"How do these killers get a pass?"
Do you realize how long these people have been in jail?
How is four decades in prison, a pass?
"The punishment really has nothing to do with Manson. It has to do with the violent nature of the aggressive killing of the parties."
I agree, their original convictions were based on their own personal crimes and actions (and rightfully so)… but (I also believe) their continued incarceration (in some cases) is based on the notoriety of this case.
You speak as though, these folks have never been punished.
They've been in jail since Richard "Milhous" Nixon was president.
In order to discuss this situation intelligently, it's impossible to lump all these inmates together.
Comparing Tex Watson to Leslie Van Houten is absurd. It’s apples and oranges.
In regards to Tex Watson, I agree with You and Patrick Sequiera.
I believe the nature of Tex Watson's crimes are so abhorrently disgusting, that he should never be released... under any circumstances.
I believe as Sequiera stated, that Tex Watson's crimes are truly, an exception to the law guaranteeing the possibility of parole.
I believe Pat is genuinely remorseful.
I also believe, that she's no longer a threat to society.
I also believe, that she's well-grounded and intelligent.
I believe the nature of her crimes (much like Tex) are prohibitive.
Again, I agree with You and Sequiera.
If they kept Pat Krenwinkel incarcerated forever (based solely on the gravity of her original crimes), I wouldn't have a problem with that.
In fact, I feel that would be just.
It all ended for him at the trial.
IF he played his cards correctly at the trial (and that's a BIG "IF"), he may not have been convicted so heavily.
As it turns out, he made every mistake imaginable during the trial.
So much so, one might even assume it was intentional.
Consequently, Bugliosi slammed him with 10 convictions.
NINE counts of first degree murder, and one count of conspiracy.
At that point, is was over.
Even if Manson served only ten years for each murder charge... that would be 90 years!
(And then, of course... there's that nasty conspiracy thing)
Manson is not worth discussing, from a "parole" standpoint.
He never was.
Bobby, Bruce and Leslie:
This is where it becomes subjective, with several questions to answer.
What is the "magic number"?
When is "enough" enough?
How much time does the average murderer actually serve in this country?
(Their "time served" should parallel that of their "criminal peers")
Are we honestly considering these folks for parole, or simply going through the motions?
But the "KEY" question is this:
Do Bobby, Bruce and Lesie fit the same description as Tex and Pat?
Are there crimes SO over-the-top heinous, that their right to a sincere parole consideration can be (for all intents and purposes) waived?
Most specifically... are their crimes SO heinous, that they should be considered an exception to the law guaranteeing the possibility of parole?? (as Seuqeira stated)
My answer to that question, is "NO".
Katie's answer to that question, would obviously be "YES".
That's our main "sticking point".
I think everyone would agree, that ten years in prison is certainly not enough "time served" for these crimes.
At 20 years?
You'd still get a nearly unanimous vote. Not enough "time served".
At 30 years?
You'd get some discussion.
At 40 years?
The vote becomes split.
(That's a LOT of fucking time behind bars)
At 50 years?
For me personally, 50 years is my cut-off.
At 50 years served (and that day WILL come), I truly believe, we will have embarked on the absurd.
When these folks have served 50+ years… there will be absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind, that these folks are truly "political prisoners".
Bottom Line folks:
The original crimes will never change… and the behavior of these inmates (in prison) will continue to be positive. We have no reason to believe otherwise.
The ONLY "variable" left, is the passing of time. How much time is really “enough”? YOU decide!
Every time this conversation arises, Katie asks me the following question:
“Do you really believe these killers DESERVE to be released?
It’s a fair question, and here’s my answer:
No murderer truly deserves release, from a purely empirical standpoint.
(Empirical: Relying on experience or observation alone, without due regard for system and theory.)
If we assume one life, equals one life... (which is a very safe assumption)... then quite simply, the answer is no. No murderer deserves release.
The concept of parole (for murderers), is based upon a certain degree of "mercy", or "pardon".
Bugliosi has stated that himself, in the past.
If we gave murderers what they truly deserve... they would all be murdered upon conviction.
(And yes, some societies have operated that way)
But, as Mahatma Gandhi once said:
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".
If we have no interest in extending mercy... then we shouldn't hold parole hearings for murderers at all.
(And, that's an option too)
I simply feel, that if we're going to offer an inmate the possibility of parole... we must observe that consideration in earnest. To do otherwise, is to ignore our own laws.