Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sadie Doesn't Stop

Manson follower's latest compassionate release request denied




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10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, July 22, 2008
By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY and PAIGE AUSTIN
The Press-Enterprise

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.

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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.

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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."

31 comments:

FrankM said...

Col:

I don't quite follow you when you say:

The very fact that Sadie keeps doing EVERYTHING possible for an early release shows me at least that she doesn't deserve one.

Turn this round. If she kept doing everything possible to prevent an early release then that would show me (Frank) that she doesn't deserve to be released.

Would you agree? If so, how can both statements be true?

Or have I missed something here?

Frank

jm30 said...

Col...good questions as always. The fact that she seems to be going to the mat to gain this early release has made me wonder at times just how "out of it" she really is. What exactly is driving all of this?

As far as the money thing goes, I disagree with your logic. If it is true that Sadie is almost non-responsive, can utter a sentence a day, can't sit up, and on the verge of death...etc....etc., then I think the money thing is an issue. Why have taxapayers fund the around-the-clock watch on a vegetable?

But, this also goes back to your first point. Just how much of this is a charade? I would think that before going along with any release, the state would demand verification of the graveness of her situation by way of an independent medical professional.

I will agree, though, that the effort to gain this release reached a more feverous pitch than I expected.

Of course, we'll know how legitimate all of this is (was) in another six months or so. If Sadie's still with us to celebrate the 4th of July 2009, well then....

ColScott said...

Frank
After 8 murder convictions I would shut the fuck up and be happy to be alive. THEN if someone asked I would says sure, let me go if you think I am worthy.
Instead she tells US that she is worthy. Fuck her.

ColScott said...

jm30

The money is irrelevant. If she was just a brain stem on life support, she should die in fucking prison for what she did. She escaped the death penalty. If that costs $10 or $10m, the system has decreed that she should stay in prison. The money is not important in the discussion- it is a smokescreen. Otherwise ANYONE could argue it.

dgreek said...

That's assuming she even knows what's going on. In final stages of brain cancer you can be pretty out of it, even comatose.

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

Um, boys and girls, she's gonna cost the government money, (meaning us, the taxpayers) regardless of where she is physically located. If she's out, she would be on assistance including Medicaid, in a charity ward of a hospital, in a nursing home or at home with assisted living nurses. Somehow I doubt that her family has THAT good of an insurance policy for her.

I think we as a society should free her purely as a gesture of compassion. Not only towards her as an elderly patient, but for her family.

(Even if Mr. Whitehouse is currently on "Ace's Deep Doo-doo List".)

That is what makes America different from someplace like Darfur.

jm30 said...

Col...now that you have clarified your absolutist position on the issue, I can respectfully agree to disagree. But at least you are firm in your convictions. I feel more pragmatic about it from a fiscal perspective.

Heaven said...

Thank you Col..

=)

zoomjaw said...

I still don't see what all of the fuss is about.Did everyone think all lifers die of "old age" in their sleep?I don't believe Sadie was ever that close to her "real" family.

Pristash said...

A couple of things:

By my count, this is the only request for compassionate release made by SA per se. The first requests were made by her doctors -because of the grave condition she is in plus the fact that her family has the resources to care for her on their own dime - who all apparently are on the payroll of the California Department of Corrections, so like if she is faking it we have a whole new conspiracy to ponder and post on blogs about.

I mean, really, people, I know this case makes us all crazy but let's all take a deep breath and get a grip.

Col, I'm not sure I quite get your position. SA was sentenced to death...the DP was ruled unconstitutional...she was then re-sentenced to life with the possibility of parole (or was it 7 years to life with the possibility of parole?) Anyway, she is going to die soon anyway. As for the money vs. the principle, I quote:

"Sometimes standing on rigid ceremony is a waste of everyone's time and money. Requiring a cancer victim to die in prison on the public's dime for symbolic purposes does nothing for public safety or crime prevention, and we have better things to spend the money on in these difficult times." Sorry, Col, I'm sure you and your supermodel wife are raking in the bucks, but not so for alot of the rest of us. Aren't the property taxes pretty high out there in SoCal? Anyway, the money is no small thing, and why does it not ring true to you? When my mother, a cancer victim died at 76 a few years back, you would not believe the hospital bill. All covered, but my God the money spent on her was freaking unbelievable, and she didn't need round the clock guards either who all, by the way, are pulling down overtime to be there.

