TMZ is reporting that Leslie Van Houten, the youngest member of the murderous Manson family, went before a parole panel for the 21st time today and was granted parole suitability at a hearing at the California Institution for Women in Corona, California.
That doesn’t mean she’s a free woman just yet, but it’s a big step toward that.
There’s a 5-month process in which all of her records will be reviewed and the file will then go to Governor Jerry Brown, who can either uphold the parole recommendation, reverse it or modify it.
She shouldn’t get her hopes up … last year the Board made the same recommendation and Brown nixed it.
As we reported … Van Houten was equipped with a 13-page report saying she was immature and brainwashed by Charles Manson as a 19-year-old when she stabbed and murdered Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
Fellow Manson family killer, Patricia Krenwinkel, was denied parole in June.
The 68-year-old was convicted and became the youngest woman ever sentenced to death in California. However, executions were halted in the state in 1972 after the California Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional in The People of the State of California v. Robert Page Anderson. She was granted a new trial at which her defense to the charge of first degree murder was diminished responsibility, but the jury could not agree on a verdict. At a third trial, she was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, although with a possibility of parole. In relation to her case, high courts, parole boards, and the state governor have said that an inexplicable or racial motive for murder could merit exemplary punishment and outweigh any evidence of subsequent reform.