Houten's case that can be the actual fact that she likely did stab an already dead Rosemary LaBianca. This combination makes it easy for the Governor to reverse the panel but it also provides a legitimate basis for that action. 

If 2281(c)(1) did not exist it would be very hard to keep at least Van Houten and probably Davis in prison. Since it does, it is easy.

You may believe that Van Houten and/or Davis should be paroled or you may believe they should be paroled because the panel responsible by law for making that decision says they should. You may be in the camp that believes that should remain right where they are.

But no matter where you come down on that issue or where you are on the liberal-conservative spectrum or where you sit on crime and punishment you should at least take one moment to ponder the real bottom line here.

The Governor of the State of California has the power to change an indeterminate sentence of life in prison with the possibility for parole into life without parole and no one can overturn that decision. 

Pax Vobiscum

Dreath

59 comments:

Milly James said...

This is so informative. Thank you.

AustinAnn74 said...

Very interesting, but, I for one do not share the opinion that ANY, including everyone's darling, Leslie Van Houten should ever have freedom after what they chose to do. They were not "kids" as everyone likes to describe them. I know I piss everyone off by stating that, but that's just the way I think. Again, interesting, well-researched article!!

brownrice said...

Fascinating article, David. I think you're right. Section 2281(c)(1) pretty much wraps it up.

StillGrooving said...

I appreciate this article - it helps me understand the parole system and why all but one convicted member of the Manson family remain in prison. I personally believe that Pat and Leslie would most likely not be a real danger to society today, probably the same for Bruce. But the crimes they were involved in were particularly heinous, so I can understand the reasons for their continued sentence. Then there is Bobby - who knows - he can't tell the truth, that much is certain so I wouldn't trust him any further than I could throw him. As for Watson, he's the one to be most worried about. He was director and the scene of the murders and, in my opinion, is the most complicit. Besides, he is a Bible thumper and would most likely get involved in some religious cult somewhere, given half the chance.

Matthew Record said...

Wow,that was so interesting and so informative. I do believe you answered the question I had on a different post of how many times can the Governor reverse a parole decision. So the answer would be every time infinity. Also interesting is that the heinousness of the crime = your still a danger, even if you are a frail old girl like Leslie. I don't believe the Leslie or Bruce would be a danger to anyone. However, the issue that I have with Pat is that she went out on the first night saw and did horrendous things, was affected by it ( " But Charlie, they were so young") and yet saddled up and did it again the next night.
But thank you for the great informative article.

AstroCreep said...

Amazing write up and very informative. Thank you for the hard work and effort for our benefit!

Personally, I am of the “they can rot forever” camp. However, I can apply logic and limited knowledge of the law and see why for example, John Hinkley Jr. should be released- versus say David Berkowitz who should not.

It has zero to do with the repeat offense probability. I would bet my life that LVH, Tex, or any of the others would NOT be dangerous to anyone. It has to do with the aggregious nature of their crimes. And Vince coined it (at least in this case)- if this isn’t a case for the death penalty, then what case is?

ColScott said...

Of course the law seldom matters AFTER You are convicted. You are a ward of the state at the point and the state don't like to give shit back.

Bobby is on record stating " You better hope I never get out." which I would think would be enough to make sure he doesn't.

Leslie probably should have gotten out, but she was part of the main TLB and that is a hard aroma to shake.

Davis can suck shit for all I care. Based on stuff I know he can suck all the shit in all the sewers in America.

It is a good piece Dreath, but like I used to say on the ONLY Official TLB Blog, try to just use human emotions. NOTHING good comes from releasing them and nothing bad happens by denying them. Easy.

Matthew Record said...

There are different opinions on whether any of these murderers should ever be paroled and I personally don't really care. I think that there are some more deserving than others whether they are a danger to the outside world or not. I don't think Pat or Tex should ever be released but as far as Leslie and Bruce there are many that have been far worse that have been out for years now. That is why this post and the research put into it is so interesting. The notoriety of the the crime and the callousness on which it is carried out is by law a determination on whether parole is granted, denied or reversed.
ColScott, maybe you could share some of the stuff you know about Davis that makes him worthy of sucking all the shit in America's sewers. Not sure how much I know.

Peter said...

With Leslie there are other recent statutes like youthful offender, and domestic abuse statutes that also need to be weighed in the parole decision, and the application of these statutes haven't really worked themselves out in the lower courts yet. That is where Leslie has the best chance. Arguing that when these statutes are applied, it outweighs the traditional factors you reference.

Robert C said...

I feel like a trained lawyer after reading all that.

One benefit of dumping them all out is the public doesn't have to pay for their hotel expenses, board & medical forever.

