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Old 7th September 2017, 04:45 AM   #1
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Manson follower Leslie Van Houten granted parole

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/09/06...ed-parole.html

Van Houten, the youngest of Manson’s followers, was scheduled to appear before a parole panel for the 21st time on Wednesday. She was 19 when she took part in a series of murders during the summer of 1969 in Los Angeles.

Gov. Jerry Brown now has a 120-day period to affirm, reverse or take no action on the decision.
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Old 7th September 2017, 05:33 AM   #2
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I can understand why the victims' families are against her release, but given the time spent, how she has served her sentence and so on, does she still represent a risk to society ?
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Old 7th September 2017, 05:44 AM   #3
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Almost 50 years in jail and a model prisoner. I'd say she's done her time.
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Old 7th September 2017, 05:46 AM   #4
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The comments after the article are scary though.
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Old 7th September 2017, 08:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
Almost 50 years in jail and a model prisoner. I'd say she's done her time.
Yes, it's not like she was the prime mover for the murders. Let her out.
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Old 7th September 2017, 09:46 AM   #6
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Does California have 'life without the possibility of parole' as a sentence? I've always wondered how Charles Manson comes up for parole every few years. He was initially sentenced to the death penalty, but was spared when California outlawed capital punishment. It seems strange to me that one sentenced to death could end up being paroled.

I do not know what original sentence Leslie Van Houten received. But if I recall correctly, before his death Vincent Bugliosi was in favor of her release.
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Old 7th September 2017, 09:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Monza View Post
Does California have 'life without the possibility of parole' as a sentence? I've always wondered how Charles Manson comes up for parole every few years. He was initially sentenced to the death penalty, but was spared when California outlawed capital punishment. It seems strange to me that one sentenced to death could end up being paroled.

I do not know what original sentence Leslie Van Houten received. But if I recall correctly, before his death Vincent Bugliosi was in favor of her release.
When the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty in 1972, those had had been sentenced to death dropped to the next-longest sentence on the books. In California at the time, that was 20 years-to-life.

There was no life without parole on the books at the time. There might be one now, but I guess they can't retroactively give people harsher sentences. Once the death penalty had been reinstated, they also could not reinstate the death sentences of those who had been sentenced to death prior to the abolishment.

Releasing Van Houten also seems cost effective. I don't think keeping old people in prison decades after they have changed their dangerous tendencies has any deterrent effect on the young people who commit the vast majority of crime.

Last edited by crescent; 7th September 2017 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 7th September 2017, 10:02 AM   #8
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Every time this hits the news I read the articles hoping to find it mentioned, but it never is: is Milhouse Van Houten on The Simpsons named after her?
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Old 7th September 2017, 10:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Every time this hits the news I read the articles hoping to find it mentioned, but it never is: is Milhouse Van Houten on The Simpsons named after her?
I don't think Groening has ever confirmed where the name comes from, but it seems much more likely to come from North Van Houten Avenue in Portland, Groening's home town. Many Simpsons character names come from Portland streets.
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Old 7th September 2017, 11:18 AM   #10
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She may be free, but I doubt she's going to find many folks welcoming her with open arms.
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Old 7th September 2017, 11:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
When the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty in 1972, those had had been sentenced to death dropped to the next-longest sentence on the books. In California at the time, that was 20 years-to-life.

There was no life without parole on the books at the time. There might be one now, but I guess they can't retroactively give people harsher sentences. Once the death penalty had been reinstated, they also could not reinstate the death sentences of those who had been sentenced to death prior to the abolishment.

Releasing Van Houten also seems cost effective. I don't think keeping old people in prison decades after they have changed their dangerous tendencies has any deterrent effect on the young people who commit the vast majority of crime.

Thank you! That answers my question.
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Old 7th September 2017, 02:55 PM   #12
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Leslie Van Houten should never be released. She is a monster.

