Leslie Van Houten, a devotee of Charles Manson, was denied parole on Tuesday by California Governor Gavin Newsom, overturning a panel’s recommendation that she be released after serving half a century in prison.
According to Newsom’s parole review, Van Houten, 72, currently poses an undue risk to society if released from jail at this time. It was the governor of California’s fifth refusal to release her.
Rich Pfeiffer, her attorney, disagreed and stated that the judgment would be challenged in court. He claimed that Newsom is denying Van Houten’s request for release because he is concerned about his political future, and he pointed out that Van Houten has a perfect prison disciplinary record.
Van Houten is serving a life sentence for assisting Manson and others in the August 1969 murders of Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. When Van Houten and other cult members fatally stabbed the LaBiancas and smeared their blood on the walls, she was 19 years old.
Other Manson followers, including Van Houten, had murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others the day before.
Van Housen had received counseling, gained educational degrees, and taken self-help programs in jail, according to Newsom’s refusal letter, and had exhibited improved maturity and rehabilitation.
Van Houten, on the other hand, has gaps in her understanding that continue to render her a threat to society, according to Newsom.
Since 1982, Van Houten has had 21 parole hearings. The majority of parole boards turned down her request for release. Since 2016, five panels have recommended her release, claiming she has expressed contrition and is no longer a danger to the public.
Newsom turned down a suggestion from November.
In both 2019 and 2020, he reversed parole recommendations. Van Houten’s appeal of the 2020 rejection was denied by the California Supreme Court in February.
In 2016 and 2018, former Governor Jerry Brown denied Van Houten’s request for parole.
While serving a life sentence, Manson died of natural causes in a California hospital in 2017.