What happened to Grimster ?


Peter said...

Robert, now that you are a trained lawyer, feel free to send David a bill for your time positing on the blog. Include the time you spend thinking about posting. Your new billable rate is 850/hr.

Robert C said...

Peter … thankyou for thinking of me.

Kathleen diGregorio said...

Inmate Van Houten asked to go out on the second night of murder to kill whatever person, male or female, adult or child shevwas instructed to kill - Mrs. LaBianca was a wife, mother, successful business owner and valuable member of society. Inmate Van Houten is where she belongs until she falls into her lonely grave.

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum said...

But no matter where you come down on that issue or where you are on the liberal-conservative spectrum or where you sit on crime and punishment you should at least take one moment to ponder the real bottom line here.
The Governor of the State of California has the power to change an indeterminate sentence of life in prison with the possibility for parole into life without parole and no one can overturn that decision


If we heard of such things happening in Russia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Syria or Iran, I suspect many of us would have something to say.
All I can say for now is that if those last two paragraphs don't at the very least concern you............they should.

Logan said...

I agree, Grim. I truly hope daddy moonbeam lets Beausoleil's parole go through. It seems so cruel to me to be granted parole & then have it snatched away.
Great article, David. Makes a complicated legal subject more understandable for a layperson like me.

Gorodish said...

Logan said :

I truly hope daddy moonbeam lets Beausoleil's parole go through.

Moonbeam is history. The new governor is Gavin Newsom, who is 30 years younger than his predecessor.

It seems so cruel to me to be granted parole & then have it snatched away.

I guess it's a lot less crueler than entering a guy's home, trying to rob him out of an imaginary inheritance, assaulting him, almost slicing his ear off, keeping him captive for 3 days and finally stabbing him to death-all because you and your gang of drugged-out losers wanted money to go to the Mojave Desert and play "Rat Patrol".

Logan said...

Gorodish- mea culpa! I suppose I should do a bit of research before I start posting. I apologize & thanks for the correction.
& clearly, we think differently about Beausoleil's eligibility

grimtraveller said...

Logan said...

I truly hope daddy moonbeam lets Beausoleil's parole go through. It seems so cruel to me to be granted parole & then have it snatched away

I don't, in principle, have a problem with the idea that there should be checks and balances on a decision that a parole board makes. The form that California's takes however, as depicted in david's post, leaves me uncomfortable particularly when it appears to many watching that Guv Brown's mind has already been made up beforehand and therefore it becomes a case of trying to find the words to justify an already made decision. We even talked about it in a couple of threads back in 2016. It worked up to a point but it reached a point where his reasons for overturning the board's decision {in Leslie Van Houten's last hearing} simply was not rooted in fact. Ironically, that kind of thing might actually draw attention to the matter and glean a certain sympathy for Leslie.
I think Bobby is suffering some kind of illness which may partly account for the decision in his favour. Personally, I think Bobby has been his own worst enemy since the moment he was spoken to by the cop on the road near San Luis Obispo on 6th August '69 and began {understandably} with duplicity. It's continued all the way down the line though and rehabilitation is a word that doesn't sit easily, if at all, in conversations about Bobby Beausoleil.
I do believe in the concept of parole, but in exceptional circumstances for someone that has committed murder. One of the key things to look at over the years is the inmates themselves and that's where you proceed from. Bobby has got the decision and obviously the board had their reasons, but while I do believe Bobby has long been remorseful, his mindset over the years has not been convincing to me that he's gone through deep seated changes. The one word that springs to mind when I think of him is duplicitous.

David said...

First, thank you to all.

I found it interesting that many of your comments may, in fact, be driving the Governor's decision if we take politics out of the equation for a moment. I know that it is both naive and ridiculous to assume politics is not involved but we have:

Austin Ann et al: the heinous nature of the crime.

Astro Creep et al: the fact they would/should be dead but for a legal technicality.

Why do we assume the Governor doesn't share these views. Judge Ryan clearly does.

Grim said: "It worked up to a point but it reached a point where his reasons for overturning the board's decision {in Leslie Van Houten's last hearing} simply was not rooted in fact."

Grim, I believe the Governor's decision is based upon the fact she keeps mentioning the fact she stabbed a dead body. That may work for her before the board and psychologically. It may be accurate but it serves up 'lack of insight' on a silver platter.

Robert C said...

The MF struck at Hollywood that night, Hollywood implicitly vowed retaliation. The first governor to start letting them go will begin to use up political capital. Two concerns -- State torture by giving them hope through parole hearings every X years, finally granting parole and then having it annulled. Then the cost of continuing to incarcerate them.

Speculator said...

