14th Hearing for Manson Follower Leslie Van Houten

Update 6/28: Leslie Houten was denied today because of the "calculated pre-planned manner" of her crime, her history of drug abuse when a teenager, and a tendency to form "destructive relationships."

Former Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, now 52 , will have her 14th hearing today. What makes this year different than other years?

This year the Judge ordered the Board to give her a new hearing and to consider her model prison behavior and not just the severity of the offense. If only the severity of the crime were considered, her sentence effectively would be a life sentence without parole, instead of the parole-eligible life sentence she received. The board has been ordered to tell Van Houten what it is she must do to get if they deny her again.

Van Houten has served 30 years in prison. She has apologized for her crime (she wasn't part of the Sharon Tate murders but did play a part in the La Bianca murders the following evening). While in prison she has earned two college degrees and been a model inmate.

We applaud the Judge. Grant Leslie Van Houten. She was 19 at the time of the crime, has paid for it with 30 years of her life, and if you have ever listened to her (and we have, since some of her prior hearings have been televised) you can't help but feel she's genuine and hardly a threat to anyone now.

Don't believe us? Court TV will provide live coverage of the hearing.

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