From wiki:

Quote:
Van Houten then held LaBianca down while Krenwinkel tried to stab her in the chest, but the blade bent on LaBianca's clavicle. Van Houten called for assistance from Watson, who entered the bedroom and stabbed Rosemary LaBianca several times. He then found Van Houten, handed her the knife, and told her to "do something" (since Manson had instructed Watson to make sure everyone actively participated). Van Houten stabbed Rosemary's lower back and buttocks over a dozen times.
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Old 7th September 2017, 04:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Leslie Van Houten should never be released. She is a monster.

From wiki:
Compared to some nutters that is fairly tame.

She got done for murder from that?

Going for his bum and back seems almost trying to avoid it

I'm no expert though, so who knows
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Old 7th September 2017, 05:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
I don't think keeping old people in prison decades after they have changed their dangerous tendencies has any deterrent effect on the young people who commit the vast majority of crime.
I'd make an exception for Sheriff Joe.
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Old 8th September 2017, 01:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Leslie Van Houten should never be released. She is a monster.

From wiki:
Well 19-year-old her, apparently under the influence of Charles Manson and the rest of the family, committed a crime which in many Western European countries would have seen her released in under 20 years.

It's very easy to paint people as monsters and/or as being pure evil because it sells copy and keeps people titillated and a little bit frightened. That fails to take into account the circumstances or how someone might change over the course of 50 years.

IMO there are three elements to incarceration, punishment (for the crimes committed), public safety (keeping a dangerous person away from the public and whatever deterrent effect harsh sentences may have) and rehabilitation (getting an offender to become a net contributor to society).

Effective penal systems (where effectiveness is measured in terms of low levels or recidivism and low overall crime) tend to focus primarily on rehabilitation. The US system, with long sentences and harsh prison regimes, seems to be more about punishment. I do however question whether a Scandinavian prison system would be compatible with US society. Here in the UK, attempts to focus more on rehabilitation have been successful in terms of reducing reoffending but have been unpopular with large sections of the public and press (who seem want to see prisoners doing hard labour on a bread water diet) - and so those initiatives have withered on the vine.

I cannot comment on van Houten personally, having never been present in her parole hearing(s) and having knowledge of her time in prison beyond glancing at a couple of headlines but it seems to me that she is exactly the sort of person who should be released from prison, a model prisoner who presents little or no threat.
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Old 8th September 2017, 04:22 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It's very easy to paint people as monsters and/or as being pure evil because it sells copy and keeps people titillated and a little bit frightened. That fails to take into account the circumstances or how someone might change over the course of 50 years.
How nice it is for her, to be able to change, and grow, and develop as a person over time!

Something the people she murdered and helped murder didn't get to do.

Since when is the notion that prisons are for punishment a bad one?
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Old 8th September 2017, 04:25 AM   #17
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Public beheading is a much more satisfying punishment.

Or maybe a little hanging, drawing and quartering.
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Old 8th September 2017, 04:45 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
How nice it is for her, to be able to change, and grow, and develop as a person over time!

Something the people she murdered and helped murder didn't get to do.

Since when is the notion that prisons are for punishment a bad one?
I agree with all of this, but after almost 50 years, maybe she's been punished enough.
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Old 8th September 2017, 04:55 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Leslie Van Houten should never be released. She is a monster.

From wiki:
Yes, that's why she was jailed 50 years ago.

This isn't new information, and she served 50 years for that. Think about that: fifty years.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
How nice it is for her, to be able to change, and grow, and develop as a person over time!

Something the people she murdered and helped murder didn't get to do.
And so what? Every murderer should be, what? What's your totally-not-emotionally-based solution?

Quote:
Since when is the notion that prisons are for punishment a bad one?
Since we know that punishment alone is often ineffective.

I know, I know. As long as it feels like you've done something.
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Old 8th September 2017, 07:19 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Yes, that's why she was jailed 50 years ago.

This isn't new information, and she served 50 years for that. Think about that: fifty years.



And so what? Every murderer should be, what? What's your totally-not-emotionally-based solution?



Since we know that punishment alone is often ineffective.