Grim - you replied to a comment of mine under the Sadie's road trips piece - I'll respond here as it's all parole related. You said that my comment showed a closed mind to the killers plight - too right my mind is closed. I hope that their cells remain closed too. Although I'll give you this - I know that their plight in prison must be dreadful - can you imagine waking up every day knowing that you viciously killed people and then had a good laugh about it afterwards. But that it wasn't really you that did it, no, it was the poor misguided teenage inside you, or the crazy little guy with the beard that made you do it. Or insert any other excuse you care to use. And then having to try to convince a bunch of people on a parole board that you 're fit to live on the outside with normal decent people - when YOU know damn well you deserve to! Those poor killers must really go through torture every living day (unlike their victims who just had to suffer one night of it but unfortunately had no more living days as a result - the injustice of it all). And not only that - but one day they tell you that you're paroled and then another day they tell you that you're not - cruel beyond belief. I bet that the victims must be turning in their graves at the sheer injustice of it all for their poor killers. Rough justice or karma?? I'll take karma with a closed mind every day and leave you to the enlightened view.

Peter said...

Even Leopold got paroled after 33 years in prison for the murder of Bobby Franks. And in that case (also called the crime of the century) the killers kidnapped and murdered a young boy, attempted to extort a ransom from the family, had planned the crime for months, selected a victim at random, and all for no other reason than to see if they could commit the perfect crime.

grimtraveller said...

Speculator said...

Grim - You said that my comment showed a closed mind to the killers plight - too right my mind is closed

"The killers' plight" makes it sound as though they are the victims. I suggest you read again very carefully what I said. And I'll add this; there is no conflict {at least in my mind} between holding someone fully responsible for their actions and believing that they should not have been paroled at that time {as I did with Susan Atkins} and recognizing that they did not just appear as a ready made murderer in a vacuum and that a number of events {and her responses as a child to them} played a role in how and where she ended up. And that there are some explanations {not excuses or justifications} for some of her actions.

that it wasn't really you that did it, no, it was the poor misguided teenage inside you

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss people's acknowledgement of how their youth at a particular time played a part in things they went on to regret doing.

or the crazy little guy with the beard that made you do it

For a long time now, I've been able to see the paradox that exists in the killers doing what they did and being fully responsible and therefore up for the consequences, alongside Manson's leading role. On one level he did 'make' them do it. On another level {the ultimate level, the truly important level} they did it themselves. Which is why none of them can blame Manson {and Bobby goes out of his way in parole hearings to emphasize he was not commanded to kill Gary Hinman} for where they are while at the same time can justifiably harbour anger towards him for where they are {again, Bobby speaks large about how he felt Manson manipulated him where killing Gary was concerned}.

Or insert any other excuse you care to use

Like I said to you on that "Sadie" post, can you name any excuses that people have made ? Explaining how something came to be is not making excuses. If I got raped continually as a child till I reached the point where I was not going to take any shit from anybody and strike before I was struck and then I ended up killing someone in a fight and when recounting what happened I took things back to childhood and told you what had happened would I be saying the rapist was responsible for my future actions ? No, but equally, would it be honest to leave out how the rapes contributed to my outlook ? Not caused, but contributed ?

Rough justice or karma??

I don't think what has been happening to the ex-Family members is either.
If I genuinely believed in karma, I'd be careful what kind of thoughts I'd carry in my psyche about even murderers !

DebS said...

Well, it looks like the new Governor, Gavin Newsom, is capable and willing to reverse parole board decisions. I think this is the first reversal for Newsom.

Gov. Newsom reverses parole for San Diego police killer
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | January 24, 2019, 8:17AM | Updated 8 hours ago.

SAN DIEGO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has reversed a decision to grant parole to a man who gunned down a San Diego police officer forty years ago.

It's the fourth time that 57-year-old Jesus Cecena was denied release from prison after it was granted by a parole board.

Cecena was a 17-year-old gang member when Officer Archie Buggs stopped a car he was driving in 1978.

Authorities say Cecena shot Buggs five times, then killed the fallen officer with a final shot to the head at point-blank range.

A parole board granted his release in 2014, 2016 and 2017 but then-Gov. Jerry Brown reversed the decision each time after the San Diego County district attorney objected. Newsom did the same last week.

Overall, Cecena has been denied parole at least 13 times.

Matt said...

Nothing will get a new young governor on the bad side of law enforcement like releasing someone who executed a cop, which is what Cecena did. I kinda get this one.


grimtraveller said...

David said...

