Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bug Says Yes But Debra Say NO

Sharon Tate's murderer could be released from prison soon

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10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Press-Enterprise

The Manson family girl who helped stab Sharon Tate 16 times almost 40 years ago, refusing the pregnant actress' pleas for mercy, could soon be freed from prison.

Terminally ill Susan Atkins is being considered for "compassionate release," said state Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton.

The Corrections Department is reviewing the request, and, ultimately, a state sentencing court would have the final say, Thornton said. It is a process that could take more than a month.

Atkins, 60, is being held at the California Institution for Women near Corona while being treated at a local hospital. State officials have declined to disclose the nature of her illness.

"I don't want to seem like a heartless creature, but in all my years, I never considered this could happen," said Debra Tate, the actress' sister and only surviving relative. "This is a serial killer and what kind of mercy did she show her victims? When you torture someone, you have no compassion. How do you ask others to give it to you? It is her duty, in order to pay for her crimes, to die in prison."

James W. Whitehouse, Atkins' husband and attorney, did not return calls for comment Thursday.

Compassionate releases are rare -- only 16 percent of requests in 2007 were granted.

Under state law, terminally ill inmates can be considered for early release so they can die with and at the expense of loved ones. Dying inmates must meet certain criteria, Thornton said. They must have six months or less to live and must not to be a threat to society, she said. They must also have committed family members willing and able to care for them.

In 2007, requests were submitted for 60 dying inmates, and prison officials recommended only 29 of those be freed, said Thornton. Of those 29, the state recommended 20 be released, she said. In the end, sentencing court judges approved the release of 10 terminally ill prisoners.

A diagnosis and evaluation of Atkins was conducted by prison officials, who concluded she met the requirements, Thornton said. If the Corrections Department recommends compassionate release, the Board of Parole would review the request and could recommend it to a sentencing court. The Board of Parole is next scheduled to meet July 15, the soonest the board could review the matter, said Thornton.

Once the request reaches the court, it would have 10 days to rule.

On Aug. 8, 1969, Atkins took part in the cult killings of five people at the Benedict Canyon home of Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski.

Tate was 8 ½ months pregnant and begged for her child's life, Atkins confessed at a 1993 parole hearing.

"I told her I didn't have mercy for her," Atkins told the parole board. Atkins and another man stabbed Tate 16 times in the chest and back, and Atkins wrote on the wall in Tate's blood.

Atkins' 1971 conviction in connection with eight murders drew a death sentence, which later was commuted to a term of life in prison during a moratorium on the death penalty.

Atkins has been denied parole 12 times, said Thornton.

"She has been disciplinary free for most of her incarceration," Thornton said. Over 37 years in prison, she has worked as a laundress, teacher and clerk. She has taught pilates, written a book and been involved in religions of several faiths, said corrections officials.

"Of all the women currently incarcerated in California, she has been in prison the longest," Thornton said.

Haunted by the brutality of her sister's death, Tate said she struggled to find compassion for the convicted killer.

"She showed no compassion. She told my sister as she slit her throat that she didn't (care) for her or her unborn baby," Tate said.

"If I could, I would say to her that I would pray for forgiveness on her soul at her moment of death when she has paid her debt to society. At that point, I'll show compassion and pray for her soul."


zoomjaw said...

While I am sympathetic to the illness of anyone,I fail to see what difference Susans illness has on this case.Does a life sentence imply dying in your sleep of old age?I think not.

Heaven said...

If her family is allowed to visit the place she's in then she will be dying with her family around her..

I too am sympathetic to her illness and to her loved ones but I'm also sympathetic to the victims families...

Pristash said...

Creepy podcast. Sure hope that's not the Col's disembodied voice.

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

Susan has pretty much been forgiven by The Powers That Be here on Earth.

"To me, Susan has always been an angel. Her giving to life has always been a paragon. She never saw herself in truth, because her fears ruled her personal life. I saw her from my point of view. She thinks she did bad, and she punished herself. I thought she did God’s will. She and others saw things she did as bad.

"I don’t think that she ever really saw the real me. Her fear was too great. I could never tell her I thought she and the others handled that court case and the episode well, or paramount. And after all the lies fell away from it, her trying to stop the weather paradigm and set ATWA’s holy war to fight pollution. We were cut off by the people who took control of her fear and then played her and others away from our rebirth, and played them out of the pocket for Oprah and other rock and roll stars and preachers, etc.

"She will never die!

"Everyone in the "Family’s" marks (X, solar wheel) and colors circle knows Susan, and all know her past records, and how she has treated us. There is no need for judgments outside of what we already know.

"I’m not in my court room, and I don’t have my robe, so I’m not judging, I’m just telling you."

This was accompanied by a polite request for me to stop dogging on Susan, especially now that she is so very ill.

jm30 said...

