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June 16, 2008

Former Manson Family Member Wants To Die At Home

A woman that showed no mercy when she murder a pregnant woman and her unborn child has asked to be released from prison so she can die at home. I was not alive when the Manson family murders were committed but they still send a chill through my body. The description of the brutal crimes that left several people dead is shocking even in out jaded age of living.

Susan Atkins was one of the women who was instrumental in Charles Manson’s twisted world of crime. Atkins is now 60 and has been in jail since she was convicted of the 1969 slaying of actress Sharon Tate and four other people. She has been in prison longer than any other woman in the history of California and now Atkins would like a compassionate release.

I understand forgiving those the way that we would like to be forgiven but the family members of the people that were murdered did not have the chance to watch their loved ones die peacefully at home. I do not agree with the “compassionate release” of Susan Atkins. She already was able to avoid the death penalty. I think that allowing her to continue to live was compassionate enough. Now that she is sick, I don’t think we should forget about what she is in prison for. It is nice that Atkins was able to become a born again Christian and help at risk youth but that does not erase what she did.

Atkins’ attorney and husband fought for her release and it looks like she is going to get it. I think that the court could have at least asked the family members of the murdered victims how they felt about Atkins being released. It is important to be compassionate to those that had their loved ones ripped from their lives. How are the family members going to feel with Atkins being allowed to walk out of prison and die in the comfort of her home surrounded by her family members?

Life is by no means fair, I know, but I really think that Atkins should die in prison. It is not that I am lacking compassion, because I feel bad about anyone that is dying but a Atkins owes a debt to the victims the Manson Family murdered and family members who were left to grieve their deaths. She has not completely paid her what she owes. In fact, even the death of Atkins in jail or if she had been executed would be enough. There is no price on human life so the death of a murderer is still an impartial payment for what a killer has taken. Making sure that a convicted murderer is comfortable in their last days just doesn’t seem right.

The balance between right and wrong when it comes to dealing with murderers who have served time and allegedly changed their lives is hard to strike. However, no matter how much the person has changed their life the past can not be erased.

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