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Van Houten's Parole Hearing: Just a Farce

July 04, 2002

The farcical California State Parole Board gave new meaning to the term "cruel and unusual punishment" when for the 14th time the two-member panel rejected Leslie Van Houten's bid for freedom ("Ex-Manson Follower Loses 14th Parole Bid," June 29).

Undeterred by Judge Bob Krug's sharp rebuke of their repeated rejection of Van Houten's parole, the board matter-of-factly stated that she had not served enough time for the two "cruel and calculated" 1969 murders, an admission that obviously indicates it never seriously considered parole for Van Houten, thus making the entire process, by definition, a meaningless bureaucratic farce.

Neither the state nor the system is well served by this absurdity.

Bob Murtha

Santa Maria

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