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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:09 PM
Original message
"She kept begging and pleading and begging and pleading and I got sick of listening to it,
so I stabbed her". Sharon Atkins

I'm against the death penalty but I'm not against life in prison with no parole. If Sharon Atkins committed this crime in Texas or Florida, she would have never had brain cancer because she would have been dead long ago. What she did to the pregnant Sharon Tate was horrendous and she should never get out of prison for any reason, including this one. MHO

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California parole officials on Tuesday considered releasing a follower of Charles Manson who is dying of brain cancer, but the governor and others said her decades-old crimes were too brutal for her to be shown such mercy.

Susan Atkins' doctors and officials at the women's prison in Corona made the compassionate release request in March because of her deteriorating health. Atkins also has had her left leg amputated and is paralyzed on her right side, her husband and attorney, James Whitehouse, told the California Board of Parole Hearings.

He said doctors have given her three months to live.

<snip>
Atkins, Manson and two other cult members, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten maintained their innocence throughout the trial. Once convicted, the women confessed to the killings during the penalty phase.

On the stand, Atkins recounted her role in stabbing Tate, who pleaded for the life of her unborn baby.

"She kept begging and pleading and begging and pleading and I got sick of listening to it, so I stabbed her," Atkins said during her testimony.

She claimed she was on LSD at the time but did not apologize until a parole hearing years later.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25692507 /



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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. The priests used to watch over the people, now they are watching the people.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. Having taxpayers continue to fund her medical care just adds insult to injury
But I guess suffering and dying from cancer isn't enough of a pound of flesh for some folks- they want to pay for it too in the hope that somehow her suffering will actually be worse.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Do you know who would fund her medical care if she was released in California?
I'll give you three guesses, and the first two don't count.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. I'm assuming that's listed in the petition
and is one of the criteria used in making the decision.
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LisaM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'm of two minds about it. Of course she DESERVES to rot out her days in jail
I don't disagree with that. But there are also a lot of aging inmates, no longer a threat to society, who are gobbling up taxpayer dollars in prisons, which are already overcrowded. How much does it cost us to keep her jailed for three more months?
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Good point. nt
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. "She kept begging and pleading and begging and pleading and I got sick of listening to it,"
"So I'm glad she's got cancer and is going to die in prison."

:eyes:
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. You got quotation marks on that bottom comment.
Edited on Tue Jul-15-08 04:20 PM by trumad
Can I ask where the fuck you got that quote?
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Inference.
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. OK
So you say about yourself--- "I'm a big fucking asshole".... How about that?
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Hey, I may be a big fucking asshole.
But at least I'm not THAT big of a fucking asshole.
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Sorry for my er---inference
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. That's OK.
Everyone makes mistakes.
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. No---I'm being sarcastic...
You made the mistake of using quote marks implying that's what I said.... I called you on it and you decided to stick your head in the sand and acted like a child.

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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. So was I.
"You made the mistake of using quote marks implying that's what I said.... "

You inferred I was implying that. When really, it was just satire.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm not revenge oriented, but it seems to me that if the courts sentenced her to life
that means life.

I'm not good at hate, though. It was so long ago that the person dying of cancer in prison isn't the same one who stabbed Sharon Tate. I can't muster any sympathy for her. I just won't stake my feelings of vindication and all that's right in the world on her having to die in a prison hospital. She should, but if they decide something else, I've got other things to feel outraged about. She won't enjoy her last months, in or out of prison.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. She will be free to leave prison when she dies
Then, at that point, I have no objection to her leaving the prison in a box, for the cemetery of her choice.

Good Lord! This stupid bitch isn't there for shoplifting. She is an unrepentant murderer. Letting her go, might also open up the flood gates for other Manson followers in prison to petition for release.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Life means life
That was her sentence, that's what she's supposed to serve. She wasn't sentenced with the caveat, "Unless you get sick and then we'll let you out so that you can have a certain kind of comfort during your final months."

I think Atkins deserves as much compassion as she showed Sharon Tate.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
14. Sounds like she was nuts at the time
And isn't now. Also her statements were of her own admission, at the time. She was nuts enough to possibly make up that she even said them.

She's dying and she's no threat and it's not a very satisfying revenge at this point. This will happen to every life inmate. She's not getting any benefit from being let out this isn't minimal.

Everyone who sees revenge taking place here is lucky she didn't get the gas chamber; she'd have gone with less suffering in that. What is a worse way to go than cancer? There's plenty of punishment in that - all of which she could have avoided had she been executed. And none of which she can avoid by being in jail or out.



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SidneyCarton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. This isn't about revenge, this is about justice.
If this was about revenge, I would agitate for the state to withdraw any and all pain medications currently available to Ms. Atkins, and let her die screaming in the wretched pain of a wasting disease. She will pass quietly into the night, a far better fate than the one she offered to Sharon Tate.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Justice doesn't equal vengence
Edited on Tue Jul-15-08 04:34 PM by depakid
but the distinction between the two seems lost on most Americans.

Yet another of the reasons why you have the world's largest, most expensive (and growing) prison system.

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SidneyCarton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. That is true, and many of those rotting in our prisons do not need to be there.
But Ms. Atkins is not a member of that group. Yes she poses no threat to society, but she cannot raise the dead, and cannot pay for her crime. It was not a crime of passion, nor was it an accident, they were determined murders in the interest of achieving Mr. Manson's deluded vision. Such a crime cannot be lightly dismissed. I wish her a quiet and peaceful death, may she be well treated and allowed all the time necessary to meditate and prepare herself for the passing. May whatever loved ones she has be allowed access to her. But we cannot release her without serious consideration, compassion alone does not suffice.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. You're letting loaded language hijack your reason
There's nothing particularly compassionate about letting the woman die in a hospice as opposed to a prison hospital. It's just a choice of unpleasant hotels- one of which presumably the taxpayers won't foot the bill for.

