Leslie Van Houten Denied Parole for 19th Time

Manson follower Leslie Van Houten has been in prison with a blemish-free record for 41 years. She was denied parole Tuesday for the 19th time.

At the conclusion of the emotional three-hour hearing, the chairman of the parole board, Robert Doyle, said Van Houten was not yet suitable for parole because she had failed to gain complete insight into her crime and its motivation.

The parole board said she's still a threat to society. They had to say that, since the California Supreme Court last year said it's a requirement of denying parole: [More...]

[T]he court held that to refuse parole there must be evidence that a prisoner is currently a danger to public safety. The court said the board could not base a refusal only on the details of the crime committed by the inmate long ago.

Her conduct over the past 40 years in prison says differently:

Prison spokesman Lt. Robert Patterson told CNN in 2009 that Van Houten is a model inmate involved in prison programs and a mentor to other inmates in the facility's college program.

Van Houten was convicted in 1971 of the La Bianca murders and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to life in prison when the California Supreme Court struck down the death penalty statute in 1972. She won a new trial in 1977 based on ineffective assistance of counsel (her lawyer disappeared during the trial and was later found murdered). The second trial resulted in a hung jury and she was released on bond.

She was tried again and convicted of felony robbery, murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. Her sentence: life in prison (with the possibility of parole.)

Parole boards have a duty to consider more than the severity of the offense. Leslie Van Houten has been a model prisoner. Labeling her a current threat to society, based on her perceived failure to have insights into the crime and her motives at the time, is another way of saying it's still all about the crime. The parole board continues to usurp the power of the court by nullifying her sentence and unilaterally changing it from life with parole to to life without parole.

TalkLeft has urged her release on parole since since 2002. Van Houten won't have another opportunity for parole until 2013. What more does she have to do? What more can she do? If the answer is nothing will make a difference, then sentences to life with parole in California are meaningless.

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    Sad news (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 07:28:33 AM EST
    She obviously is not a threat to society in any way shape or form, anyone can see that!  

    Perhaps she can give something back to society if released.  There is nothing more effective than a speaker who has 'actually been there, been involved in all that goes so terribly wrong in a young person's life.'

    This news makes me very sad.  What a wasted opportunity under an umbrella of spite and mean-spiritism for her to help the youth of today.

    Or she will tell the kids .. (none / 0) (#44)
    by nyrias on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:29:54 PM EST
    how it is "fun" to stab someone. Who knows? There is no point of unleashing her on society. There are plenty of contributing members.

    We don't need to a MURDERER.

    This news make me very happy that our system is to succumb to some liberal feel good politics that is criminal friendly.


    And (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:11:20 PM EST
    if she had killed  a poor black pedestrian, would she still be in prison?

    If she was talking on the cell phone when (none / 0) (#29)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:24:57 PM EST
    she ran him down, yes, definitely.

    Hopefully .... (none / 0) (#45)
    by nyrias on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:32:21 PM EST
    your comment is pretty racist. You don't think murderers of African Americans should be punished as hard?

    you are missing the point (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by CST on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:44:17 PM EST
    it's not whether they "should" be.  It's whether they "would" be.  Very different metrics.  It's not a question of that commentater being racist or not.  It's a question of how society as a whole would react.

    didn't think (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:24:25 PM EST
    it needed 'splain'n, but thanks.

    the following is very disturbing; (none / 0) (#1)
    by railroaded on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 06:54:59 AM EST
    According to Diane Lake, Leslie told her that at first she had been reluctant to stab Mrs. Labianca, but then she'd discovered the more you stabbed, "...the more fun it was". Here.

    Leslie, a gorgeous 19yo in 1968? Sexually active by age 14? By age 15 she was pregnant and had an abortion.

    And then... "On the way out of the Labianca home the group took cheese and chocolate milk from the refrigerator."

    Oh why, how, why.

    Giving her .. (none / 0) (#43)
    by nyrias on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:26:45 PM EST
    life with parole is too lenient.

    She should have gotten the death penalty or Life without parole.

    At least it is good news that she is not getting out anytime soon.


    I'm no advocate for the death penalty and... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by railroaded on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:25:58 AM EST
    ....I thought she was given "life in prison (with the possibility of parole.)"

    Leslie, a 19yo `doped up' at the height of the hippy sex'n drugs'n rock'n roll culture/experiment of the `60's was literally, a space cadet.
    Leslie (and others) should have been psychiatrically evaluated by the state (not a tape recording) as a matter of duty of care to her (and others). The following statements allude to mental health issues.

    "I was trying to reach the enlightened...this was during Timothy Leary's time of enlightenment and all of that."

    The Manson Family would survive by going to the desert and finding a hole in the ground in which to hide for years. During that time they would grow in number and eventually make their way back to civilization where they would take over. Van Houten says she bought into this completely. In her 1993 parole hearing Leslie remembered: "you know, I believed that he (Manson) was Jesus Christ and it was his view and belief that all of this would happen. And part of his thing was not to, not to have individual thinking and don't ask questions and I bought into it lock, stock and barrel. So I never... I never asked him how is that going to happen. I took it at face value."

    Leslie; "the more you stabbed, ...the more fun it was". An acid `trip' could produce such an experience with little emotional hangover after `coming down'.

    Part asked Judge Dell to listen to a recording he had made of Leslie. He told the judge: "That girl is insane in a way that is almost science fiction." Judge Dell declined to hear the tape but said he would have three psychiatrists review the tape to determine if Van Houten could intelligently make a substitute of Counsel. On February 6th, based on the findings of the three psychiatrists Judge Dell ruled that Van Houten was legally sane and competent to make a substitution.

    Charles Manson (scientologist?) 33 at the time appeared to mind control his followers, a bunch of drugged out teenagers.
    It comes down to mental health and how we as a society respond and tend to those affected, vulnerable and at risk.

    Incarcerating someone for life who clearly had/has mental health issues is out of sight out of mind mentality. Prisons are registered  as 'correctional facilities'.no? I have yet to see a successful corrected one emerge.

    Having compassion for perpetrators of such heinous acts is not a sign of weakness or ineptitude but a show of strength and willingness to understand the reasons for such acts to further educate and protect us all.