I believe the Governor's decision is based upon the fact she keeps mentioning the fact she stabbed a dead body. That may work for her before the board and psychologically. It may be accurate but it serves up 'lack of insight' on a silver platter

The interesting thing there is that she doesn't keep mentioning it. She didn't bring it up in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 or 2017. It got brought up by the DA or one of the parole board. Even in two of the years when she didn't speak about the crime, it got brought up.
Yet there is an irony so powerful in that her initial thoughts of Rosemary LaBianca being dead when she stabbed her are what ultimately convicted her. Far from being something that minimizes her involvement, it was her mentioning this to Dianne Lake that provided corroboration that she was involved. Even more ironic as far as the Guv'nor's minimization charge goes, is the fact that 13 of the stab wounds to Mrs LaBianca were post mortem. That is what essentially slamdunked Leslie Van Houten. The Guv never seems to have asked the question, of how this 19 year old could know that the body she stabbed was dead. It proved she was there and active.
You know what else is weird ? The day before Dianne Lake was interviewed by the police and told them Leslie "Sankston" had told her that Tex had told her to stab the dead body, Leslie herself had told the same thing to Marvin Part, her lawyer:

MR. PART: Now, was the woman dead at that time? If you think she was dead, what made you think she was dead?

LVH: So I went back in the bedroom and I saw the woman laying down; and Tex handed me the knife and, you know, said, “Okay,” you know, “get to it.” I’m positive she was dead. She was just laying there, like the man was, like I say, he was gurgling; and she was just laying there.
She didn’t even make a moan or a groan. I didn’t feel her, you know, her pulse, or anything. And her head was covered, so I didn’t see her face. I kind of wished I had of.

Even when she was lying on the witness stand, she was never sure that Rosemary was alive. She's been remarkably consistent on that one thing right from September of '69 to Dianne Lake. She was consistent in private conversation with her lawyer that was never intended to see the light of day, but which the lawyer intended for the Judge at the time to hear {he was taping her}.
It just strikes me as noteworthy that the Guv'nor could use the fact that she said she'd stabbed a dead body as a reason to revoke a parole board recommendation when the actual evidence showed that the dead body in question was stabbed 13 times post mortem and that she'd been saying such to members of her own troupe in private a month after the murders.
As for lack of insight, well, if from day one you weren't sure if the person you stabbed was dead when you acted and you stated that, but for many many years you've accepted responsibility and speak in hearings about how hard it is to live with the fact that you've taken away a life, that would tend to call into question the Guv'nor's reasoning. I'm not against the notion that he should provide scrutiny and maybe even have power to revoke a recommendation. I just think in Van Houten's particular situation, he's got it wrong. If Bobby's is revoked, I'd be interested to see what the new guy's raison d'être is. I can see reasons why a recommendation for Bobby might get revoked and he'd only have himself to blame.

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...


Davis can suck shit for all I care....he can suck all the shit in all the sewers in America


Don't be in his slipstream when he sneezes !

Kathleen diGregorio said...

Inmate Van Houten asked to go out on the second night of murder to kill

Not so. She is the only one of the killers that has ever stated they actively wanted to kill beforehand but she didn't ask to go.

David said...

Why do we assume the Governor doesn't share these views

I think he did and does. That's why months before any of the hearings, a number of people could predict the outcome. It became simply a matter of what words he'd use to justify it on that occasion.

Doug Smith said...

This case was an extremely brutal one too. Not trying to compare it with the MF murders/murderers at all...but, yeah, releasing an execution-style cop killer would be an awfully large blight on a new Governor's CV.
Talk about alienating your constituents.
Possibly more damaging than releasing a Beausoleil or Van Houten even

Robert C said...

Agree with Matt -- cop killing, especially with such aggravation, is in a whole different category within "the system". In the State of New York for example there's no clowning around. Take the case of one David Gilbert of the SDS/Weathermen … part of a group heist of a Brinks car that went bad, several cops killed and even though Gilbert was not a shooter (driver) he got life with chance of parole in 2057 … way beyond his normal life expectancy (born 1944).

starviego said...



Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
--Exodus 8:1

starviego said...


It boils down to this:

Parole Hearing----MR. S. DANA GILBERT, Attorney for Krenny:
"This, again, goes to my second point. And that is, the State in the form of the prosecution will not let the people forget that they were part of the Manson family. And it doesn’t matter if you try to break away. You will not be allowed, not by Manson, but by the State, by Chief Davis, by the District Attorney’s office, you will not be allowed to forget that you were part of the Manson family. And everything you do is because you’re a part of the Manson family. .... Don’t you think we’ve had enough of this? It’s been almost eight years now."

Dan S said...

Non sequitur... Just read a book called alone with the devil; it said that polanski would go to the movies as a youngster and the graffiti outside read "only pigs go to movies"

CATSCRADLE77 said...

