Manson follower's latest compassionate release request denied
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10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, July 22, 2008
A Los Angeles County judge has turned down the latest bid by former Charles Manson follower Susan Atkins to get a compassionate prison release before she dies from brain cancer while under guard at a Riverside-area hospital.
The state parole board declined last week to urge a discharge for Atkins, 60. Her attorney had filed a petition with the judge seeking the same relief.
Atkins was convicted of killing eight people during a bloody murder spree in the summer of 1969.
One of her victims was actress Sharon Tate, 8 ½ months pregnant, who begged Atkins to spare the life of her child before Atkins stabbed her to death.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza cited the parole board's decision in issuing his one-page denial on Monday.
"This court is without authority to grant a compassionate release unless there is a positive recommendation by the secretary (of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) or Board of Parole Hearings," Espinoza wrote.
Calls seeking comment from Atkins' attorney Eric Lampel were not returned Tuesday. Calls also were not returned from Atkins' husband James W. Whitehouse, who has acted as her attorney as well.
"We are in agreement with the judge's decision," LA County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequeira said Tuesday. Sequeira testified on behalf of his office against compassionate release for Atkins at last week's Sacramento hearing.
Atkins, who spent decades incarcerated at the California Institution for Women in Chino, was hospitalized March 18 and was receiving care at the Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley, Lampel said last week.
Atkins' medical care has reportedly cost the state $1.15 million. Additionally, guarding her has cost $308,000, according to the state Department of Corrections.
Atkins has been denied parole 13 times since her first hearing in 1976. Her most recent hearing was in 2005.
Atkins was one of the top members of the murderous "Family" led by Manson in Southern California.
She is serving a life sentence on her murder convictions linked to the cult of young men and women who followed Manson's orders to commit mayhem that Manson called "Helter Skelter," after a Beatles song.
Atkins has long claimed she reformed during her years in prison.
The Col has some thoughts----
1- The very fact that Sadie keeps doing EVERYTHING possible for an early release shows me at least that she doesn't deserve one.
2- I wonder how much of this is a lie- that once she got out she would be "AHA, now I am free" and then live to 75.
3- Why does the press repeat things like the expenses when one, they don't sound true to me and two, they don't matter anyway? I meanif they mattered we could say "It costs $xxx to keep Charlie in jail, let his old ass out."