    I know TalkLeft advocates her release (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jen M on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 06:58:28 AM EST
    But given the notoriety of the crimes all those years ago, I doubt she will ever be released.

    I would generally be in favor of releasing someone who has been in jail this long and kept a good record, however in this case I am somewhat ambivalent. The sentence should have been life without parole in the first place but that didn't exist then, did it?

    John Waters (none / 0) (#4)
    by lilburro on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 07:54:50 AM EST
    wrote a very interesting and convincing piece advocating for her release.  He published it on HuffPo as well in a 5 piece series.  I agree with him, she should definitely be released.  And it's not fair, as you say, to turn her sentence into something she wasn't given (life without parole).

    What role did she play in Manson murders? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Saul on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 09:20:35 AM EST

    Sentence (none / 0) (#6)
    by lewke on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 09:26:46 AM EST
    I am a little confused why people are saying that her sentence is being turned into something she was not given.  She was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.  There is no guarantee to actually get it, just that it is a possibility.  The onus here is on Van Houten, not the parole board.

    I also don't think you can consider someone's threat to society without considering the severity and nature of the crime they were found guilty of, even 41 years later.

    Why do you think she is a threat to society? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:06:08 AM EST
    She has been a model prisoner for 41 years.  And, to the best of my knowledge, believe that is something like 61 or 62 years (based on seven months prison time (good behavior) being the equivalent of a year real time).

    The possibility of parole should mean exactly that and should be given in accordance with what it indicates - good behavior, a model prisoner type for the life sentence served.

    My calculation is that she has now served three life sentences - a model prisoner for all that time!

    Parole board officers are not psycharists establishing 'intent'.  They are not qualified to do so and it is ridiculous they engage in areas not relevant to determing parole, imo.

    Perhaps, imo, it is their own 'intent' they should examine more closely.

    Overcrowding in California is a problem, a huge tax problem, so why aren't model prisoners serving who served their time released on bail as was the 'intent' at their sentencing.

    My opinions only.


    You have a very good (none / 0) (#48)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:41:40 PM EST
    point about parole boards. Parole boards are political beasts which in recent years have been appointed on the basis of only knowing how to spell one word: DENIED. It is simply an extension of the "tuff" platform that the pols who appoint them run on. Prisoners should be able to go to the courts for parole decisions. The boards are a joke. Why put up the pretense of due process and fair decision making when it doesn't exist.

    model prisoner (none / 0) (#51)
    by diogenes on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:35:19 PM EST
    Many people who are "model prisoners" in a contained environment are different when they leave.  In any case, perhaps her mission in life is to atone for her role in murders and in the Manson family by ministering to other prisoners as a model prisoner.  

    I think it is (none / 0) (#76)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 09:34:33 PM EST
    impossible to evaluate van Houten without taking into account the historical context in which her crime occurred.

         If a person like van Houten did what she did today, it would be different. Van Houten came of age in an historical context, a brief time in our history, where the social order was very much upset. Today, young adult women of Houten's background would never associate with someone like Charlie Manson, but at that peculiar time, many of them did, and for good reason.

          Manson is an extremely dangerous psychopathic killer, and he has incredible natural skills at manipulation and mind control. Sure, the girls took LSD and they shouldn't have, but so did many others at that time. Manson used highly sophisticated mind control techniques to give those young people exactly what they were searching for as a natural consequence of youth, and he used it as a weapon. He actually convinced them he was Jesus Christ.

         Under the influence hallucinogenic drugs, middle class kids of that day were no match for someone like Charlie Manson. He drilled deep into their psyches and turned them into killers, in the same way an earlier commenter noted that military trainers do the same thing. Nobody knew what was right or wrong in those days. The government's integrity was shot, and many of us believe the intelligence community had something to do with the social movement that not only destroyed Leslie van Houten, but many other kids her age.

         Van Houten appears to have understood that she was sucked into a bad "family" shortly after her conviction. She denounced Manson and everything the family did and stood for. She seemed to realize she had gone terribly wrong and had been terribly deceived. Eighteen. Think about it. Think about what an 18 year-old in a highly disjointed social context would do if they thought they had found Jesus Christ.

         Part of the responsibility for what happened to van Houten, and many other kids in those days, lies squarely with our government and ourselves. The "hippie" movement, with all its rejection of social norms and its bizarre lifestyles and beliefs, was actually an engineered social movement which provided cover for some things our government needed to accomplish at the time.

         Kids like van Houten are no less victims of that "war" than someone killed in Vietnam. Our government needed a strong anti-war youth movement to cover for the fact that it was stalemated in Vietnam and wanted to withdraw from an outdated war as newer economic interests began to appear on the horizon. The USSR and China were not going to give us Vietnam, and the U.S. corporate government decided it wasn't worth calling their bluff. The only way for them to "withdraw" with honor was to claim they were doing it because of a growing populist revolt against the war at home. They then withdrew and blamed the kids they had recruited into the fake anti-war movement for the "loss" of the war. Life goes on. Governments are smart. They very quickly "turned the movement off" and proceeded with their subsequent plans, and all the kids who embraced that movement became casualties of war.

         Leslie van Houten is much more a victim of circumstances than a psychopathic killer. If you can't see it that way, then you have an unrealistic expectation of humans, even our most morally credible ones. And you missed some important things in our history.

    Great post :) (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:07:35 AM EST
    First of all, what do you mean when (none / 0) (#129)
    by observed on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 03:18:09 PM EST
    you say the hippie movement was engineered?
    Even granting that---and I really have no idea what you are saying---it's a huge stretch to argue leniency for Van Houton on this basis.
    Second, there are always young people who go outside of the norms. I think you are vastly overrating the social dislocation of the 60's.
    Third, I intensely dislike seeing a savage killer portrayed as a victim.

    I didn't say (none / 0) (#130)
    by JamesTX on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:10:16 PM EST
    she was innocent. I said there are circumstances which I think might make her eligible for parole almost 50 years later. "Portrayal" is not truth. Everyone can be portrayed in good and bad lights. People are not their worst acts. And yes, even people who do bad things can be victims. It sounds like you may follow the philosophy that the world is made up of two kinds of people -- good and bad. I don't see it that way, and we will always differ. My explanation of what I believe are the origins of the hippie movement are explained well in the post.

