Manson Prosecutor to Ask Death
Wednesday, June 24th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 24 – A co-prosecutor in the Sharon Tate murder case indicates the state will seek the death penalty for Charles Manson and three young women charged with the seven slayings.
“I think you could draw a few inferences,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Vincent Bugliosi told newsmen. “We would not be questioning potential jurors in depth about the death penalty if it were not going to be an issue in this trial.”
He said the prime thrust of his questioning in jury selection will center on the death penalty.
“I’m looking for a person who, if he felt it was a proper case, would ask for the death penalty,” he said.
Bugliosi’s comments Tuesday came after a trial of the long-haired hippie style clan leader and members of his nomadic “family” entered its second week with little progress in selecting a jury. In California a jury reaching a murder conviction then decides whether the penalty is to be death or life imprisonment.
Although 12 prospective jurors were seated in the jury box at day’s end, none had been questioned thoroughly ‚ÄĒ except on the matter of pre-trial publicity discussed in judge’s chambers.
Fifty-three of the initial panel of 60 possible jurors were dismissed when most said it would be a hardship to be locked up nights and weekends in a hotel for the duration of the trial, expected to last several months.
After a conference in the judge’s chambers, some of the attorneys said that if jurors aren’t found soon, they may ask the judge to let the jury go home at night. A second group of 48 potential jurors was brought to the courtroom for questioning.
On trial, charged with murdering actress Sharon Tate and six other persons last August, are Charles M. Manson, 35, and three women followers, Leslie Van Houten, 20, Susan Atkins, 21, and Patricia Krenwinkel, 22.