I know, I know. As long as it feels like you've done something.
Punishment is ineffective? I guess it depends in what effect you're aiming for. If you want punishment to redeem people's flaws and turn them into angels, then yes, it's ineffective for that. If you intend punishment to remove a menace from society then prison is quite effective.
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Old 8th September 2017, 07:20 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
I agree with all of this, but after almost 50 years, maybe she's been punished enough.
Is her victim still dead? I'd be in favor of releasing her as soon as the damage she did is repaired.
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Old 8th September 2017, 07:23 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
Public beheading is a much more satisfying punishment.

Or maybe a little hanging, drawing and quartering.
Prison is society being kind. Maybe it would be better justice to apply the death penalty, but we're being merciful. How insulting then to hear people complain of receiving mercy, kinder treatment than they deserve, for being insufficiently nice!
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Old 8th September 2017, 07:39 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Punishment is ineffective?
That is not what I said.

Quote:
I guess it depends in what effect you're aiming for. If you want punishment to redeem people's flaws and turn them into angels, then yes, it's ineffective for that.
Strawman. Again, you're not being reasonable. How about you stop addressing arguments of your own making and passing them off as someone else's?

Quote:
If you intend punishment to remove a menace from society then prison is quite effective.
That's quite a confused statement. Merely removing the person from society for safety purposes is not punishment. If you mean making the person not a menace anymore, rehabilitation achieves this as well.

So I ask again: what does punishment achieve?
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Old 8th September 2017, 07:43 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Is her victim still dead? I'd be in favor of releasing her as soon as the damage she did is repaired.
Does that apply across the board? Do you argue that any person who causes the death of at least one person, accidentally or intentionally, should be denied their own future entirely as some sort of "cosmic balance"?

That would sound like an eye-for-an-eye philosophy that most civilised people in the last few thousands of years have considered barbaric.

And how do you apply this philosophy to rapists, thieves and other criminals?

This sort of thinking doesn't help the victims, doesn't make their families whole, doesn't make society safer and doesn't lower crime rates. Its only purpose is to make those who employ it feel good about themselves by "hitting back" at the criminal.
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Old 8th September 2017, 07:51 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That is not what I said.



Strawman. Again, you're not being reasonable. How about you stop addressing arguments of your own making and passing them off as someone else's?



That's quite a confused statement. Merely removing the person from society for safety purposes is not punishment. If you mean making the person not a menace anymore, rehabilitation achieves this as well.

So I ask again: what does punishment achieve?
Removing a person from society is in itself punishment. We're social animals.

For your broader question, what does punishment achieve, I'd say that it achieves (if imperfectly, but perfection is impossible) justice. Justice is a human notion that we like to impose upon ourselves, for the creation of a more orderly and pleasant civilization. We have different interpretations of what constitutes appropriate means to achieve justice is all. I believe life in prison is appropriate in this case. You do not.
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Old 8th September 2017, 07:54 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Removing a person from society is in itself punishment. We're social animals.
Now you're playing with words. Yes, removing the person would be seen as punishment, but the fact remains that the removal is not enacted as a punishment. If it is, then the point is not removal. See the distinction?

Quote:
For your broader question, what does punishment achieve, I'd say that it achieves (if imperfectly, but perfection is impossible) justice. Justice is a human notion that we like to impose upon ourselves, for the creation of a more orderly and pleasant civilization. We have different interpretations of what constitutes appropriate means to achieve justice is all.
If your answer to "what does this achieve" is "it achieves something that only I can see", I submit that you have not answered my question. Hiding behind the fact that it is emotionally satisfying to you to see criminals punished only highlights the fact that your support for said punishment is not borne out of a desire to solve a real-life problem with a real-life solution.

To me, the purpose of justice is to make society demonstratably safer, not to make myself feel better.
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Old 8th September 2017, 07:55 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Does that apply across the board? Do you argue that any person who causes the death of at least one person, accidentally or intentionally, should be denied their own future entirely as some sort of "cosmic balance"?

That would sound like an eye-for-an-eye philosophy that most civilised people in the last few thousands of years have considered barbaric.

And how do you apply this philosophy to rapists, thieves and other criminals?

