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R.I.P. Susan Atkins

Susan Atkins, 61, has died of brain cancer in a California prison hospital.

Atkins was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008 as she neared her fourth decade of incarceration at the California Institute for Women in Corona. The cancer caused paralysis and the loss of one leg.

Convicted of eight murders, Atkins served 38 years of a life sentence, which made her the longest-serving prisoner among women currently held in the state's penitentiaries, said Thornton. That distinction now falls to Patrcia Krenwinkle, who was convicted along with Atkins for the Tate-LaBianca murders

Atkins was serving a sentence of life, not life without parole. She was denied parole for the final time early this month. My view: [More...]

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Dying, Paralyzed Amputee Susan Atkins Denied Parole

California's parole board yesterday denied parole for Susan Atkins. Atkins has served more than 40 years in prison for her role in the Sharon Tate/LaBianca murders. She has served more time than any other female inmate in California history.

She is dying of cancer, paralyzed and several years ago had a leg amputated. She's no threat to society. Susan Atkins was sentenced to life with parole -- not life without parole. They are not the same thing. [More...]

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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...]

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Manson Follower Susan Atkins Dying, May Get Released From Prison

Susan Atkins has spent 37 years in prison for her role in the horrific murders of Sharon Tate and Gary Hinman. I've written a few times about why she should be paroled (same for Leslie Van Houton.)

Atkins is dying of brain cancer and had a leg amputated. With less than six months to live, she has received initial approval for compassionate release so she can die outside of prison.

Even former Manson prosecutor Vicent Bugliosi does not object:

"She has paid substantially, though not completely, for her horrendous crimes. Paying completely would mean imposing the death penalty," Bugliosi said. "But given that she has six months to live, and the loss of her leg, I don't have an objection to her being released."

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