Principles are dandy. I am reminded of one of the most often used reasons supporters of the death penalty use: It is a deterrent to crime. Ok, if that's true, then let's just make it the punishment for EVERYTHING! That oughta work!

I'm sorry, folks, but why we as a society continue this charade of a parole system is beyond me. Anyone sentenced to the possibility of parole should be able to earn their parole regardless of their crime. To have it, and have people fulfill all the obligations for meeting parole, over a period of DECADES, but then be denied because, well, you were hangin with that scary Manson cat, is just wrong. SA wasn't that far off in her political prisoner lawsuit, in my opinion.

Jesus Christ, she has spent almost 39 years in prison, yes deservedly so, but after all those years, and a bedridden one legged brain cancer victim can't get parole, then it truly is vengeance more than justice we are interested in.

Ok, have at it! I can take it, I promise.

Pristash said...

Ok, clarification: It's her Doctors that are on the payroll of the California Department of Corrections, not SA's family.

Thank you.

Marliese said...

Thanks, Col. Especially for the thoughts part.

Marliese said...

Re the expenses, if she's no longer undergoing surgery and cancer therapy or being treated by specialists, and no longer in an acute care hospital...rumour has it she's in a skilled nursing facility, just what is costing millions? Not hospice nursing care and pain meds. Are the state guards paid any differently than if their shift was at the prison?

I prefer what Jay Sebring's nephew said...that speaking of this in terms of cost efficiency "trivializes the lives of the victims" and the lifelong impact of these murders on their families...

Marliese said...

Pristash said...
Ok, clarification: It's her Doctors that are on the payroll of the California Department of Corrections, not SA's family.




Does that mean her doctors are contracted by the state to provide care to inmates, and they would be paid no matter which prisoner they're treating?

ColScott said...

pristash
I was in NY all last week and drank a lot so I may not be making sense.
My point I will try to clarify.

The only way I would consider letting Stumpy out is if she really was contrite. Not ill- who cares? Old people die in prison all the time. Money is NOT an issue- neither is retribution. If she were fucking sorry for what she did and could convince me I would consider letting her out. Maybe.

So they I say to myself, "Self, how could she show me she was contrite" and self answers- "By not trying to get out every fucking chance she gets. By not filing writs and appeals and shit. YES she is in prison and yes it sucks and yes it is because of her notoriety- but I would consider letting her out if she were contrite and bitch is SO NOT CONTRITE.

Is that clearer?

And anyway it is just me- I don't make the decision anyways.

PS- some of you seem to feel you need to be polite and shit to me- I appreciate it- but be yourselves- I had to limit member ship because ass monkeys would come over here and start shit- at one point Mark Turner sent vandals etc. No one has ever been banned from here for disagreeing with me. Some loser named Jempud tried to make it her blog and she got kicked out but feel free to hate me. Just be contrite afterwards!

Heaven said...

Oh Col, you know we love you lol

I sent you a couple of things in your email while you were away...

Did you bring me back anything from New York?? lol

=)

mpaul26 said...

I dunno, but it seems to me that this shouldn't be about our personal feelings about 'Susan Atkins'

Putting people through the absurd cruelty of a parole process with no real chance of release just further discredits an already debased 'justice' system.

How can you win before the parole board?

Prisoner:"Contrite!"

Everybody else:"Liar!"

... it's a preordained farce.

I don't think the State should respond to cruelty with cruelty. Vengeance isn't Justice when it comes from the State, it's vicarious cruelty."Dirty hands" for all of us.

With contrition,

Paul

Marliese said...

