Accomplished Orange County Defense Firm
Available 24/7 to Answer Your Call 949-251-0330
Back to Top

CA Court Sides with Manson Family Member on Parole Hearing

In a recent ruling, a California court has sided with former Manson family member Leslie Van Houten, stating that the Governor's decision to refuse her parole was based on "unsupported intuition and no evidence." The case has garnered significant attention due to its connection to the infamous Manson family murders and raises important questions about the parole process and the role of evidence in such decisions.

Leslie Van Houten and the Manson Family

Leslie Van Houten, a former member of the Manson family, is currently in prison for her involvement in the 1969 murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Van Houten was 19 at the time of the murders and has been serving a life sentence since 1971. Van Houten was convicted for her involvement in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and was sentenced to death. However, her sentence was later commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole due to a change in California's death penalty laws.

Over the years, Van Houten has been considered for parole multiple times. She has expressed remorse for her actions and has been described as a model prisoner, participating in various rehabilitation programs, and earning two college degrees. However, her requests for parole have been repeatedly denied, with the most recent denial coming from Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019.

The Court's Decision

In July 2021, a California appeals court ruled in favor of Van Houten, stating that Governor Newsom's decision to deny her parole was not supported by evidence. The court found that the Governor's denial was based on his personal belief that Van Houten still posed a risk to society, despite there being no evidence to support this claim.

The court further noted that the parole board had found Van Houten suitable for release, considering her age, her accomplishments while in prison, and her remorse for her actions. The board also considered the fact that Van Houten was only 19 years old at the time of the murders and was under the influence of drugs and Charles Manson's control.

Implications of the Ruling

The ruling in Van Houten's case raises important questions about the role of evidence in parole decisions and the potential influence of personal beliefs on such decisions. It highlights the need for a fair and impartial process that takes into account an individual's progress and rehabilitation while in prison.

Additionally, the case serves as a reminder of the lasting impact of the Manson family murders and the continued public interest in the fate of its members. While some argue that Van Houten has served her time and should be granted parole, others believe that the severity of her crimes warrants a lifetime in prison.


The California court's decision to side with Leslie Van Houten brings attention to the importance of evidence-based decision-making in the parole process. As the debate over Van Houten's potential release continues, it remains to be seen how this ruling will affect future parole decisions and the ongoing conversation surrounding criminal justice reform.

Regardless of one's opinion on the matter, the case serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of manipulation and the power of cult leaders like Charles Manson. It also emphasizes the importance of addressing the root causes of criminal behavior and providing opportunities for rehabilitation and growth for those who have served their time.

If you are facing criminal charges, you must contact our qualified attorneys at Corrigan Welbourn Stokke, APLC.