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Charles Manson parole decision due today

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Charles Manson's 12th parole hearing is due take place today. It is hard not to feel sympathy for the lawyer assigned to represent one of the most notorious mass murderers in US history. His client refuses to see him or attend the hearing.

Manson is a uniquely dangerous man. Unlike the usual serial killer who acts alone or with an accomplice, Manson had a house full of personal followers. Manson is still a threat to society at 77 and he will remain a threat until his dying breath. No matter how sick or incapacitated he may be personally, there will always remain the risk that he could order one of his followers to kill.

So the outcome of the parole board hearing should be a foregone conclusion: Manson will remain in the secure mental institution where he clearly belongs. Unfortunately it isn't that simple. Manson is not in a mental hospital, he is in a regular prison. His lawyer is arguing that he should be paroled so that he can get treatment.

This situation makes no sense. While there isn't much chance that Manson will escape, he has managed to acquire a cell phone twice in recent years. If Manson is insane then he should be getting treatment and this should have no bearing on whether he gets out of jail or not.

Update: The parole board denied the request, Manson is next eligible for parole in 15 years when he will be 92.

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