That's the rational argument in these cases in a nutshell.
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SidneyCarton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Yes and .22 bullets are cheaper than either.
I doubt you are advocating the mass execution of our prison population? What is so wonderful about letting her out?
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. "Letting her out?"
There's the framing again.

It's simply a choice of facilities- one YOU AND I PAY FOR, the other she and her relatives pay for.

The woman is maimed and dying- and no doubt to the delight of many (if not most Americans) suffering horribly. Where she suffers and dies is of little consequence.
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SidneyCarton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Really?
I suppose it's all a matter of perspective. Ms. Atkins case is exceptional, on many levels. The crime is notorious, it raises passions that are far from rational. Yet she is old, maimed and dying, she can hurt no one any further.

You are arguing that our wanting her to die in prison instead of a hospice (either way she will never leave either institution alive) is needlessly sadistic. You may be right. Giving a second thought to your words, in this particular case, I could really care less. She'll die either way, and if there is any justice in the next world, it will make up for our shortcomings in this one. I concede the point to the partisan in the stronger position.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Where did I say anything about sadism?
Edited on Tue Jul-15-08 05:12 PM by depakid
I'm just saying it makes rational SENSE and that Americans have a dysfunctional tendency to demand pounds of flesh, irrespective of the downsides and costs.

On the other hand- it IS the same mentality, that's brought us war with Iraq, Guantanamo, and torture.

Not to mention locking up adolescents for life and meeting out draconian sentences for all sorts of behavior. Lock 'em up and throw away the key (and spend more on prisons than higher education).

Not exactly a set of values designed to promote a sane and wealthy society.
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SidneyCarton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Man, I was agreeing with you.
And isn't a dysfunctional tendency to demand pounds of flesh somewhat sadistic??? Strangely enough we don't differ all that much on our positions on prison reform. We lock up far too many people, treat addiction as a crime, and do not do near enough to rehabilitate juvenile offenders. But when privately owned prisons make money off their warm bodies, why should we be surprised that the system is slanted toward keeping people locked up.
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Great post...
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Glorfindel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #17
26. Well said
I vividly remember my own and the nation's horror at this atrocious crime. Whatever the outcome for Ms Atkins, she's faring better than her victims did.
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Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #17
37. And a far better fate than a lot of us uninsured bastards out here would
get if WE got sick with a disease that would kill us painfully. A friend of mine is still haunted by the death of her MIL, who wasted away to nothing in their home. My friend tended her, fought for her, couldn't get the docs to give her pain meds that worked. The poor woman's last words were: "Please do something, please do something."
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
21. "If Susan Atkins committed this crime in Texas or Florida,
she would have never had brain cancer because she would have been dead long ago."

Actually no.

I can't remember if any of Manson's followers were sentenced to death or if it was just Charlie. But, he (or they) received the death sentence before the Supreme Court found that the way it was being used at that time was unconstitutional. I believe everyone who was on death row at the time regardless of what state they were in had their sentences commuted to life.

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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. You're right about that..... good catch
So I should amend it by saying if the crime was committed in 1975.

Thanks for clearing that up.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
29. Does remorse count for anything?
Edited on Tue Jul-15-08 04:57 PM by lunatica
She was a stupid hippy kid entranced with a degenerate and high on drugs who deserved to be punished and has been for decades. Did she ever express remorse? The article says she apologized years later at a parole hearing. Did she regret what she did and did she become a better person for her paying for her crimes?

And what kind of people are we? Do we ever feel a crime has been punished enough, especially when the criminal is paralyzed on one side, has had a leg amputated and is dying of cancer. Could we not show her the kindness she never showed Sharon Tate, or are we like she was when she committed the crime? Do we ever allow people to redeam themselves? Maybe she didn't show compassion when she brutally murdered another person, but some here aren't showing any compassion either. It's the same mentality that torturing terrorists is just because they've terrorized others.

Someone ought to take the higher ground here. How does the cycle of crime and punishment ever stop unless redemption is allowed and kindness and compassion are shown?
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SidneyCarton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Remorse alone, no. Remorse coupled with time served, maybe.
There are many Republicans who express remorse, "come to Jesus" and are immediately absolved. We mock their hypocrisy, and rightly so. There must be restitution for one's crimes, and such restitution involves more than a press conference and a mea culpa. Ms. Atkins' crime was abhorrent, her punishment would be considered lenient in some parts of our own nation. Nevertheless, as some of the posts upthread have noted, she will die either way. The fact that she could do no further harm may be taken into account, but our sense of compassion must not circumvent the law, otherwise we render it without effect.
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islandmkl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
35. maybe the state looks at...
"She kept begging and pleading and begging and pleading and I got sick of listening to it, so I stabbed her,"...

and figures it works both ways...

do some evil shit...it is not for anyone else to decide when you have 'atoned' for it...all law & punishment is arbitrary...something we all learn, to varying degrees, from youth...penalties come and go and change...

who among us can calculate the time??...

ironically, it was Baretta (Bobby Blake) who famously said, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."...throwaway Hollywood line that it is, it pretty much sums it up.
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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
36. Bugliosi was for releasing her.
(snip)

Atkins attorney Eric P. Lampel read a letter from one of the Los Angeles County prosecutors who tried the Manson case, Vincent Bugliosi, supporting Atkins' compassionate release.

more
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/0...

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