After 19 denials, Leslie Van Houten may be one step closer to being a free woman.
The youngest of the group that was convicted alongside Charles Manson for a grisly murder spree in 1969, Van Houten had previously been denied parole 19 times before being granted her release on Thursday.
That doesn’t mean she’s a free woman yet, though; the California Department of Corrections simply recommended her release through parole — and the entire thing will be reviewed by the Board of Parole Hearings some time in the next four months.
From there, California governor Jerry Brown could get involved, too, and have final say in whether to approve or deny the recommendation.
But for now, the woman — who was just 19 years old when she and other members of Manson’s cult committed nine murders in the summer of 1969 — is inching closer to freedom.
Manson, on the other hand, will probably never get out of prison alive. He was denied parole in 2012, and won’t be eligible again for another 15 years. He’d be 92 years old if he were released at that time.
But after this week, Van Houten may yet see the light of day — though she has several more steps to go before even getting close to that.
Nevertheless, after 19 denials, being granted the initial parole recommendation is a significant change.
Do YOU think she’s ready to rejoin society??
[Image via California Department of Corrections.]