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Calif.'s governor reverses decision to parole Manson family killer

Los Angeles Times

January 20. 2018 8:24PM
California Gov. Jerry Brown (REUTERS/Max Whittaker)

California Gov. Jerry Brown has reversed a parole board's decision to free Manson family killer Leslie Van Houten.

In September, the Board of Parole Hearings found Van Houten, 68, suitable for release. At 19, Van Houten had taken part in the brutal slayings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in Los Angeles on Aug. 10, 1969.

"The question I must answer is whether Leslie Van Houten will pose a current danger to the public if released from prison," Brown wrote in his statement, released Friday night. He also noted that he had to consider Van Houten's young age at the time of the crime.

"In rare circumstances," he said, "the aggravated nature of the crime alone can provide a valid basis for denying parole, even when there is strong evidence of rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness."

Van Houten "is 68 years old and has made laudable strides in self-improvement in prison."

But Brown cited the horrific nature of the murders and what he characterized as Van Houten's minimization of her role in them in overturning the parole board's decision

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