Charles Manson, (aka Charles Milles Maddox), the self-proclaimed “Messiah” who presided over a commune-style group known as the “Manson Family” was convicted in 1971 in California in a trial covering a total of 27 count indictments against he and members of the ‘family’ for the murders of seven persons, including actress Sharon Tate, (who was pregnant at the time of the murder), coffee heiress Abigail Folger, supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.
In 1972, the death sentences of all Manson Family members were commuted to life imprisonment secondary to the case of California v. Anderson, wherein the death penalty was ruled “cruel and unusual” and was temporarily abolished until reinstated by Consititutional Amendment. Since being commuted, Manson has been denied parole eleven times as of 2007, his next opportunity coming in 2012.
Was justice done in the cases affected? Should those sentenced to death by California’s penal system have had their sentences reversed? Should Manson and his followers have been executed as originally sentenced?