Manson Trial in Two Other Deaths Declared Waste of Money
Saturday, April 24th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Apr. 24 — The high cost of another trial will not deter his office from prosecuting condemned slayers Charles Manson and Susan Atkins for two more murders, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Joseph P. Busch Jr. said yesterday.
Two Manson “family” attorneys raised the issue this week when they suggested to County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, a constant critic of high court costs, that the county file suit to block the district attorney from trying Manson for two more murders and Miss Atkins for one.
Paul Fitzgerald, who defended Patricia Krenwinkel during the Tate-LaBianca trial, and Irving Kanarek, Manson’s attorney, reportedly claim that continuing to proceed against Manson and Miss Atkins after they already have been convicted of seven murders would be a waste of public funds and a duplication of effort.
Referring to their request for a taxpayers suit as an “unprecedented maneuver,” Busch said:
“This is the first time anyone has ever contended that we should close our eyes to the prosecution of murder merely because it will take court time…”
Quantity of murders, Busch declared, is not a defense against prosecution for homicide.
His position is to proceed to trial, he explained, where the facts in the evidence sustain an indictment, taking consideration the kind of crimes and individuals even though the defendants have been convicted of other serious crimes.
Manson is charged with the 1969 murders of Gary Hinman and ranch hand Donald (Shorty) Shea. Atkins is accused only of the Shea slaying. The case is scheduled for trial May 2.