    Keeping Van Houton In Jail is Absurd (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:24:08 AM EST
    It is absurd on every level. The only reason people want to keep her incarcerated is pure vengeance, imo. And, it appears to me that those who savor vengeance in this case are scarier to have running around uncaged than the likes of Van Houton.

    No it is justice (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by nyjets on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:36:52 AM EST
    I am sorry, but based on her crimes, it does not matter if she is 'rehabliated' or 'sorry' for what she did. Her staying in prison is justice, not vengenance.
    Vengenance is if she is tortured while in prison. Vengenance is solitary. That is not what she is getting.
    The simple fact of the matter is all of the 'good' she has done does not change what she did, or change the fact that she is a murder. Hence, she should stay in prison.

    Justice? (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:46:57 AM EST
    Her staying in prison is justice, not vengenance.

    Well apparently your are the one owning vengeance here, and all the supporters who want her to rot in prison.

    Invoking "Justice" is a thin and very transparent smokescreen, to mask your feeling of vengeance here, imo.


    Wanting someone to pay for there crime ... (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by nyjets on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:50:20 AM EST
    In all fairness, calling long jail terms 'vengeance' is a common smokescreen whenever the question of letting some out of jail.

    To me, the crime determines the sentece. Period. Her crimes were ruthless, evil, and without any form of mitgation, valid or otherwise. She should die in prison. Nothing she has done in prison or will do can change this. Her crime dictates her punishment, life in prison. This is justice IMO.


    Another point: how can anyone know that (none / 0) (#20)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:02:11 PM EST
    Van Houton is not a threat now? She is clearly far outside of the norm for human behavior, so whatever changes she appears to have made since 1969 still leave the question about what degree of threat remains in her---a question she herself cannot answer.

    "...valid or otherwise..." (none / 0) (#21)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:07:24 PM EST
    do you realize what you just said?

    valid......or otherwise.


    eep (none / 0) (#28)
    by nyjets on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:24:41 PM EST
    You are right.
    I mean that there were no mitagating factors (valid or invalid) for her crime

    wrong again (none / 0) (#31)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:41:09 PM EST
    by saying "valid, or invalid" you are leaving open the possibility that there may be valid mitigating reasons.

    Just leave out the qualifier, and say there are no reasons.....period!

    not my feelings, but what's fair is fair.


    Fair enough (none / 0) (#33)
    by nyjets on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:59:43 PM EST
    There are no mitgating factors for her crime. Therefore life in prison is the correct punishment. Point taken.

    How about fairness. Why is it fair to release (none / 0) (#14)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:49:35 AM EST
    Van Houton, at any time, considering her horrific crimes? She truly is lucky to be alive, and that's the full extent of the leniency she deserves, IMO.

    She served her time (none / 0) (#26)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:17:59 PM EST
    as a model citizen and was sentenced to life with the possiblity of parole.

    Why shouldn't she be released?  

    At the time of the sentencing they did consider the crime she committed and thus the appropriate sentence was given in accordance therewith.

    It has been served her time as a model citizen - so release her!


    Beyond absurd... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:31:59 AM EST
    but that's American criminal justice for ya...criminally unjust.

    "Threat to society"...it's laughable.  You'd think for economic reasons alone states would be looking to let loose old timers who are no longer a conceivable threat, never mind the moral element...but I guess vengeance blinds in more ways than one.


    Economic Reasons? (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:42:19 AM EST
    Well it depends whose pocket you are looking after.

    Here is little bit of nostalgic trivia I encountered yesterday while researching Pete Wilson:

    Wilson led efforts to enact "tough on crime" measures and signed into law the popular but controversial "Three Strikes" (25 years to life for repeat offenders)[10] As a result of the Three Strikes Law, 4,431 offenders have been sentenced to 25 years to life for non-violent offenses such as stealing cookies.[11]Because the Three Strike Law would require some 15 additional prisons in California, some questioned the role in his stance of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, a lobbying group of prison guards that gave $1.47 million to Wilson's gubernatorial campaigns.[12]



    Not for anything (none / 0) (#16)
    by nyjets on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:50:58 AM EST
    Economic consideration should not determine the jail sentence of someone. The crime itself should.

    You think that NYjets is more dangerous than (none / 0) (#13)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:47:56 AM EST
    Van Houton? Really?
    Call it vengeance, justice, or retribution, I think one purpose of the justice system is to exact payment for crimes. Sure, some people may repent and change. For example, some might say that David Berkowitz is completely reformed (He is, after all, a born again Christian).
    However, he has not paid his debt to society, and he never will. The advance we have made is to make the currency of payment the freedom of the prisoner, and nothing else, but the debt is still owed.

    By your reasoning, it should have been ok to release Manson after his mandatory minimum.
    Do you think Manson should have been released already?


    Yes (none / 0) (#17)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:53:01 AM EST
    I do think that nyjets and you are more dangerous than Van Houten is now.

    Van Houten appears to be in a position to help our society become a bit more civilized and enlightened.

    Those who want her to eternally pay for her crime, are regressive vengeful, and more scary imo.


    So do you think there is any purpose to (none / 0) (#18)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:58:47 AM EST
    prison at all? You seem to be willing to let people out as soon as they have "reformed".
    In fact, you believe there is no place for punishment at all, in a modern civilized country.
    Suppose Manson completely repented of his crimes and became a model citizen. Should he have been let out immediately? By your reasoning, the answer is yes.
    The fact you find me more threatening that Van Houton pretty much proves that your views are whacked.

    Modern Civilized Country . . . (none / 0) (#30)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:38:59 PM EST
    no place for punishment -

    There really shouldn't be punishment for mental illness or addiction in a so-called civilized society!

    Approximately 80% of inmates are mentally ill, another high percentage are there due to drug addictions.

    The rate of success from imprisonment is very low.

    Rehabs are the latest trendy and magical fix.  They also have a very low success rate (but not as low as imprisonment).  Prescription drugs in lieu of alcohol or other drugs is a trade-off with severe consequences for the afflicted.

    Mental health issues have not been addressed to any great extent since probably Freud!  Mental health, as a discipline of medicine. has not improved in over thirty or forty years.

    We spend (I read once, don't know if it correct or not) approx $1M per prisoner annually without any favorable results.

