The advancement could have been won for a number of reasons- There are actually two parole rules that were not active at the time of her last hearing, that are both in effect now. Both in which Leslie, qualify for each. It is fair to say that she is eligible under the elderly parole rule of having spent over 25 years and being over 65. In addition to the elderly parole rule, Leslie also falls under the youth offender act as she was 19 at the time of the crime and if you were under 23, the psych and the board has to acknowledge her youth at the time of the offense..
Many people felt the last hearing in 2013 had its share of a few discriminative grounds to file; Others speculated that the outrageous and incredibly stunning actions of the authorities over the ‘Tex Tapes”, could have influenced a decision to approve the advancement.
But while some of the grounds would be determined within discretionary power (the grey area), other grounds, such as the age factors, were pretty much ‘black and white’. For most motion hearings this would be a simple matter of presenting the facts, then presenting the law and let process clearly show the rights - which was getting Leslies date moved up
(although if there ever was a case to not rely on simple facts)
So at the end, it was a fair and good call. The first of what is so hoped for many to come. It’s a process and will keep moving forward.
For people who want to write a support letter to the parole board- This is the information needed, please follow these steps and guidelines:
The hearing is scheduled for 4/14/16 - Letters should be sent by 3/01/16 to insure they get in her packet. Key to the letters: respectful, NOT ripping apart the board or process. One page stating why one thinks she should be released, thanking the board for their time, etc. Short is key, but respectful is even more key.
Please make a copy of your letter. Mail the original support letter to:
Board of Parole Hearings
Support letter for Leslie Van Houten, CDC# W13378, hearing date 4/14/16
PO Box 4036
Sacramento, CA 95812.
The copy, please send it via email to email@example.com - (this can be a scanned image, attachment, etc, or whatever way is easiest for you) The copies are being collected for the attorney to insure they will have a copy of what the board has.
This will make it easier for them so that they can focus on the proceeding. Support letters are needed, and are a great way to help. Leslie and her attorneys are very thankful for her supporters, and a special thanks for those taking the initiative and action to address the parole board on Leslie's behalf.
All of you are appreciated
It is true. The legal team for Leslie Van Houten applied for and won an advancement for her hearing to be moved up. The new date is scheduled for 4/14/16. Two years sooner than the previous date that was set around mid 2018.
Her attorney since late 2013, Richard Pfeiffer, has been friends with Leslie since the 90's, and at some point after the last hearing was denied in June 2013, he eagerly and kindly agreed to take her case. Although Mr. Pfeiffer has not yet had the chance to represent Leslie at a hearing, he and his team have certainly continued working on her case, fighting for an earlier date.
In Sept of 2015, Leslie's case was in the appellate court having lost in the superior court. They felt an early hearing was - by all rights - to win the writ in court and receive the advancement. Rich Pfeiffer and his office said that last year (Sept. 2015) they were actually confident because "many grounds provided at the 2013 hearing, left many issues be legally addressed" However, they would not go that path unless needed. They decided to file the "Senior Advancement" for Leslie. A option that became available just last year in California designed for those who are over 60 and have served 25 years at least of their sentence. Not to get excited. It's more of a "guiding factor than a rule" (much like the word "discretion")
The obvious questions are, is this a glimmer of hope that dare be had, in the system of justice? Is it "lucky parole hearing 21"? And if - just if- the board finds her not a threat to society and grants parole - of course bares the thought that must have at least fleeted through many minds - will she fall into the dreadful category Bruce Davis is stuck in? (Win freedom, reverse freedom) and so on.
For the most part, Leslie's attorneys are "hopeful and at same time cautious, as you can imagine" A process to take a step at a time, and address accordingly.
After all, having the hearing moved up two years, is at least a step in the right direction.
Information on support letters will be available and updated soon.
CASE UPDATES AND INFO
-Trial of the Century
-Susan Atkins-Patricia Krenwinkel
-Parole Transcripts 1985-2017
Franklin Hearing transcript 2017
-Tex Watson Tapes
-Criteria Parole Suitability
-Rich Pfeiffer's letter to the DA
-Parole Reversed 2016
THIS WEBSITE IS CURRENTLY BEING RESTRUCTURED AND UPDATED; SOME PAGES MAY BE TEMPORAIRLY DISABLED THROUGH JANUARY 2018