This sort of thinking doesn't help the victims, doesn't make their families whole, doesn't make society safer and doesn't lower crime rates. Its only purpose is to make those who employ it feel good about themselves by "hitting back" at the criminal.
Now there are some strawmen. You keep accusing me of being motivated by 'wanting to feel good' and get revenge. Yet I notice its your own posts that are increasingly emotional in tone. I never suggested 'eye for an eye'. I am happy with our current approach, which is to examine and evaluate each case individually and take circumstances into account. Isn't that a rational approach? Investigation, evaluation of evidence, argument, defense, mitigation, appeals....these sound the very opposite of the vengeful hysteria you're accusing me of.
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Old 8th September 2017, 07:58 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Now you're playing with words. Yes, removing the person would be seen as punishment, but the fact remains that the removal is not enacted as a punishment. If it is, then the point is not removal. See the distinction?



If your answer to "what does this achieve" is "it achieves something that only I can see", I submit that you have not answered my question. Hiding behind the fact that it is emotionally satisfying to you to see criminals punished only highlights the fact that your support for said punishment is not borne out of a desire to solve a real-life problem with a real-life solution.

To me, the purpose of justice is to make society demonstratably safer, not to make myself feel better.
Most crime occurs because of poverty. To permanently rehabilitate a person who has murdered people during a robbery spree you could simply give the perpetrator a billion dollars. Now he has no reason to rob. Society is safe from his prior menace. It's demonstrably safer.

Is it justice?
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Old 8th September 2017, 08:02 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Now there are some strawmen. You keep accusing me of being motivated by 'wanting to feel good' and get revenge.
That's not what a strawman is.

Quote:
Yet I notice its your own posts that are increasingly emotional in tone.
Where? Can you quot-- Oh, I get it! You're trying to use the mirror defense. Very mature.

Quote:
I never suggested 'eye for an eye'.
Yes you did, twice:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Is her victim still dead? I'd be in favor of releasing her as soon as the damage she did is repaired.
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
How nice it is for her, to be able to change, and grow, and develop as a person over time!

Something the people she murdered and helped murder didn't get to do.
...

Quote:
I am happy with our current approach, which is to examine and evaluate each case individually and take circumstances into account. Isn't that a rational approach?
Yes, absolutely, but this isn't what we were discussing. You started by saying that, since her victim(s) is (are) still dead, she shouldn't be out of prison. That isn't what you're now describing.

Quote:
Investigation, evaluation of evidence, argument, defense, mitigation, appeals....these sound the very opposite of the vengeful hysteria you're accusing me of.
Again, this isn't what you're doing. Nice try.
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Old 8th September 2017, 08:03 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Most crime occurs because of poverty. To permanently rehabilitate a person who has murdered people during a robbery spree you could simply give the perpetrator a billion dollars.
Not only is your premise unsupported, but your solution makes absolutely no sense
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Old 8th September 2017, 08:48 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That's not what a strawman is.



Where? Can you quot-- Oh, I get it! You're trying to use the mirror defense. Very mature.



Yes you did, twice:





...



Yes, absolutely, but this isn't what we were discussing. You started by saying that, since her victim(s) is (are) still dead, she shouldn't be out of prison. That isn't what you're now describing.



Again, this isn't what you're doing. Nice try.
An eye for an eye would be the death penalty, not imprisonment.
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Old 8th September 2017, 08:57 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
An eye for an eye would be the death penalty, not imprisonment.
Interesting dodge. Did you not suggest making the length of the punishment for murder equal to the length of the death of the victim i.e. permanent?

Are you done with the sidestepping and tu quoques and other dodges? You made an argument based on how you feel about this case, and I'm pointing out that solutions based on such thinking do not solve the problem of crime.
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Old 8th September 2017, 08:58 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
Yes, it's not like she was the prime mover for the murders. Let her out.
According to some reports, she was one of the leaders in the Manson clan.
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Old 8th September 2017, 08:59 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Not only is your premise unsupported, but your solution makes absolutely no sense
You said your view of justice was to make society safer, didn't you? Making a criminal rich would stop them from committing crimes if they were only after money. Society would therefore be safer, and justice achieved. If not, why not?
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Old 8th September 2017, 09:01 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Compared to some nutters that is fairly tame.