    These people need real help - not profit-making entities in existence today under the veil of salvation, imo.

    Research and examination of brain functioning need to be explored in depths and extents not previously done.  Difficult to understand, how in this modern civilized society so little is known about our brain functioning - doesn't everyone find that criminal in and of itself?  

    My thoughts and opinions only.


    In the meantime, some people are (none / 0) (#32)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:51:15 PM EST
    a danger to society.
    When you have  a cure, then we can talk about getting rid of prisons.

    I agree (none / 0) (#34)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 01:06:56 PM EST
    and that is not what I am (trying) to say.

    If we don't start somewhere -- how can we ever make progress?

    Do you think our present prison system or rehab system is working? In my opinion it is a disaster is is shameful.

    Don't you think more research into the inner workings of the brain should be in line with other research projects such as cancer research, etc.?

    Yes, there are criminally insane.  But rather than putting them to death, couldn't science study them and try to learn what is so severely wrong?  No, I am not talking about Menege experiencementations.


    Fair enough. Let me answer your questions. (none / 0) (#54)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:28:05 PM EST
    I don't think our criminal justice system is working, because of the war on drugs.
    The anti-drug laws are needlessly filling prisons with harmless drug users (as well as  a small number of violent drug dealers, sure).
    I'm also opposed to 3 strikes laws, which seems totally against the principal of proportional sentencing.
    However, when it comes to actual violent offenders, prisons are the right choice.

    Pedophilia is another very troubling legal area.
    We know with great certainty that true peophiles (those who go after pre-pubescent children)
    are almost completely incorrigible, as a group.
    Therefore, the first time you catch one of these people you really need to monitor them for life.
    This goes against the notion of rehabilitation, but may be necessary.
    On the other hand, I believe the " registered sex offender" label is used FAR too often.
    This goes along with my feeling (very unpopular amongst some of the same people who want to let Van Houton out) that consensual statutory "rape" is penalized far too harshly, in many cases.


    The hope, the dream (none / 0) (#72)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 09:15:19 PM EST
    is now that so much progress has been made with DNA not only in criminal exonerations, but in identifying some dominant defective genes thereby disabling them before they go awry, there is hope that illnesses such as pedophilia can be eradicated.  However, this is all in its infancy and research funds and private grants are necessary to make significant strives.

    Mental illness is no different from other diseases plaguing society.


    The idea of using gene therapy for (none / 0) (#73)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 09:24:58 PM EST
    altering behavior has very troubling implications.

    Why? (none / 0) (#75)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 09:31:36 PM EST
    Beautiful thoughts and opinions... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:16:43 PM EST
    Untold Story...hear freakin' hear!

    To me it's as simple as erroring on the side of humantity as opposed to erroring on the side of inhumanity aka chains and cages.


    Sure ... (none / 0) (#112)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:56:42 PM EST
    The side of humanity ... innocent people who have never committed any violent.

    The side of inhumanity ... violent offenders and THIS lady certainly should be classified as one.

    Lock up the side of inhumanity. I am all for it.


    Violence (none / 0) (#114)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:59:50 PM EST
    Your continual lust for death and the most severe punishment is most certainly violent. You are not innocent, imo.

    oh .. now .. you are advocating ... (none / 0) (#117)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:04:39 PM EST
    equating OPINION with VIOLENT deeds?

    You are advocating a position of being tough on VIOLENT crimes is the SAME as a violent crime?

    You are advocating a position of the use of DUE PROCESS to lock up (and sometimes give the death penalty) to VIOLENT CRIMINALS is violent?

    I am glad your views is not mainstream.


    No (none / 0) (#119)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:10:17 PM EST
    I have no idea as to what "deeds" you have done. My point is that your comments are consistently among the most violent ever encountered at TL, imo.  

    Many who advocate the level of violence you advocate have others enact their violence for them. There is a fine line, imo, between taking pleasure in seeing someone fry in the electric chair and actually pulling the switch.


    so i guess the answer is "yes" (none / 0) (#121)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:15:57 PM EST
    You are equating "violence" to "locking up violent felons".

    If you think 3-strike laws are violent, well, i guess too bad, we are in a violent world.

    I suppose that would not be surprising if you look at human history. Lots of Japanese and Germans had to die before WW2 was over.

    If you want any consolation, at least 3-strike laws don't kill anyone. And if you want to equate my advocacy of tough criminal justice (such as the 3-strike laws) as violent, then I am sure there is a large "violent" population here in the US.


    Please show me the study that says that (none / 0) (#42)
    by coast on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:25:59 PM EST
    80% of inmates are mentally ill.  I believe that figure is grossly overstated.

    Do you think Manson should be (should have (none / 0) (#19)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:00:28 PM EST
     been) released? What about Berkowitz?
    Justify your answers.

    Manson and Berkowitz (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 01:09:52 PM EST
    Manson has had so many infractions that he has been sentenced to additional years.  So, the answer is no.

    Berkowitz - he has had eight major infractions.  Paroled on good behavior - no.

    But when someone has ZERO infractions and goes up for parole 19 times and has served more than a life sentences - my answer is an emphatic Yes


    How has she (none / 0) (#89)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:34:03 PM EST
    "served more than a life sentence"?

    Has Manson been a model prisoner . . . (none / 0) (#24)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:13:01 PM EST
    I may have missed that!

    Berkowitz establishes himself that he could be a continued threat to society.


    Berkowitz has been a model prisoner. (none / 0) (#27)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:22:00 PM EST
    He is a minister and counsels other prisoners.
    Apparently he refuses to seek parole, believing that he should pay for his crimes.
    Supposing he wanted to be released, would you be in favor?
    Would you theoretically be in favor of releasing Manson, if he reformed?

    No, he hasn't (none / 0) (#36)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 01:10:58 PM EST
    He has had eight major infractions and apples and oranges cannot be compared!

    Apparently she's getting her message out (none / 0) (#25)
    by observed on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:13:16 PM EST
    just fine from prison.
    Those people who are inspired by her message of redemption, what do they want... do they want Van Houton touring the schools to tell children it's not a good thing to join a cult and commit mass murder???

    Oh, she was just following orders (none / 0) (#46)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:32:52 PM EST
    too bad she didn't hear the call back then to be one of the few, the proud..