Col Scott said:

"Davis can suck shit for all I care. Based on stuff I know he can suck all the shit in all the sewers in America."

The stuff you know is that from Bobby (who lies) or Nancy (who lies)? If so, isn't that selective use of supposed fact? Which of course is your right to do, but I'm just sayin'.

And to clarify,Davis can suck on a can of smashed assholes as far as I am concerned.

Matt said...

This has turned into a poetry competition.


Milly James said...

How appropriate for Burns Night. 'The greatest skemes O'mice a'Men gaft an aglae. And leave us noch but griff a'pain for promised joys'

DebS said...

I've heard from a couple of people who write and/or speak on the phone with Bruce Davis and I've been told that he has dementia or Alzheimer's. He's losing touch with reality and probably can't fully participate in his parole hearings. That might be why he voluntarily waived the right to his last hearing which was to have been May 2 2018. He does have a new hearing date set for July 11 2019 though.

It's impossible to get medical information on anyone from anywhere due to the privacy laws so I can't think of anyway to confirm his mental health issues unless he volunteers the info himself.

Milly James said...

Spelling as idiosyncratic as it was then. Gan aft aglae I meant. X

AstroCreep said...

Kathleen- amen! While I can completely understand why a family member (real family not Manson Family) would advocate for the release of an inmate, I don’t understand why anyone else would advocate for the release of a murderer- it’s like taking the side of the villain versus the innocent.

Mrs. LaBianca spent her final moments listening to her husband get stabbed to death while he was defenseless, hands tied and possibly hooded- by a coward. Then the knives were turned on her and poor poor poor LVH got to mutilate her body and stab it after she was dead- then, they got cleaned up and had some chocolate milk and watermelon and went about their merry way and a few hours later, the LaBianca children got to discover their parents bodies-

In my opinion, some people have got their priorities screwed up.

I can appreciate the greater legal debate too. Why if murderer X is released in 18 years isn’t murderer Y released after 50 years? etc. In this case, the family wanted to ‘shock the world’ and that they did. You can’t have it both ways- you can’t ‘shock the world’ then ask to be treated like every other case.

We could argue that an NFL player who decides to kick his girlfriend after dragging her off an elevator by the hair should be treated just like another domestic violator- but that’s not an apples to apples comparison either. The NFL player is a role model to children, he represents the NFL, and is endorsed (in most cases) by many companies. The NFL player loses his job, his endorsements, and is suspended by the NFL while typical domestic violator doesn’t face any additional penalties outside of legal prosecution.

Mario George Nitrini 111 said...

ColScott/Mr Murphy,
I respect your knowledge of
The Charles Manson Case very much. And ever since you rightly pointed out to me that Kato Kaelin DID NOT plead the 5th amendment in the OJ Grand Jury hearing, I read everything that you say.

Perhaps you didn't see a comment I directed at you, so I will just post it again here without the photo reference....lol:

"ColScott (aka Don Murphy)

I didn't realize it, Mr Murphy, but you worked with Oliver Stone in the past.
Amazingly enough, with Quentin Tarantino's Charles Manson Family Movie,
"Once Upon a time in Hollywood"
coming out this year,
the "INTERTWINING" is
"AMAZING"....to say the least...I KNOW.

Anyway Mr Murphy, any reply to me on this Tweet I made on Twitter regarding
OLIVER STONE?

https://mobile.twitter.com/nitrini1950/status/1065162635253956608 "

David, the lawyer:
In my opinion, there is only one way that any Charles Manson Follower, that is in prison, can get paroled. That person must work with law enforcement and show where certain "THINGS" are at SPAHN RANCH, and WHO(s) was/were involved. But that's a HUGE problem...
I do believe David you know what imI talking about.

Mario George Nitrini 111
-------
The OJ Simpson Case

David said...

MGN111,

Look, we go way back and I owe you from that TIME with the THING with the GUY in the "PLACE" --- but I have no idea what you might be referring to.

Mario George Nitrini 111 said...

Hi David, the lawyer. Hope you're doing well my friend.

Ok David.
I won't drive you ballistic....lol....this time.

The Time.....1969
The Things....very possible bodies buried at SPAHN RANCH
The Guy.... please reference this tweet of mine on Twitter
https://mobile.twitter.com/nitrini1950/status/1084983004961755136
The Place.... SPAHN RANCH


Mario George Nitrini 111
------
The OJ Simpson Case

grimtraveller said...

