May. 22 – Governor Jerry Brown relied on isolated negative factors to support his conclusion that Leslie Van Houten posed an unreasonable risk if released on parole, according to a court filing made by her attorneys in response to one made by the state’s Attorney General’s office three weeks ago.
On May 3, Deputy Attorney General Jill Vander Borght defended Brown, asserting his decision relied on both the murders and Van Houten’s minimization of her role in them. Vander Borght argued that Brown had broad discretion while considering parole suitability and that the record supported his position.
In response, Van Houten’s attorneys, Richard Pfeiffer and Nancy Tetreault, filed a 39-page traverse, arguing dissonance between the record and Brown’s conclusions.
“Under the law, the standard for parole suitability must be the same for Leslie Van Houten as it is for all other inmates in California,” wrote Tetreault. “She cannot be denied parole because she is tainted by the stigma of Charles Manson. [She] must be viewed for her own conduct involving the commitment offenses, and not judged by the conduct of Manson.”