Susan Atkins Denied Compassionate Release
Susan Atkins, age 60, has served 37 years in prison, has one leg, is paralyzed on her right side and has three months to live. Today the California Parole Board denied her compassionate release so she could die outside of prison.
Atkins' doctors and officials at the women's prison in Corona made the request in March because of her deteriorating health. She also has had her left leg amputated and is paralyzed on her right side, her husband, James Whitehouse, told the California Board of Parole Hearings.
Whitehouse, also acting as one of Atkins' attorneys, had argued that his wife was so debilitated that she could not even sit up in bed. He told the parole board there was no longer a reason to keep her incarcerated. "She literally can't snap her fingers," he said. "She can put sentences together three or four times a day, but that's the extent of it."
Atkins' lawyer will now ask a state court judge to order her release. [More...]
Her brother, Steve Atkins, told the parole board Tuesday that he and his sister had been abused as children.
"After Susan got in with Manson, she was lost to me," he said. "Please let us be with Susan in private in her last days, to pray with her and give our last good-byes."
All of our coverage of Susan Atkins is accessible here. As I wrote last month, she was sentenced to life with (rather than without) the possibility of parole. She served 37 years, had an excellent prison behavioral record and clearly poses no current danger to society. By only considering the heinousness of the offense, her sentences has effectively been changed to a life without parole.
The cost to the people of California for her care, including prison guards at her hospital room: $1.4 million since March.
Free Susan Atkins.
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