Gov. Jerry Brown D-Calif. has once again denied parole for Leslie Van Houten, the youngest follower of late murderous cult leader Charles Manson who blamed herself at her parole hearing Friday for letting him control her life.
Brown said in his decision that Van Houten, 68, still laid too much of the blame on Manson, who died two months ago at 83.
Brown acknowledged that Van Houten’s youth at the time of the crime, her more than four decades as a model prisoner and her abuse at the hands of Manson make it worth considering her release. While in prison, Van Houten has received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and was an “exceptional” tutor, Brown wrote.
“However,” he wrote in his decision “these factors are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate she remains unsuitable for parole.”
Van Houten is serving life for the murders of wealthy grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, when she was 19. They were stabbed a day after other Manson followers killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four other people in Los Angeles. Van Houten was not with the group during murder of Tate, director Roman Polanski’s wife and four others.
Van Houten’s attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, said Brown’s decision shows an unprecedented and unlawful reliance to deny parole based on the circumstances of the crime, rather than the inmate’s fitness.
“We’re going to challenge this in court,” Pfeiffer said. “I expect the courts to uphold the law and allow her to be released.”
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SOURCE: Fox News