    And, with a little of the right kind of training, what great 'Nam Special Ops guys Tex and Charlie mighta' been..A couple Bob Kerrys in-the-rough, both of them.


    wow... (none / 0) (#64)
    by byteb on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:31:00 PM EST
    Hyperbole is not your friend.

    as you stated jeralyn, (none / 0) (#37)
    by cpinva on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 01:35:08 PM EST
    the sentence given by the courte was:

    life in prison (with the possibility of parole.)

    the key word: possibility

    this is not the same as "certainty". presumptively, had the legislature meant to make parole mandatory, they'd have done so. they didn't, so they didn't.

    i have no idea if ms. van houten remains a threat to society or not. i'm guessing not, if only because of her age. however, her crime was both heinous and premeditated; her victims have no opportunity for parole.

    no doubt she's changed during her time in prison, as we all do with age and experience. as well, mr. doyle's comment was idiotic; some people shouldn't be allowed to speak in public. none of this changes the fact that, per the law, she's not entitled to parole, merely eligible for it.

    One of the beliefs that I have changed (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:10:07 PM EST
    since I started reading/commenting on TL is regarding capital punishment. I now belief in LWOP.

    And I know that LWOP was not available for her sentence, so from a legal view point I see that she has the right to go for parole.

    But let me ask this. One of the reasons I changed to LWOP was to end the unending appeals and expense to society.

    Will we now see LWOP appealed endlessly because the person has "reformed," etc., etc.?

    Her sentence (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:21:37 PM EST
    was given, with all due respect to the crime she committed, as life WITH the possibility of parole.

    LWOP isn't applicable in this case.

    How does the law define 'the possibility' - it is left to the whim and fancy of some parole board?  Or does it have a certain standard of criteria, such as no infractions, in the decision-making?


    I understood LWOP (none / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:41:17 PM EST
    does not apply to her. My point was will it now be continually challenged. Perhaps as cruel/inhuman because the person has reformed etc., etc.

    Expensive Dithering? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:22:46 PM EST
    Well would you prefer just shooting suspects? It is quick and easy as opposed to the slow, costly wheels of prudence and justice. And of course, on the spot death, would satisfy your preferred course of natural selection, only the strong would survive..

    Well, there is NO DOUBT ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by nyrias on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:33:56 PM EST
    she murdered, right?

    She even said it is "fun".

    Suspects cannot innocent. She is not. Let her rot where she belongs.


    My point was that LWOP (none / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:44:48 PM EST
    appears to be becoming a stop on the way to even lessor penalties.

    Your LWOP has nothing to do with this case! (none / 0) (#59)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 07:41:43 PM EST
    This is in no way a melted down sentence.

    This girl, a kid, high on drugs, participated in a horrible crime in a pack-style mentality.

    She was tried in a court of law and found guilty.

    All things were considered in her sentencing, therefore, she was given life with the possibility of parole.

    She has served her time.  She has zero infractions in forty-one years.  Why is the possibility of parole not being honored as it was originally intended to be?

    In forty-one years have you not even gotten a speeding ticket?  Have you never put your trash out too early?  Have you put moving boxes out the days you weren't supposed to?  

    I could go on and on with the trifle things that might create an infraction.  This girl, through her life, was always under the watchful eye of prison guards ready to pounce if she had done anything remotely in need of disciplinary action.

    Just my thoughts and opinions.

    Again, it is sad that she cannot be released after serving her time.


    She has not finished serving her time (none / 0) (#78)
    by nyjets on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 09:57:22 PM EST
    AS said earlier, it is life with the possiblity of parole not guaranteed parole.
    COnsidering the nature of the crime, it does not matter how good a life she has lead. She is still a murder and her crimes were horrific. These facts are unchanged. Hence, she should stay in prison for life.

    I will not say I have lead a blamesless life. HOwever,unlike her, I am not a violent killer.


    Oh come on (none / 0) (#86)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:54:29 AM EST
    She rec'd the death penalty which was then reduced to life with the possibility of parole because that was the highest sentence she could receive.

    That possibility should be as good as the possibility of her victims rising from the dead.


    Failed to gain complete insight (none / 0) (#55)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:34:22 PM EST
    into her crime and its motivation?

    I could probably make a list of politicians names longer than this page to whom that judgment would apply - and be hard pressed to find even one who had ever served a day in prison or who couldn't find enough excusers to get re-elected.

    How many of those politicians (none / 0) (#56)
    by shoephone on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 07:19:57 PM EST
    stabbed a pregnant woman to death? Just curious.

    Neither Did Van Houten (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:17:18 PM EST
    Did she?

    I thought she was convicted in the murders of the LaBiancas, not Sharon Tate.


    daring grace, you are correct (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:18:11 AM EST
    she didn't stab a pregnant woman (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:16:43 AM EST
    She wasn't at the Tate murder, only the La Bianca.

    Well (none / 0) (#57)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 07:29:49 PM EST
    When you become a powerful politician, you do not have to do the killing, torture, or rape yourself, as either have to follow orders, or want to curry your favor.

    Correction (none / 0) (#58)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 07:31:23 PM EST
    As others have to either follow your orders or want to curry favor..

    Very few politicians have the power to order (none / 0) (#60)
    by shoephone on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 07:43:09 PM EST
    killings, torture, or rapes. In most cases, the only ones who do are presidents, prime ministers, and military junta leaders. I will certainly agree that people like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should have to pay for their crimes. If only the current administration saw fit to hold them accountable.

    But those crimes are made in the names of citizens. The members of the Manson Clan committed their crimes for other reasons. I grew up in L.A. during those years and remember the horror of those crimes quite well. Leslie Van Houten is paying for her part in those crimes.


    Hope You Feel Better (none / 0) (#61)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 07:53:13 PM EST
    Knowing that she is suffering excessively.

    And as I said, I am far more scared of those who would take pleasure in her being refused parole 19 times, than Van Houten.

    No contest.


    Where did I say I "take pleasure" (none / 0) (#74)
    by shoephone on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 09:30:54 PM EST
    in her continued incarceration?

    Answer: Nowhere did I say that.

    Putting words in other people's mouths again, are you?

    Believing that she deserves to remain in prison means just that.

