Charles Manson


Discussthe rights of the criminals, if any, and the rights of the familiesto make such statements at parole hearings. Are there anyConstitutional issues? If so, what are they?

Thefifthamendment of the constitution gives criminals the right to testifyduring their trial for any criminal offense. Criminals’ right totestify incorporates their right to present a defense. Again, theyhave the right to present witnesses and testify once the prosecutionpresents its witnesses and evidence against them in a criminal trial(Schmalleger, Hall, &amp Dolatowski, 2010). However, theconstitution requires a criminal to adhere to the rules of evidenceand procedure in presenting his or her witnesses. ’switnesses were denied the chance to testify since the defense teamfelt that they were under strong influence of Manson. The defenseteam further believed that Manson’s influence on the witnesses(women) would force them to testify that they were the chiefperpetrators of the murder crime (Henning, 2003). However, JudgeOlder declared that the right to testify took precedence overobjections from the attorney. As a result, Manson was given thechance to testify in absence of the jury.

Victimimpact statements allow victims of a certain crime allow them toexpress how a crime has affected their lives (Schmalleger et al.,2010). Such statements may play a key role in helping the paroleboard to determine whether to grant a parole and the kind ofconditions to impose in releasing an offender. Leslie Van Houten-afollower of , emotional bid to release Manson fromprison was denied by the parole panel. This is because there panelheard several statements from relatives of the victims who wereopposed to Manson’s release.

Constitutionalissues emerged in case since he was denied a requestfor a new trial. The appeal court argued that the federal ruling thataffirmed the Sixth Amendment did not apply in this case. Thisviolated and denied Manson’s right to self-representation in fact,Kane (2006) terms Manson’s convictions ad current incarcerationsare illegal.


Henning,G. (2003). TheManson and Family of Notley Young. Recordsof the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, 16,1-24.

Kane,E.P. (2006). Murder,Courts, and the Press: Issues in Free Press/fair Trial.New York: Barons Press.

Schmalleger,F., Hall, D. E., &amp Dolatowski, J. J. (2010). Criminallaw today(4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Learning.