Jan. 8 – The California Supreme Court has granted a review of Leslie Van Houten’s 2017 parole recommendation reversal. Briefing will be delayed until a pending case cited in Van Houten’s petition is resolved.
Van Houten was found suitable for parole in September 2017. Then Governor, Jerry Brown, reversed the decision in January of 2018, citing the heinousness of the murders. Brown also accused Van Houten of downplaying her role in the murders, stating she had attempted to shift blame to Charles Manson.
Van Houten’s attorney, Richard Pfeiffer filed a writ of Habeas Corpus challenging Brown’s reversal, arguing the decision relied on isolated negative factors to support the conclusion that Leslie Van Houten posed an unreasonable risk if released. The Superior Court upheld Brown’s reversal in June of 2018, stating that the Governor had met all due process requirements.
Pfeiffer challenged the ruling in California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal. The appellate court granted review and heard oral arguments last April. In September, the three justice panel ruled 2-to-1 to uphold Brown’s reversal. Now the matter will be addressed by the state’s highest court.
Van Houten is also waiting on a Superior Court ruling due in the next few days, regarding Governor Gavin Newsom’s reversal of her 2019 parole recommendation.