seem apparent that he is better housed in a prison than in a psychiatric hospital. Although there is little chance of Charles Manson ever receiving parole, the Los Angeles district attorney's office has publicly opposed his ever being released and representatives from the families of his various victims have also filed depositions at parole hearings over the years describing the pain resulting from his crimes. The Eighth Amendment under the cruel and unusual punishment clause protects people from cruel and unusual punishment. In addition, it protects the right to treatment for acute medical problems, including psychiatric problems. No person can be tried or sentenced for a crime, because of a mental disease or defect, he or she cannot understand the nature of the proceedings against him or her or assist his or her lawyer in preparing a defense. A criminal found not competent to stand trial is usually subject to civil commitment for an indefinite period. The Court held in Ford v. Wainwright that the Eighth Amendment prohibits the state from carrying out the death penalty on an individual who is insane, and that properly raised issues of execution–time sanity must be determined in a proceeding satisfying the minimum requirements of due process. The Court noted that execution of the insane had been considered cruel and unusual at common law and at the time of adoption of the Bill of Rights, and continues to be so viewed today. And, while no states purport to permit the execution of the insane, a number, including Florida, leave the determination to the governor. Florida’s procedures, the Court held, fell short of due process because the decision was vested in the governor, and because the defendant was given no opportunity to be heard, the governor’s decision being based on reports of three state appointed psychiatrists. (Ford v. Wainwright, 1986 )
CHARLES MANSON 6 The Manson family murders constitute a killing spree. The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines a spree killing as "killings at two or more locations with almost no time-break between murders." The FBI’s general definition of spree killing is two or more murders committed by an offender or offenders without a cooling-off period. Charles Manson had a grand design or vision He wanted to bring about Helter Skelter and it led him to mastermind a murderous rampage which he believed would ignite the apocalypse. Stated differently, Manson sent his followers out on a mission to kill for him. Tate’s housekeeper found the bodies the morning after the murders and called in LAPD investigating officers. The Hinman murder was under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD), and Beausoleil was arrested. The LaBianca murder was under LAPD jurisdiction, but a formal announcement by LAPD incorrectly confirmed that the Tate murder and LaBianca murders were not connected. Although LASD made contact with LAPD regarding the striking similarities of the Tate and Hinman murders, LAPD was insistent that the Tate murder was the result of a drug transaction.
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- Spring '11
- Charles Manson, Sharon Tate