Thursday, September 3, 2009

Manson Killer Denied "Humanitarian Release"

A California parole board denied Susan Atkins "humanitarian release, according to Associated Press.. Susan Atkins, a part of the Charles Manson gang was the actual killer of Sharon Tate and her unborn child in a crime that shocked the entire nation. None of the Manson gang has been released. The Manson gang killers had been sentenced to death until their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was temporarily outlawed in the 1970's.

Atkins reportedly suffers from brain cancer and has been living on borrowed time. She has had a leg amputated during the course of her treatment. Her husband, who is also her lawyer has argued for her release. Associated Press reports as follows of the emotionally charged hearing, through which Atkins spent most of the time sleeping.

"Another of the speakers was Anthony DiMaria, a nephew of the slain Jay Sebring, who said that the trips to the parole hearing for his family members "send us back to hell year after year."

"I'm not here for Susan Atkins," he said. "I'm here for Jay Sebring. The only hatred I feel is for the crime."

DiMaria reacted angrily to a suggestion by Whitehouse that the commissioners should consider the cost to the state of housing Atkins at a time when she requires constant medical care. Whitehouse said it was costing $17,000 a month for her care.

"We are not here to balance the state budget," DiMaria said. "We are here because Susan Atkins sent nine people to their death."

The family of the victims of the Manson gang killings have been regularly put through the ordeal of attending parole hearings in which the focus is on the perpetrators. At great sacrifice to themselves, these unfortunate family members shift the focus back to the aggrieved families where it should be. A life sentence should be precisely that. A prisoner who has committed brutal and awful crimes should draw his or her last breath in prison and leave feet first at room temperature.

I hope that less infamous crimes will be punished in the same manner as Ms. Atkins has been punished by the parole board in the State of California. It is good to hear some common sense emanating from California. Criminal justice should be in part an expression of public outrage.Perhaps President Obama could mail a news clipping of this sensible decision to Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of Great Britain to show him proper justice, a concept the Brits seem to have forgotten over the course of their long history. Congratulations to the California parole board that issued this sensible decision. There should be more decisions like it in the future.

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