Sentencing/Post-Conviction

Manson Family Killer to Be Released? Longest-Serving Female Calif. Inmate


Susan Atkins, a member of the notorious so-called Charles Manson family group that killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in a two-day spree in 1969, is dying and may soon be released from prison.

After 37 years, she is the longest-serving female inmate in the California prison system. Atkins, 59, who was also convicted of an earlier murder, is suffering from brain cancer and has had a leg amputated, reports the Los Angeles Times. Officials were asked to grant her “compassionate release,” the newspaper says, because she has less than six months to live. She is eligible because she was sentenced to life, with the possibility of parole.

Although further approvals are still required before she can be released, the request has been okayed by the California Institution for Women in Corona, where she was held from 1971 until she was transferred to a local hospital in March, the newspaper writes. “Officials at the Corona facility concluded that Atkins should be considered for release because of her failing health and because she no longer posed a risk to others.”

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