Leslie Van Houten, Manson Family Member, Denied Parole In California
Leslie Van Houten, a former Manson Family member, was denied parole from prison for the 20th time on Wednesday.
Van Houten, 63, was convicted of murder and conspiracy in the August 1969 killings of grocers Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. She was 19 years old at the time, and has spent the last 44 years of her life behind bars. Van Houten has claimed that she did not actually commit the murders, and only stabbed LaBianca after she had already died.
Van Houten pleaded with the board to give her parole, acknowledging her past crimes and promising a better future. “I know I did something that is unforgivable, but I can create a world where I make amends,” she said. She has received praise from the board on her accomplishments and rehabilitation in jail, but it is not enough to grant her parole.
The parole board told Van Houten that she is ineligible to request for parole for five years. Family members of the LaBiancas were also present at the hearing and fought to keep her in prison.
At her trial in 1969, as the youngest defendant present and considered the least committed to Charles Manson, it was believed she might get a recommendation for mercy. However, given her disruptive manner throughout the trial, she lost the jury’s sympathy. She and the others were sentenced to death in 1971. However, after the People vs. Anderson California Supreme Court decision, the death sentences were invalidated and they were sentenced to life in prison. Van Houten was retried twice, and sentenced to life in prison again.
One former Manson follower, Bruce Davis, was approved for parole in 2012. However, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the plan, saying that he wanted Davis to reveal more information.
The Manson Family is responsible for the some of the most infamous murders of the 20th century. Manson, 78, is currently incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison. Van Houten is currently incarcerated at the California Institution for Women.
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