David said...

she keeps mentioning the fact she stabbed a dead body

Legally, it was actually Maxwell Keith that started that ball rolling. It was a major part of his strategy in the original trial behind the scenes that she couldn't be guilty of murder because it had already happened before Leslie was given a knife. Given that conspiracy was part of the charge, I don't know what he was trying to achieve. Privately {to Dianne Lake and Marvin Part} Van Houten believed Mrs LaBianca was dead and it's interesting that during the original trial she never used it as a defence of any kind even though it came up.

Gorodish said...

The transcript of Beausoleil's 1/3/2019 parole hearing is now posted on Cielodrive.com.
Apparently there is no terminal health issue, like the cancer I was suspecting. The Presiding Commissioner, Dianne Dobbs stated this about his physical condition :
"Uh, physically he has degenerative arthritis, but he told us today that he controls this through yoga and Tai Chi. He told us that he has a clear mind today. We see that age-related decreases that he has were determined by Dr. Levin to not be a significant mitigating factor for his risk for violence. The doctor noted on page 16 of the Comprehensive Risk Assessment, and I am quoting, the doctor states, though Mr. Beausoleil does not possess the same physical strength and reflexes that he did at the time, uh, of committing this offense, he maintains good physical health, strength and mobility and he continues to possess the physical capacity to pistol whip or stab another, uh, man."
Also, it appeared that the Deputy Parole commissioner, James Andres, was not buying into Bobby's fantasyland Straight Satans drug burn story or his distancing himself from Charles Manson, and states his skepticism in a lengthy dissertation (which I heartily agreed with).
His bizarre child spanking "art" was also touched on but was kinda glossed over.
So in the end, they arrived at this :
"On the issue of remorse, uh, Mr. Beausoleil has accepted full responsibility for his actions in killing Mr. Hinman. We note that he was 21 when he committed this life crime and now when we look at his record, we see that he is no longer -- that he no longer acts based on approval from others. That he has long established a healthy self- image through many of his practices, his religious practices and other practices. We find that this diminishes many of the challenges that he was dealing with at the time when he committed this crime. We also find that he has made realistic plans for release. He has acceptance letters from transitional housing programs. He has a relapse prevention plan and we find that he has strong family support and support from friends in the community. He also has prospects, um, to support himself through job offers and additionally through his own, um, creative skills. We also find that he has a good understanding of many of the challenges that he will likely face in the community."

Gavin Newsom.....the ball is now in your court.

grimtraveller said...

Gorodish said...

The transcript of Beausoleil's 1/3/2019 parole hearing is now posted on Cielodrive.com

I found it quite boring overall. But I'm glad it's there and that I got a chance to read it.

Apparently there is no terminal health issue, like the cancer I was suspecting

Because he's in the medical facility, I thought maybe he had some illness that signaled extra care or the end being near.
I must say, the board were extraordinarily lenient. And even with that Bobby was pissing in the wind. There was one hilarious bit where he said that he didn't even try to evade capture as he was so shattered by what he'd done. Then one of the board members reminded him that he'd said that he'd bought the car from a Black man !! Many people could understand him being shattered. He should have left it at that, not adding the bit about almost hoping he'd be caught.

The Presiding Commissioner, Dianne Dobbs stated this about his physical condition:
"though Mr. Beausoleil does not possess the same physical strength and reflexes that he did at the time, uh, of committing this offense, he maintains good physical health, strength and mobility and he continues to possess the physical capacity to pistol whip or stab another, uh, man."


I hope I'll have the strength to pistol whip a man if I make it to 71 !

Also, it appeared that the Deputy Parole commissioner, James Andres, was not buying into Bobby's fantasyland Straight Satans drug burn story or his distancing himself from Charles Manson, and states his skepticism in a lengthy dissertation (which I heartily agreed with)

He utterly, totally, comprehensively demolished it. It was one of the most devastating examples I've come across of calling someone a liar in a way that doesn't actually say "you're a bloody liar." When he said "you have a certain facility with language that includes some artful ambiguity and I think anyone who reads this transcript carefully will note that, when the answer to the question could be either fish or fowl, you manage to answer often in a way that is neither fish nor fowl, but some combination or in between or either or both. That didn’t escape us," I really had to laugh. He gets Bobby !

His bizarre child spanking "art" was also touched on but was kinda glossed over

Don't blink now folks, you'll miss it !

Gavin Newsom.....the ball is now in your court

Deputy commissioner Andres may have somewhat "tampered" with the ball, making it easier for the new Guv to flex his managerial muscle.

Matthew Record said...

Grimtraveller said:
} Van Houten believed Mrs LaBianca was dead and it's interesting that during the original trial she never used it as a defence of any kind even though it came up.

I believe that is because in the original trial her only objective was to get Charlie free. The girls needed to take the rap.

grimtraveller said...

Matthew Record said...

