Tate Case Prosecutor Hit on Query
Friday, July 3rd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 3 – The chief prosecutor in the Tate-LaBianca murder trial was accused of misconduct today after questioning a prospective juror.
Dep. Dist. Atty. Aaron Stovitz, who also faces an earlier contempt charge, was charged with misconduct by two defense attorneys after he asked a juror if he fell “the death penalty would not be strong enough in this case.”
Postal clerk Michael Parrish, the 94th juror called, under questioning by defense attorneys, claimed he felt there should be something worse than the death penalty.
“What do you have in mind — the rack and screw?” defense attorney Paul Fitzgerald asked. “I’m not a sadist, but something like that,” the juror said. “Make them sweat for what they did and others will think twice before they do the same thing.”
In later questioning of Parrish by Stovitz, the controversial question was asked, and the judge later ordered the juror to disregard it.
Hippie cult leader Charles Manson, and his three girl “followers,” sat quietly as Parrish was questioned.
Manson and his co-defendants, Susan Atkins, 21, Patricia Krenwinkel, 22, and Leslie Van Houten, 19, are accused of murder and conspiracy charges in the slayings last August of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
By MARY NEISWENDER