Unsurprising News of the Day: Charles Manson Denied Parole for the 12th Time

In a move that should shock no one, the infamous Charles Manson was denied parole for the 12th time earlier today, the L.A. Times has reported.

Looking completely different from his earlier, most notorious days (see photo), Manson — who did not attend the parole hearing — was deemed too great of a threat to be released into society.

Sandi Gibbons, the spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County prosecutor’s office, said, “We consistently [opposed parole] and will continue to do so.”

However, on the other side of the aisle, DeJon R. Lewis, the attorney for Manson, said he would like to see Manson transferred to Atascadero State Hospital from the state prison near Corcoran. “Charles Manson does not need incarceration at this point in his life,” Lewis told CNN. “He needs hospitalization.”

The 77-year-old Manson is, perhaps, one of the most notorious serial killers in American history…and yet, interestingly enough, he didn’t kill a single victim in the Tate-LaBianca Murders (as they have become known in the American lexicon). He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the Tate/LaBianca murders carried out by members of the group at his instruction. He was convicted of the murders through the joint-responsibility rule, which makes each member of a conspiracy guilty of crimes his fellow conspirators commit in furtherance of the conspiracy’s object.

The object, in this case, was “Helter Skelter” (yes, named after The Beatles’ song of the same name): Manson believed Helter Skelter to be an impending apocalyptic race war, which he described in his own version of the lyrics to the Beatles’ song. He believed his murders would help precipitate that war. From the beginning of his notoriety, a pop culture arose around him in which he ultimately became an emblem of insanity, violence and the macabre. The term was later used by Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi as the title of a book he wrote about the Manson murders.

At the time the “Family” began to form, Manson was an unemployed ex-convict, who had spent half of his life in correctional institutions for a variety of offenses. Before the murders, he was a singer-songwriter on the fringe of the Los Angeles music industry, chiefly through a chance association with Dennis Wilson, founding member and drummer of The Beach Boys. After Manson was charged with the crimes he was later convicted of, recordings of songs written and performed by him were released commercially. Artists, including Guns N’ Roses, White Zombie, and Marilyn Manson have covered his songs. Under United States law, however, Manson is forbidden from receiving royalties or other compensation for these artists’ performance of his work.

Manson’s death sentence was automatically commuted to life imprisonment when a 1972 decision by the Supreme Court of California temporarily eliminated the state’s death penalty. California’s eventual reinstatement of capital punishment, however, did not affect Manson.

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