I believe that is because in the original trial her only objective was to get Charlie free. The girls needed to take the rap

That's part of the point. She was trying to free Charlie, she was lying her blaggers off, she implicated herself in the Hinman murder and the LaBianca murder and showed no remorse for it.....yet she was consistent in her belief that Rosemary was either dead or that she thought she was.
Although it can be easily shown that Rosemary wasn't dead, the important thing is that all along the line, Leslie has believed she was.

Matthew Record said...

With everything that I can find, it says that Rosmary LaBianca was stabbed 41 times and many were post. However, I can't find anywhere exactly how many were post. Leslie says that she stabbed 15 to 16 times. If the number is that or more and she started the stabbing after Pat was done than she may have not killed anyone. However, she went into the house knowing that people would be killed which makes her just as accountable as the others. The same reason why Charlie was accountable.

Gorodish said...

Grimtraveller wrote:

There was one hilarious bit where he said that he didn't even try to evade capture as he was so shattered by what he'd done. Then one of the board members reminded him that he'd said that he'd bought the car from a Black man !!

And the commissioner that was grilling him on this, Dianne Dobbs, is a black woman. I bet he was really squirming.

It was one of the most devastating examples I've come across of calling someone a liar in a way that doesn't actually say "you're a bloody liar." When he said "you have a certain facility with language that includes some artful ambiguity and I think anyone who reads this transcript carefully will note that, when the answer to the question could be either fish or fowl, you manage to answer often in a way that is neither fish nor fowl, but some combination or in between or either or both. That didn’t escape us."

I also enjoyed the "fish or fowl" euphemism. Basically, the board said in so many words, "Bobby, you're a lying sack of shit and nobody here believes your stories. But you've proven you're ready to be paroled, and frankly, you're old and our jails are overcrowded and we need your cell space. Your parole is granted."

Deputy commissioner Andres may have somewhat "tampered" with the ball, making it easier for the new Guv to flex his managerial muscle.

I didn't even read the ulterior motive. You may just be right on that one, Grim.

grimtraveller said...

Matthew Record said...

With everything that I can find, it says that Rosmary LaBianca was stabbed 41 times and many were post. However, I can't find anywhere exactly how many were post. Leslie says that she stabbed 15 to 16 times

In his book, Bugliosi says that "Rosemary LaBianca, Katsuyama also testified, had been stabbed 41 times, 16 of which wounds mostly in her back and buttocks, having been made after she had died.....This was very important testimony, since Leslie Van Houten told Dianne Lake that she had stabbed someone who was already dead." However, this isn't true when it comes to those numbers. In the trial he asks Katsuyama if any of the wounds appear to be after death and Katsuyama says yes. The Kat explains why he's come to this conclusion and he marks the post mortem wounds for everyone to see. Bugliosi specifically notes by asking, if the wounds marked as post mortem by the Kat are on the left and right buttocks and Katsuyama says yes, even though he has, 3 answers earlier, referred to the wounds as being on the "lower part of her back, on her hips." At no point during the testimony does he give an actual number of post mortem wounds.
Now, Bugliosi {in the book}, by saying most of the post mortem wounds were on the back and buttocks, implies not all of them were. But no matter; I don't know where he gets his figure of 16 post mortem wounds from because during questioning, he doesn't mention a figure or ask for a figure and Katsuyama doesn't give a figure, he just says he sees a number of them that he's marked.
Now, the Kat refers to the post mortem wounds as "the smaller wounds on the lower part of her back, on her hips" and this is consistent with the autopsy which shows fourteen ¾ ~ 1" wounds marked as "lower back" and specifically noted as "described but not numbered; some post mortem." That "some" is the clincher that shows that Leslie's claim of Mrs LaBianca being dead when she stabbed her can't have any basis in fact if, as she says, she stabbed her 14-16 times. The autopsy is saying that of the 14 wounds in the lower back only some of them were post mortem. That means less than 14. I seem to recall reading that 13 of the wounds were post mortem; I thought it was in "Helter Skelter" but there it says 16 which is wrong according to the autopsy. Either way, it is less than the number Leslie has always given and just as interesting for me is when Katsuyama is asked why he thinks the specific wounds he's talking about were inflicted after death, he begins his sentence "I believe these were inflicted shortly after she died or while she was dying..."