Pristash said... I'm sorry, folks, but why we as a society continue this charade of a parole system is beyond me. Anyone sentenced to the possibility of parole should be able to earn their parole regardless of their crime. To have it, and have people fulfill all the obligations for meeting parole, over a period of DECADES, but then be denied because, well, you were hangin with that scary Manson cat, is just wrong. SA wasn't that far off in her political prisoner lawsuit, in my opinion.



That's not the law though. The law is that parole can be denied "based solely on the commitment offense" so long as the parole board cites "evidence of aggravating facts and circumstances that cannot be argued in court" ...the facts and circumstances of the commitment crimes.

Pristash said...

Yes, so I am reading Greg King's book (for the first time, yes I am embarrased)and it has some summaries of the psychiatric reports that go with the parole hearings and Tex and SA don't come out well at all. This was back in the 90s so I don't know if anything may have changed of late.

Another thing is, and this is something I really don't like on principle, is that Doris Tate worked to have the law changed in California so that if the parole board does indeed let someone out, the Governor has the ability to unilaterally over rule and deny the parole. Call me crazy but I am a consensus kind of guy and if the board was ever convinced but then one person felt it not politically expedient, let's say, in this case Gov Terminator as AC calls him , then are we really living in the home of the free? Sounds more like the Chinese Politburo to me.

And Col, because I live here, I too drink alot in NY. All the time.

FrankM said...

Col says:

After 8 murder convictions I would shut the fuck up and be happy to be alive. THEN if someone asked I would says sure, let me go if you think I am worthy.
Instead she tells US that she is worthy. Fuck her.


After 37 years in the slammer I think most of us would do anything at all to get out; grasp any straw, however flimsy, or any legal recourse or loophole, however tenuous. Something to do with the survival instinct.

And yes, I do agree with others here that the parole system is totally fucked up. It's clear that parole is never going to happen for anyone in this celebrity-tainted case, so why do they bother having parole board hearings at all? Moving a moment from Susan to LVH (another of Col's favorites), when Kay says: "Van Houten's reputation as an ideal prisoner should not affect the decision [of the parole board}", he is albeit ironically nicely summing up the pointlessness of the parole process.

In June 2002 Judge Krug ruled that the Board of Prison Terms 'needed to explore Van Houten's prison behavior in greater depth and provide information on what she must do to win her freedom'. Hooray! A sudden and unexpected breath of common sense. But what happened there? Zilch.

I have great difficulty accepting that the politics of all this should be allowed to outweigh the legality. Back in the 60's when I was a student we used to fight against this sort of thing - now my generation is in its own sixties we just accept it. Can it be that the baby boomers have become soft and spineless and today’s students have no ideals? Should I look out my combat boots (about the only bit of clothing that will still fit me)?

I hate to be seen as a supporter of Susan or LVH (and am emphatically not) but I do despise the crazy system that allows them (and particularly Leslie) to go through these regular parole board hearing farces whose outcome is so hopeless. Its so, well, un-American.

Frank

Marliese said...

Pristash said... I am a consensus kind of guy and if the board was ever convinced but then one person felt it not politically expedient, let's say, in this case Gov Terminator as AC calls him , then are we really living in the home of the free? Sounds more like the Chinese Politburo to me.




Well, speaking of consensus and the home of the free, California's governor doesn't have the power without the authority to do so, which was given to him by voters of California approving the amendment to the state constitution allowing the governor final say.

Pristash said...

Just another reason, Marliese, that I am glad I don't pay taxes to the Great State of California.

Marliese said...

I can sure understand your opinion and feeling that way if you don't like the politics of California and its resident voters, Pristash. :)

Otoh, re tax rates, I believe New York State generally ranks higher on average than the Great State of California, especially in property tax. We certainly wouldn't be able to afford the taxes on our property if it were taxed at NYS rates, then again it wouldn't have the same assessed value either.

Our sneaky little per gallon gas taxes are a bitch though, no thanks to our former no parole ever if you kill someone governor that was booted, Gray Davis. And we love our cars and freeways. :)

deadwoodhbo said...

Uncle Charlie can come live with me:P Hi heaven good to see you have a great weekend.Wheres Brian?well this is for you Brian hehe
Great post Col thank you.
Oh and please stop calling atkins a manson follower its not so.

