CORCORAN, CALIF. — Cult leader Charles Manson was denied parole Wednesday, the 11th time since 1978 that he was ordered to continue serving life sentences for a murderous rampage in Los Angeles County in 1969.
Manson, 72, did not attend or send a representative to the proceeding before the Board of Parole Hearings at Corcoran State Prison. He previously told a prison counselor that he refuses to participate because he considers himself a "prisoner of the political system," said Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Patrick Sequeira, who attended the hearing.
The board voted to deny Manson parole for five years, the maximum allowed by law. Manson will not be eligible for release again until 2012.
Despite his age, Manson "continues to pose an unreasonable danger to others and may still bring harm to anyone he would come in contact with," the board wrote in its denial.
Manson has had 12 disciplinary violations since his last parole hearing in 2002. He has refused to take advantage of rehabilitation programs, Sequeira said, and would not participate in a psychiatric evaluation.
"He refused to cooperate, so the conclusion they drew from the reports is he still remains a danger to the public," Sequeira said in a telephone interview. "He was convicted of nine horrible murders. He has expressed no remorse or empathy for any of the victims."
Manson initially was sentenced to death for the August 1969 fatal stabbings of five people in the home of actress Sharon Tate and the murders the next day of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Prosecutors said Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war that he believed was prophesied in the Beatles' song "Helter Skelter."
Manson was also convicted of the earlier murder of musician Gary Hinman in his Topanga Canyon home, and the slaying of former stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea at the Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth where Manson had his commune.
His death sentence was changed in 1977 to life in prison with the possibility of parole, the result of a 1972 ruling by the California Supreme Court that found the state's death penalty law at the time unconstitutional.