However, she went into the house knowing that people would be killed which makes her just as accountable as the others

My impression of her is just that^^^^^^^^^^
I've never really thought she mentions stabbing a dead body as a ruse to say she wasn't as responsible as the others or even responsible at all; alone among the killers, hers was the stated desire to kill and be part of the divine mission. That's why that Marvin Part interview is so powerful. She's not playing mad, she's not playing innocent, she's not playing remorseful, she's not playing brainwashed, she's not playing coerced, she implicates herself, Mary, Susan, Bobby, Tex, Pat and Charlie {and arguably Clem and Linda} in murder so the things she says about getting cold feet when it came to the actual moment of murder, thinking Mrs LaBianca was dead when she stabbed her and crying about the LaBianca kids having to find the bodies as well as noting those that maybe weren't strong in the Family cause, just strike me as factual and are balanced by her saying {at the time} that she'd do it all again and didn't feel sorry for the victims.

grimtraveller said...

Gorodish said...

the commissioner that was grilling him on this, Dianne Dobbs, is a black woman. I bet he was really squirming

That's priceless ! I didn't take note of who was actually grilling him at that point and I had no idea she was Black. It's almost too funny.
For a couple of years I used to comment on Presiding Commissioner Anderson's undisguised bias in Bobby's 2010 hearing. It was very late in the day that I discovered he was Black. When I found out, some things clicked for me. I still think his performance that year was unhealthy though. Not that Bobby helped himself much.

Basically, the board said in so many words, "Bobby, you're a lying sack of shit and nobody here believes your stories. But you've proven you're ready to be paroled, and frankly, you're old and our jails are overcrowded and we need your cell space

You know, that is more or less exactly what ran through my mind as I was reading the transcript. I can't get over that Bobby was still being duplicitous. But it really did feel like the board were trying hard to get rid of him !

Doug Smith said...

Grim said - "When he said "you have a certain facility with language that includes some artful ambiguity and I think anyone who reads this transcript carefully will note that, when the answer to the question could be either fish or fowl, you manage to answer often in a way that is neither fish nor fowl, but some combination or in between or either or both."

Yes!

Bummer Bob's Mystery Meal

Always a uniquely different dish with little nutritional value whosoever

ColScott said...

Mario if you are using your psychotic twitter to accuse Oliver of vile shit be clear so I can have his lawyers take your lame life from you.

Cat it is so nice to hear from you- are you attacking me and if so why when I only love you? And no, not from Bobby (no interaction in a decade) or Nancy (the same). Bruce has not told the truth imo. Not about new murders. That is some Tom O'Neill 20 year book journey horseshit. About the ones we know about.

I believe Bruce was the "muscle" of the Family.

Mario George Nitrini 111 said...

Mr Murphy,
I haven't accused Oliver Stone of anything. Robert Jay Marczak, Rose McGowan's spokesperson "hinted" to me he knew the name (OLIVER STONE) of the "FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD DIECTOR" who had sex with Rose McGowan when McGowan was 15 Years old, and that's statatory rape of a minor here in California. I put 2+2 together and Tweeted to Marczak that I knew the name of the person Marczak was hinting about, thus creating "HINTGATE."

Mr Murphy? Are you threatening me when you say:

"Mario if you are using your psychotic twitter to accuse Oliver of vile shit be clear so I can have his lawyers take your lame life from you"

Well Mr Murphy, I'll take it as one of your potty-mouth drunken tirades.

And if you think I'm afraid of You, OLIVER STONE, or ANY of his lawyers, think again Mr Murphy,
I FEAR NOTHING......

Mario George Nitrini 111
------
The OJ Simpson Case

ColScott said...

Of course you fear things

You fear knowledge
You fear women
You fear truth
You fear soap
You fear utensils

You are essentially a clown and a coward and we both know it.

Hintgate? Dumbassgate more like it!

I spoke to Marczak. I believe the words "deranged loser" were heard in the ether.

Mario George Nitrini 111 said...

Mr Murphy.
I'm glad you spoke to
Robert Jay Marczak. Did Marczak discuss with you the Direct Message correspondences he had with me? Or his telephone conversations he had with me?

And you call me a coward?
ANYTIME you want to meet me here in Los Angeles Mr Murphy where we both reside, you let me know the time and place, and we'll have a MAN-to-boy
(Me being the MAN, you being the boy)
LEGAL discussion.

Mario George Nitrini 111
-------
The OJ Simpson Case

Doug Smith said...

Two words - Cheryl Shuman

MGN3 - Aren't you hassling Col Scott/Dan Murphy in kinda the same manner?

Not cool

Rock N. Roll said...

I’m so confused.

william marshall said...

Cool pic of Bobby B. In the top hat circa 1967 never seen tbis one

Peter said...

Thought this was interesting with respect to our ongoing dispute over culpability here. Words matter.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/02/calls-and-texts-urging-suicide-can-be-manslaughter-court-rules/


"More generally, the court pointed out that it's not that unusual for people to be convicted of murder or manslaughter based solely on their words."