FrankM said...

California's governor doesn't have the power without the authority to do so, which was given to him by voters of California approving the amendment to the state constitution allowing the governor final say.

Can't resist the temptation to quote Aristotle and/or Joseph de Maistre (sorry, Marliese), who said that "Every nation has the government it deserves." For nation here, read State - but the maxim is surely the same.

But then I'm on the Eastern Seaboard. Although NY State is not without blame in this respect either - and like Californians, if we knew what the people we elect would get up to we probably wouldn't elect them.

Though how anyone would vote for the Terminator is beyond me. Perhaps its all that fresh air and surf.

Frank

Pristash said...

Hey, Marliese, you know what? I just thought about it and realized that I don't even know if NY State has that same law or not about the Gov having the final say for parole. It's possible we do, and yes I pay god awful high property taxes and income taxes to the Great State of New York, so I guess I owe the people of California an apology for thinking my state system superior.

Sometimes I talk out of the wrong side of my body.

Pristash said...

More on the cost of caring for Susan Atkins:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=5420251&page=1

LilMagil said...

Frank says;
"After 37 years in the slammer I think most of us would do anything at all to get out; grasp any straw, however flimsy, or any legal recourse or loophole, however tenuous. Something to do with the survival instinct."

Frank, for sure, (I know, you know this already) but ...Col's point was she has jumped at every opportunity for Parole since she
1st became eligible..not just after these 37 years. I know it's not her requesting it this time (no doubt). I, at this time am not sure where I stand after reading so much from both points of view. I guess if we put the $ issue aside... then definitely she serves life, regardless of her illness. I'm good with that. I do wonder tho, what opinion there is on Pat? I know there is a pending parole hearing(sometime this year?)..but my question is, to all, didn't Pat become "contrite"? by not attending her hearings, accepting her responsibility? Perhaps, if we were to follow this logic...if she's offered release is that Ok in everyone's opinion?'Lil

FrankM said...

Lil

I think the problem is the whole nature of the parole system. If someone is given a sentence that includes parole (however theoretical the possibilities might be), why would you want to think badly of them for attending a parole board?

You say jumping at every opportunity. I don't see it this way. If she is given a sentence that has the word parole in it, then is she not just exercising her right in attending the parole hearing and presenting herself in what she sees as the best light possible? The opposite seems to imply some huge moral absolute that would have her refraining from doing so for some greater good.

I agree these are not easy questions - moral issues rarely are unless you are deeply religious - but I still feel that if a sentence was handed down with the possibility of parole you can't hold it against a prisoner who attempts to use the hearing to obtain their release. Otherwies IMHO you're playing God.

No offense intended.

Frank

LilMagil said...

No offense taken. It's a good discussion & there are no absolutes. I would suggest Pat not bother to attend her upcoming hearing...if there ever was a smidgen of a chance before...there is no chance in hell now. Never gonna happen.(not even if she's on her death bed). The only purpose the hearings seem to serve, is publicity ops for Debra at this point.

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

It's a darned if you do, darned if you don't situation. One doesn't attend ones parole hearing, it looks as though one has an attitude problem. Which can not only result in negative consequences regarding parole, but in loss of programming points, and possibly counselling and pysch profiles and other unpleasant side effects within the prison system.

"Some of you seem to feel you need to be polite and shit to me - I appreciate it - but be yourselves..." suggested Colonel Scott.

Ourselves are always polite, oh mighty Colonel. If we weren't polite, then our white gloves, pillbox hats and cucumber sandwiches would be revoked by the Please and Thankyou Fairy.

And if we weren't polite, we might sound like some of Susan Atkins's entourage, who are not very polite people at all. In fact, they are terribly impolite in writing, on letterhead stationery. Which is not only woefully incorrect, but annoys Jesus, because he supposedly stated in that book which they like to quote, that one should forgive ones enemies, and love one another, and stuff like that. Even if ones enemy happens to be Charles Manson.

There's also something in there about bearing false witness, but I will save that for another lecture.