I think leaving her in the clink is just a stubborn attempt at maintaining a silly principle. Not that I am excusing her for her past deeds...but a one-legged terminal cancer patient going to pose a serious threat to anybody? God, if she tries to attack somebody, they can just trip her or something.

Let her go "home" (like she has one outside of the prison) and let her die.

Enough already.

Brian Davis said...

Should the fact that Susan Atkins is now terminally ill even be relevant here ?

Is her being a threat to society relevant ?

And even if she has been forgiven,
does that even mean much in regards to Atkins being released ?

Does Susan Atkins still not owe her life or freedom until the end ?

Does time erase, negate or diminish what Susan Atkins did ?

I am not judging I am asking.

What is right here ?

Susan Atkins is a multple murderer.

She participated in killing more lives than she can repay with her just one life.

Is Susan Atkins finishing out her life in prison at the very least, right ? Regardless of her being ill, a threat or forgiven.

I am trying to find compassion for Susan Atkins but I am not seemingly able.

As soon as I try and think of Susan laying there dying, probably not even knowing who she is anymore, I immediately think of this quote:

"Look, bitch, I don't care a thing about you. You're going to die and there's nothing you can do about it." - Susan Atkins

With All Respect, Thanks

Marliese said...

I'll be very surprised if the state grants her request.
Wonder what happened with the transfer to the Chowchilla medical facility? No room?

Heaven, May I email you please? Or you me if you have an address? Thanks. (Sorry Col...using your blog to send a personal message, just this once.)

AC, exactly what earthly ptb?

Heaven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

"AC, exactly what earthly ptb?" asked Marliese.

One is one is none.

augusteigth1969 said...

Debra says Susan slit Sharons throat? That's a new one.

60skid said...

augusteigth1969 said...
Debra says Susan slit Sharons throat? That's a new one.

Debra lies Sharon throat was not slit.
You can read her autopsy record different places all over the net.

deadwoodhbo said...

Wow i missed some awesome posts.As always thanking you Col!.

agnostic monk said...

Hi AC, are we to assume that is code for the man himself? I'm assuming that this part...

"Everyone in the "Family’s" marks (X, solar wheel) and colors circle knows Susan, and all know her past records, and how she has treated us. There is no need for judgments outside of what we already know. a reference to Susan's original grand jury snitching?

I have to wonder if somewhere, underneath all the protests and anger and claims of innocence, there is a tiny speck of Charlie's soul that feels somewhat responsible for the ruined lives of his old friends. They followed him and his magical flute through the woods and straight into Hell. Now Sadie is literally on her deathbed. Does it pain him at all?

agnostic monk said...

I can't believe how much press Susan's possible release is getting. Every time I go online I see a story about it without even looking for it. This video was on the front page of Yahoo this afternoon. I had no idea Diane Sawyer interviewed Susan so recently as 2002. I thought Susan wanted nothing to do with these interviews...

Brian Davis said...

Agnostic Monk,

Yes, I saw and was about to post the very same link to that Dianne Sawyer.

I too did not know how recently Sawyer had interviewd Susan.

I know there is a law against Cali convicts from doing TV and electronic interviews. Was that law in effect at the time of this interview ? Just wondering.

It looked like the pieces with susans husband was recent.


A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

Agnostic: I'm just the messenger, your interpretation is as good as mine.

The question about guilt / responsibility / pain -- if I gain five pounds, can I blame whoever made me eat too much cheesecake?

Brian: I guess the Constitution has been suspended by the CDoCR for inmates, especially that part about free speech.

Marliese said...

Agnostic, thanks for the link. Very, very interesting. Brian...same question, how was ABC news able to do this interview? I think the law has been in place since the mid to late 1990's.

She spends a lot of time looking up while she speaks...searching for the appropriate answer maybe?

Interesting timing with her compassionate release petition...the interview is five years old, still the law was in place at the time, so it's been on hold til someone wanted to call attention to her situation? Regardless, how was she given permission to sit down with Diane Sawyer in 2003?

Interesting brief footage of the prison, and Whitehouse too.
What a sad, sad life.

AC, nevermind.

Heaven, Thanks.

angeLos said...

Yes agnostic monk

thanks for the link,

amazing...!!! ,

it points out, in my humble opinion, how CM has been a liar and a detrimental entity in SA life and many many others...

agnostic monk said...

I'm not talking about "blame," AC. I'm wondering if the man feels even a sliver of responsibility within himself for the fate of so many of his friends. We all know he was in a leadership position with these people. They looked up to him and adored him. The girls were crazy about him and would do almost anything for him. That fact cannot be ignored. It's just there.

And I wonder if he feels anything at all about the lives they so willingly flushed down the toilet for his nonsense, or if he's even capable of feeling anything about it other than how it's inconvenienced ***him***.

jm30 said...

"Look, bitch, I don't care a thing about you, your brain cancer, or your stump. You're going to die and there's nothing you can do about it."

grimtraveller said...

That was harsh.