    But, as always, you are free to whatever weird assumptions and illusions you can conjure up.


    Here (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 09:39:16 PM EST
    I grew up in L.A. during those years and remember the horror of those crimes quite well. Leslie Van Houten is paying for her part in those crimes.

    You expect me to believe that this is only a statement of fact?


    I think what shoephone expects is not that (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:07:39 PM EST
    you will concoct a scenario that works for you in the furtherance of your argument, but that you might appreciate that someone who lived in the area where these murders took place has a perhaps better grasp of just how horrific they really were.  

    It's one thing to sit and discuss these murders from the safety of our keyboards and the abstraction that time and distance provide, but quite another to have actual memories about them - which it seems - to me, anyway - was shoephone's point.

    I'm not quite sure why it seems important to you to ascribe feelings of vengeful pleasure and glee to those who believe van Houten's (and others who have committed similar crimes) sentence of life with the possibility of parole, does not, by law or right, entitle her to be released from prison, but I have seen this tactic from you before.

    The broad question for me is, what are our prisons for?  Are they supposed to be for punishment only?  Are they supposed to be a combination of punishment (you broke the law in a particularly heinous fashion, or have broken it so many times that the public should not have to suffer for your continued presence in free society) and rehabilitation (you broke the law(s) and now we need to teach you how to be a law-abiding, productive and contributing member of society, so that prison doesn't become the only kind of life you know how to live)?  If someone is mentally ill, and unable to function in society even with medication, therapy and support, don't we have some responsibility to see to their care in as humane a fashion and environment as possible?  

    Bigger question: if we don't want prison and rehabilitation/education to continue to fail, don't we have to address the multiple legal and societal reasons why people end up in this vicious cycle?  Drug laws need to be reformed in a big way, certainly, but as long as we continue to treat the least among us as if they are expendable, and not deserving of sufficient food to eat, a place to call home, and access to quality education and health care, the cycle will continue.

    As for van Houten, I don't know how it can be demonstrated that anyone who has lived in a controlled environment for over 40 years will or won't be a danger to society, nor do I know where the line is between when sufficient punishment has been exacted and when it becomes excessive.  It seems to me that if she was originally determined to have committed such a heinous crime that she was sentenced to death, and saved from death only because that penalty was declared unconstitutional, and life without the possibility of parole was not legally an option, then the "with the possibility of parole" portion of her current sentence is more or less a fiction, and is no more a possibility in the eyes of the parole board than is the chance I will sprout wings and learn to fly.


    She was granted a new trial (none / 0) (#88)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:34:03 PM EST
    because the attorney representing her at her trial was murdered.  Thereafter, she did not have adequate representation. Believe I read where the attorney selected for her, in the middle of her trial, even fell asleep in court!

    Everything was presented to the jury and judge involved in her trial.  Everything in a climate where public opinion wanted all of them hung on Main Street.

    She could have gotten life without parole.  She didn't.  She got the possibility of parole.  Why would they give it to her, in that climate, if they didn't think she should be given that chance?

    And why are they now denying her that opportunity when she has certainly paid society's punishment for her crime?

    Obviously from your last statement, the parole board should not even exist if it is that bias!  She should not ever have the pretense of parole hearings since, apparently, the parole board, as it now exists, according to your statement, is turning her sentencing into a life with no possibility of parole!


    BS (none / 0) (#92)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:19:54 PM EST
    This crime is just as abstract to shoephone as it is to anyone who has researched the gory details of the crime. I do not care if he or she lived next door.... small mindedness and the kind of lock em up mentality is selfish and fear based. And that mindset gives politicians the incentive for legislating things like three strikes rules, death penalty, and long sentences. That is part of why we are Prison Nation.

    Many actual victims of crimes, families of loved ones who have been brutally murdered, have compassion toward the perpetrator of the crime. Many of those, who are not living in fear generated by abstract thinking like shoephone exhibits, also are able to see clearly when someone is no longer a threat but an asset to society. Many of those people are advocates for release.


    Oh, give me a break (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 03:14:10 PM EST
    with the constant "BS" that stands as the subject line of so many of your comments - unless, of course, you mean to be warning people about the content that follows your declaration...

    The truth is that you aren't qualified to state with such certainty what is and is not abstract to someone you don't even know - offer an opinion about your own experience with abstract v. concrete, sure, but declare for someone else?  


    I, for one, see nothing small-minded about believing that someone who committed the crime van Houten did should be segregated from society, nor do I think that belief is evidence of a "lock 'em up" mentality.

    I fail to see what fear is generated by shoephone's - or anyone else's - opinion that van Houten should remain in prison, nor do I see that shoephone has expressed any fear regarding van Houten, but, as usual, you manufacture points of view, emotions and whatever else you need to in order to advance your argument.

    While it is true that many victims of crime, and survivors of crime victims, are able to let go of their anger, and, in some circumstances, forgive the person who committed the crime, those same individuals are no more qualified to determine when someone is or is not a threat than you are; "I forgive" is not equivalent to, nor should it necessarily translate to, "okay, you can get out of prison now."

    As I stated in my original comment, I think there is a lot wrong with a system that can't seem to offer much beyond removing people from society, and a lot wrong with a society that fails to treat people with humanity and compassion when it would do the most to keep them out of prison - but I notice you didn't bother to address any of that.

    Do you believe that there is any crime so horrible, any crime that affects so many people, that, even with model prisoner behavior, you would not be able to advocate for release at some point?  If you can think of a crime that fits that category for you, then really, this is all just a matter of opinion, of each person's own tolerance and comfort level and standards - and all you are doing is excoriating others for drawing the line in a different place than you do.

    And it certainly does not call for declaring that someone who believes differently than you do is worse than those who actually commit these violent crimes; now, that is some real BS.


    OK (none / 0) (#96)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 03:38:09 PM EST
    Give Me A Break
    Please let me know how that header bears any qualitative difference from BS? I think that your view of yourself as holier than thou, misses a lot of the behaviors you condemn in others yet do yourself. Nothing unusual with that, it is much easier to see fault with others than oneself..

    Anyway here is an apt comment lifted from a previous Van Hooten thread:

    "One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishment that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde
    I agree with the portions of your comment that express dissatisfaction with the mechanics that wind up making the US #1 in per-capita incarceration rates.

