General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Do you believe Leslie Van Houten, former Manson family member convicted in the killings of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca, should be granted parole after 47 years in prison? [Details]?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) April 15th, 2016


Really, it goes to the heart of the debate on whether prison can ever serve a rehabilitative purpose.
19 at the time of the murders during the ‘turbulent’ 60’s, Van Houten is now 66.

So. Why was she put in prison?
To punish her?
To protect society from her?
Retribution for the families she destroyed?

If Rosemary and Leno LaBianca had had no immediate family, would Van Houten still be in prison today?

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17 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think that her age matters or the fact that she was emotionally troubled matters or the fact that she had taken LSD matters.

I think that if the sentence was life in prison, it was life in prison. The dead do not get paroled.

Rehabilitation is for lesser crimes than murder.

Pachy's avatar

Could not have said it better myself, @marinelife.

Coloma's avatar

At 66 she is, most likely, no longer a risk. I think that as heinous as the crimes were she also was very young and a victim of brainwashing form Charlie Manson. 19 is very young to be imprisoned for life. I really don’t see what purpose keeping her until her death serves anymore.

If she can live on the outside I say she has served her time and it will be one less person in the system drain. I am in no way minimizing her contributions to these murders but after almost 50 years in prison she has already served her life sentence.

jca's avatar

I think she was put in prison for the reason outlined by the OP in his details: To punish her, to protect society from her and as retribution. They said on the news that she was a model prisoner. She did her life sentence and she already did more for this crime than many other people who murder. I agree with @Coloma. Let her out. She’s going to be one less person in the system, like I said, already at this point having served more than many.

Jaxk's avatar

If memory serves me, she originally got the death penalty. It was commuted to life in prison when the courts outlawed the death penalty. Those murders were pretty grizzly with little point to them. I have no sympathy for her but I don’t hold much animosity either. Drugs or not, I will never understand how she could be so blood thirsty. There’s no good end to this story, let her rot or let her out, I really don’t care.

filmfann's avatar

I like to believe people can change and be totally rehabilitated. In practice, I doubt it, especially when such a heinous crime was involved.
I hope she doesn’t get out.

ibstubro's avatar

I wish we had a larger membership pool.
I’d really be interested in hearing from a wider cross section of the population. I wonder how much the age of the of the respondent and the notoriety of the case affect the answers.

flutherother's avatar

I can’t see any constructive purpose in keeping her in jail until she dies. I don’t have a problem with her being let out even if she were to move next door to me.

ibstubro's avatar

I was thinking the same, @flutherother. I wouldn’t be bothered by living next to her, as long as the paparazzi was kept in check.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Prison only serves two purposes -

1: To keep those who are a danger to society away from it

2: To satisfy people’s vindictive need for retribution

This woman is no danger to society any longer, so the only reason to keep her confined is vindictive.

Jaxk's avatar

That’s not totally true. Prison sentences are a deterrent to others. As they get shorter, the deterrent is diminished.

Darth_Algar's avatar

” Prison sentences are a deterrent to others.”

It amazes me that some folks can still say this with a straight face.

SimpatichnayaZhopa's avatar

Such a savage should have been executed. She should be in prison all of her life at the very least. Anyone who commits such crimes as she did is inhuman and savage and thu belongs in a cage. Anyone who excuses her is an accomplice to her vicious crimes.

flutherother's avatar


SimpatichnayaZhopa's avatar

It is predictable that some people will uphold her for some unfathomable reasons.

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