Sunday, October 12, 2014
Was Manson "Railroaded"?
Every so often, I get that question:
"Lynyrd... in your opinion... do you think Charles Manson was railroaded?"
Heck... there's even a small book circulating with that title ("The Railroading of Charles Manson")... which by the way, I've never read.
Here's my opinion on the subject:
At the start of the trial, Manson had a chance to walk-away with a lesser sentence. In fact, there's an outside possibility, that Manson could have walked-away clean.
There wasn't a large amount of hard evidence against Manson.
Unfortunately, Manson couldn't swallow his pride, and ultimately, that self-pride led to his demise. Pride was Manson's Achilles' heel.
Here's the rub:
Bugliosi's prosecution completely hinged upon proving that Manson was in-charge of these kids.... and Manson (being a jackass) demonstrated his control over these kids (to the jury and the world), both inside the courtroom and out... for the entire duration of the trial.
In a nutshell, Manson made Bugliosi's case for him.
If Manson had shaved his face, got a decent haircut, put on a suit, and most importantly... kept his mouth shut, and acted like a complete nobody... a follower... Bugliosi would have had an uphill battle.
Problem is... Manson couldn't do that.
Manson had too much pride to "dethrone" himself (as the leader of these nitwits), and play by the court's rules. He was smug. And because of that, he played right into Bugliosi's hands.
The genius of Bugliosi, was predicting how Manson would play his cards (right from the beginning).
Bugliosi knew Charlie's personality, and with that knowledge, he fashioned an effective noose to string Manson up.
Bugliosi may have been an asshole (on a personal level), but he was a great lawyer. You can't take that away from him. Manson on the other hand, was quite simply... a jackass.
Manson was full of pride. He was smug. As I said... that was his Achilles' heel. And as a result... Manson earned himself NINE murder convictions, that he'll never outlive.
Charles Manson "railroaded" himself.