    I do not agree with your defense of anyone who either argues against compassion for people who are clearly no threat to society, and I also firmly believe that those arguments are most often based on abstract fear and the requisite satisfaction that comes with a lock em up cross reflex mentality. That is where vengeance and revenge comes from, imo. A thrashing in the dark in hope of relieving fear and anger, is what it amounts to.

    As far as particular crimes go, I believe that the sentences handed out are absurdly long, and that the politics of compassion are a loser in our society. That is part of why our prisons are overcrowded with people that pose no threat to society, and in fact people who are more than likely to make enormous contributions to our society.


    It does not matter (none / 0) (#97)
    by nyjets on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 03:54:19 PM EST
    "...and in fact people who are more than likely to make enormous contributions to our society.
    However, any good some people will contribute will be tainted by there crimes.
    I am sorry, but any good that leslie van houten may do will be tainted by the fact that she is a murder.
    And considering the heinous of her crimes, any good she may do will pale in comparison.
    She should stay in prison.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#100)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:15:24 PM EST
    Her contribution to society is doing exactly what she's doing right now.  Many here argue the good she's doing for other inmates - maybe that's what she was meant to do.

    She should get parole when Rosemary LoBianco gets parole.  Until then, why let Rosemary's death be in vain while Leslie gets a quiet respite?


    You do not care? (none / 0) (#109)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:51:49 PM EST
    Well we do.

    And I applause the 3 strike rules, death penalty and LONG sentences for VIOLENT offenders. Call it fear. Fear is a USEFUL emotion. Whenever a violent felon committed a crime again, it is a reminder that we SHOULD fear them.

    That is why fear WORKS.

    If locking up VIOLENT criminals make us a prison nation, so be it.

    Do you actually have statistics of how many victims are advocates for release or are you just making it up? Don't give me a few anecdotal examples and say it is proof. In a nation of 300M people, there are all sorts of outliers, including some that are on the side of criminals.

    Luckily that is NOT the dominant sentiment. Otherwise we wont have good laws like the 3 strike rule.


    Life with possibility of parole (none / 0) (#93)
    by lc on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:27:25 PM EST
    It's my understanding the judge didn't have the option available to give a sentence of life without parole.  It didn't exist in California at the time.  I think the judge gave VanHouten the harshest sentence he could at that time.

    Even one of her prosecutors, Stephen King (none / 0) (#102)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:45:22 PM EST
    said, at her sentencing, there would come a time when Van Houten would be paroled.

    Perhaps you have evidence they didn't have
    way back then at the time of sentencing -

    It was the intent of the court that she be paroled in the future and there is no reason why that intent is not followed through by the Parole Board.

    Bugliosi is still touting his book, 'Helter Skelter' while he makes yet another book tour on the eve of her appeal.

    The Parole Board are afraid of doing the right by the law since it might not be favorable to their own careers from a media and public relations standpoint.

    In my opinion.


    OTOH (none / 0) (#103)
    by nyjets on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:21:57 PM EST
    OTOH maybe the parole board are horrified by her crime and feel that life in prisonn is the only correct punishment.

    As in overturning a court's decision? (none / 0) (#125)
    by Untold Story on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:42:21 AM EST
    Wow! Didn't realize a parole board had such powers.

    Too bad ... (none / 0) (#110)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:52:33 PM EST
    That mistake has been rectified. We do have that option now.

    That is why we (none / 0) (#90)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:27:18 PM EST
    are different ..

    I am not comfortable around murderers who took pleasure in stabbing her victims.

    You don't seem to have a problem with that.

    Thank GOD (btw, it is an expression, i do NOT believe in GOD) our criminal justice system is not run by someone like you.


    She doesn't need to live near you (none / 0) (#95)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 03:18:29 PM EST
    she can come and live next door to me :)

    She has grown into an intelligent and dignified lady under the toughest and roughest of circumstances!  And, has kept it all together during all this time.

    What a waste of human life for her to remain behind bars!  


    wasting the life ... (none / 0) (#107)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:47:05 PM EST
    of a murderer who took pleasure in stabbing her victims is a much better choice than risking her on society.

    You can free to move closer to wherever she is incarcerated because she is not getting out.

    The moment she stabbed her victim, she wasted her life. If you want to be responsible for every wasted human life, i would advise you to go to africa (or rural china) and take up teaching. There are much more deserving "wasted" lives to be rescued than hers.


    What I have always found amazing (none / 0) (#126)
    by Untold Story on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:54:10 AM EST
    and quite an insight - believe it was the Red River Killer, who sat emotionless throughout the many victim-family impact statements - until one family member expressed his forgiveness!  In that moment this family member was able to touch a part of this killer's conscience thought to be non-existent.

    This lady, LVH, could have a tremendous impact on young teenagers pre-disposed to gang involvement and the pack mentality that accompanies such involvement.  There is no better method, imo, than hearing it straight 'from the horse's mouth'.


    It does not matter (none / 0) (#127)
    by nyjets on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:59:00 AM EST
    Because the Red River Killer developed a conscience because someone forgave him, does that mean he should be set free? And how long would the killer be touched by that act.
    Forgiveness does not mean the criminal should not be punished.
    LVH needs to answer for her crimes and and that means staying in prison.

    Simply (none / 0) (#128)
    by Untold Story on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:28:51 AM EST
    In life we need a positive and a negative in order to connect!

    My apologies (none / 0) (#62)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:14:40 PM EST
    I meant to say I could probably make a list of politicians names longer than this page to whom that judgment would apply whose crimes, particularly war crimes, have directly resulted in the public torturing, maimings and deaths of thousands if not hundreds of thousands or in the case of Mr. Bush (although Mr Obama is trying to catch up) millions of people, most of them defenseless children and women - and be hard pressed to find even one who had ever served a day in prison or who couldn't find enough excusers to get re-elected.

    And of course I forgot to include all the excusers who are culpable as moral accessories both before and after the fact.