She got done for murder from that?

Going for his bum and back seems almost trying to avoid it

I'm no expert though, so who knows
Did you miss the part where it says:

" Van Houten then held LaBianca down while Krenwinkel tried to stab her in the chest, but the blade bent on LaBianca's clavicle. "

I can think of little more heinous than holding a victim down whilst someone else stabs them to death. LaBianca was 100% innocent, had done nothing to provoke any of them and completley restrained by Van Houten from fighting back. Van Houten then went to fetch thug psychopath 'Tex' Watson to help finish poor Rosemary off.

Throw away the key. She is a cruel sociopath and will always be so.
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Old 8th September 2017, 09:03 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Interesting dodge. Did you not suggest making the length of the punishment for murder equal to the length of the death of the victim i.e. permanent?

Are you done with the sidestepping and tu quoques and other dodges? You made an argument based on how you feel about this case, and I'm pointing out that solutions based on such thinking do not solve the problem of crime.
How is it a 'dodge'? Execution and imprisonment are different things. I think one is appropriate in this case, and not the other.

And again, I don't have any particular feelings about this case. It occurred before I was born.
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Old 8th September 2017, 09:05 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Well 19-year-old her, apparently under the influence of Charles Manson and the rest of the family, committed a crime which in many Western European countries would have seen her released in under 20 years.

It's very easy to paint people as monsters and/or as being pure evil because it sells copy and keeps people titillated and a little bit frightened. That fails to take into account the circumstances or how someone might change over the course of 50 years.

IMO there are three elements to incarceration, punishment (for the crimes committed), public safety (keeping a dangerous person away from the public and whatever deterrent effect harsh sentences may have) and rehabilitation (getting an offender to become a net contributor to society).

Effective penal systems (where effectiveness is measured in terms of low levels or recidivism and low overall crime) tend to focus primarily on rehabilitation. The US system, with long sentences and harsh prison regimes, seems to be more about punishment. I do however question whether a Scandinavian prison system would be compatible with US society. Here in the UK, attempts to focus more on rehabilitation have been successful in terms of reducing reoffending but have been unpopular with large sections of the public and press (who seem want to see prisoners doing hard labour on a bread water diet) - and so those initiatives have withered on the vine.

I cannot comment on van Houten personally, having never been present in her parole hearing(s) and having knowledge of her time in prison beyond glancing at a couple of headlines but it seems to me that she is exactly the sort of person who should be released from prison, a model prisoner who presents little or no threat.
Studies show that psychopaths adapt well to prison. They rarely show the kind of distress normal prisoners exhibit.

I'll wager she has her own prison mafia going, and a nice little number in tobacco, cell phones and legal highs going. Not to mention a posse of butch thugs to protect her.
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Last edited by Vixen; 8th September 2017 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 8th September 2017, 09:19 AM   #38
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Yes dear...
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Old 8th September 2017, 09:19 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Compared to some nutters that is fairly tame.

She got done for murder from that?

Going for his bum and back seems almost trying to avoid it

I'm no expert though, so who knows
A real good way to avoid murdering someone would be to not stab them multiple times.
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Old 8th September 2017, 09:20 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Studies show that psychopaths adapt well to prison. They rarely show the kind of distress normal prisoners exhibit.

I'll wager she has her own prison mafia going, and a nice little number in tobacco, cell phones and legal highs going. Not to mention a posse of butch thugs to protect her.
More accurately, you would imagine these things because you have no facts whatsoever on which to base this (versus the parole board which does have access to this type of information).

This may all be moot because politically it is much easier for Gov. Brown to veto the release. If he allows it and Van Houten does anything negative once on the outside Brown will be in the middle of a political poop storm. Very often paroles of high visibility prisoners are blocked by governors in states where this is possible for this simple reason.
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