Manson Says He ‘Paid Debt To Society’
Friday, June 19th, 1970
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jun. 19 – Charles Manson, the hippie chieftain charged with the murder of Sharon Tate and seven others, proclaimed his innocence Thursday at an impromptu courtroom news conference.
“I know what I’ve done and I don’t have any guilt,” Manson, 35, told a courtroom filled with newsmen, photographers and spectators.
With jury selection in the Tate-LaBianca murder trial recessed until Monday, Manson and codefendant Susan Atkins appeared in Superior Court here for pre-trial motions in the Gary Hinman murder, in which they also are accused.
Turning around to smile amiably into the television cameras, the slight, long-haired Manson said, “You’re the jury. You’re the court. You’re the whole thing. If you stand for it, if you contribute to it, then you’re part of it.”
“I’ve paid my debt to society,” Manson said, “I’ve given it 22 years of my life. Just so you can walk the streets and ride your bicycles, I’ve lived in your reform schools and your orphanages.”
Manson’s attorney, Irving A. kanarek, sat beside him while Manson answered reporter’s questions and later asked Superior Court Judge Laurence J. Rittenband to permit regular press conferences for the cultist.
Rittenband denied the request, observing Kanarek was “articulate” and capable of presenting Manson’s views to the news media.
The judge also turned down yet another motion to permit Manson to act as his own attorney, and denied a request to turn over prosecution of the case to the state attorney general’s office. He agreed to consider a written request for the change of prosecutors, to he prepared by Kanarek.
Manson and Miss Atkins were ordered to enter pleas in the Hinman case on Oct. 13. Their trial in the Tate case will resume Monday, with seven jurors tentatively selected so far.
By KATHLEEN NEUMEYER