1. AN OVERTURNED CONVICTION 2. A HUNG JURY 3. "7 YEARS TO LIFE"
Due to inadequate representation of the first trial, Leslie Van Houten won a re-trial in 1977- that ended as a mistrial. The jury struggled to determine "if Leslie was responsible or not for the crime" is what one juror told a reporter after the judge dismissed the case. The mistrial showed everyone then and still today, that there was sufficient doubt in Leslie being guilty of First Degree Murder - given her mindset at the time. The jury didn't support that. The prosecutor at that time Stephen Kay, still would not even accept a reasonable plea offer. Leslie's attorney was not asking for a "not guilty" offer, just for a lesser charge - one that the jury would support. But Mr. Kay wanted Murder 1. Thus, resulting in a hung jury. So Stephen Kay, who is known for being an obsessive political crusader goes after her a third time. Leslie was then released and free on bail for 6 months living a quiet low key life, while preparing for Trial # 3 that was of course successful in the guilty verdict. The reason for this conviction, according to Stephen Kay, was due to a "clever trick that forced a guilty verdict in a sense."