    You can put it down as a typo. Sorry. I must be having a off day.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#66)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:35:27 PM EST
    Well, he's only been in office (none / 0) (#67)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:39:12 PM EST
    for a year and a half. Give him time.

    lol (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:42:25 PM EST
    Good one

    I must be really having a off day. (none / 0) (#65)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:34:57 PM EST
    I forgot that the people who write the checks to pay for hired hit men are equally guilty of the crimes too, for example when last Thursday after hours when nobody was paying attention Pelosi & the Democrats were forced to cheat to fund war, since they couldn't bring themselves to go kill children and women themselves up close and personally, and they made sure that the Pentagon's budget will remain, as it has been for a long time,  higher than than all state governments combined spend for the health, education, welfare, and safety of 308 million Americans - at least $880 billion - more than all the state governments collect in taxes.

    But at least we don't have to worry about Leslie Van Houten...


    No Worry, and Besides (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:41:47 PM EST
    It would be bad for those in the jail business to let someone out who is successfully reformed. People would get the wrong idea. Very bad for business.

    ms. van houten is exactly (none / 0) (#83)
    by cpinva on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:58:28 AM EST
    the type of criminal who should be behind bars: guilty of a premeditated murder, with no extenuating circumstances. as opposed to a non-violent pot smoker.

    i would agree that there should be objective standards for determining whether or not someone should be released on parole, but that is a matter for the legislature to attend to.


    Edger (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:17:35 AM EST
    there are dozens of threads about politicians here, can you let this one be about Leslie Van Houten please? Thank you.

    Of course, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#84)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:07:18 AM EST
    I was just showing that many apply a standard to Van Houten that they at the same time excuse people who commit other equal or more serious crimes from.

    And that .. (none / 0) (#91)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:30:18 PM EST
    excuses Van Houten of her crime?

    Did anyone here say that? (none / 0) (#98)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 03:56:54 PM EST
    Does parole = excusing?

    In some ways it does (none / 0) (#99)
    by nyjets on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:01:58 PM EST
    It says, you commit a serious crime, but you have served enough time so it is okay.
    In this case, considering the heinous nature of her crime, she should die in prison. However if she gets out on parole, it would be essentially excusing her of her crime.

    Personally (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:42:02 PM EST
    I rather have her free than you.

    I will admit i have made mistakes in my life (none / 0) (#104)
    by nyjets on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:23:06 PM EST
    I will admit I have made mistakes in my life, but unlike the woman in question I am not a murder or a violent offenders. Therefore, I should be free. Unlike her however.

    As I said. (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:24:33 PM EST
    I rather have her free than you.

    And lucky .. (none / 0) (#106)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:42:55 PM EST
    it is NOT up to you.

    You would like to lock up people who have a different opinion. And in this case, someone who would NOT like to see a criminal go free.

    Well, even I would not advocate locking YOU up just because you are on the side of criminals.

    Feel free to wish me being locked up too. I think you need that fantasy.


    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:51:05 PM EST
    No one is advocating locking you up because you have a different opinion. I would agree with Edger in that you appear to be more dangerous than Van Hooten, and if there were a choice between and freeing Van Hooten today, I would also opt for the latter.

    Of course that is not a possibility and of course a form of hyperbole meant only in the hope of waking you up from your  dream of blood lust, revenge and cleansing the world from what you perceive as dirt.  


    Me dangerous? (none / 0) (#111)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:54:16 PM EST
    If my view is dangerous to criminals. GOOD.

    And if mine is a dream, i guess i am living in my dream world of 3-strike laws and the death penalty.

    Do you mean that your world of every criminal making excuses and going free is real and mine is the illusion?


    In all fairness (none / 0) (#122)
    by nyjets on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:53:43 PM EST
    Wanting a murder to spend the rest of his/her life in prison does not mean that a person is full of blood lust.
    People like myself believe that some acts are so heinous they do not deserve to every walk free. This is such a case. I do not want her to die in prison out of blood lust. I want to her die in prison because IMO, that would be justice.

    "I want to her die" (none / 0) (#123)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:38:55 PM EST
    says it all. You're very clear.

    To be clearer (none / 0) (#124)
    by nyjets on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:09:10 PM EST
    I did  not say I want her to die.
    I said I want her to die in prison.
    At the risk of using a cliche, we are all going to die. Wishing some to die right this second would be counter-productive.

    Fantasy? No.... (none / 0) (#113)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:56:51 PM EST
    If I thought you were capable of understanding why I might explain it to you.  

    But then, if you were capable of understanding why then I wouldn't need to explain it to you.


    What is to be explained? (none / 0) (#115)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:00:54 PM EST
    Your statement

    "I rather have her free than you." directed at nyjets, is pretty clear.

    You wish a murderer, who took joy in her crime, to be free instead of a forum poster who has a different opinion from you.

    What is to explain?


    Well Actually (none / 0) (#116)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:04:31 PM EST
    Talking about explanations, why did you change your screen name from narius?  problems with the "law".... lol

    To get around ... (none / 0) (#118)
    by nyrias on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:07:11 PM EST
    intolerance of free speech and different opinions?

    I never wish for any of you to be locked up or shut up, no matter how much i disagree with you.


    What is to explain? (none / 0) (#120)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:12:30 PM EST
    Nothing. The same applies to you. If I thought you were capable of understanding why I might explain it to you.

    Leslie Van Houton release (none / 0) (#131)
    by observer47 on Fri Aug 20, 2010 at 01:03:15 PM EST
    The crimes committed by the Manson family horrible to say the least. I have read all the books available and noticed that if there was any that deserved a second chance it was Leslie Van Houton.She is always mentioned as part of the Tate murders, and she wasn't even there. Granted she was involved in the LaBianca, but her role was not anything like the others involved. If the DA would off thought that it was, she never would have been out on the street for the 7 months between the trials. When her parole hearings come up there should only be the mention of the crime that she was involved in and not the Tate murder that she wasn't. The La Bianca family by all means should should say their piece.
    The chance off parole was part off the ruling by the judge 40 years ago,this should still be the law, when one has as spend over 40 years in the prison system and has been a model prison inmate, she should be allowed to another chance to prove that she is what many people believe she truly is (reformed). Prisons are now called a correction facility and I believe this means just that, correcting the mistake that was made by a young girl, brain washed and on drugs.This is not an excuse, but the board stating that Leslie hasn't come to terms of what she did 40 years is an excuse for revenge and folks this is what it is, admit it. It's obvious if you look at this logically and without hate in your heart, she should be paroled.Like it or not.