State Parole Board to hear Atkins' case for compassionate release
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10:00 PM PDT on Monday, July 7, 2008
The case for releasing Susan Atkins, the terminally ill follower of Charles Manson who killed actress Sharon Tate almost 40 years ago, will be heard by the state Parole Board in Sacramento on July 15.
The board will allow the public to address the board before the closed session begins.
No matter what the Parole Board of Hearings decides, the case will go to the original sentencing court in Los Angeles County, where a judge's decision would be final.
Officials at the California Institution for Women near Corona had recommended that Atkins, 60, an inmate, who is being treated at a hospital, be released because she meets the criteria of the state's compassionate release program. She has fewer than six months to live, no longer poses a threat and has a family to support her.
Atkins has brain cancer. Her attorney last month said doctors have given her two to three months to live.
The director of the state's adult prisons recommended that Atkins not be freed, but would not disclose her reasons because of confidentiality.
The Inland prison officials' bid to free Atkins has fueled a public outcry.
Tate, who was pregnant, and four others were murdered on Aug. 9, 1969, at the actress' home in the Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles.
During a 1969 summer killing spree, the members of the Charles Manson family cult killed eight people. Atkins was convicted for her role and has been imprisoned for 37 years. She has been denied parole 12 times.