A California parole board panel might have recommended the release of Charles Manson follower Bruce Davis on Thursday, but several other people must approve his release before it can take place.
Those two entities include the entire parole board, which, if they agree to the release, must then be approved by California Governor Jerry Brown, who could follow in former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s footsteps and say no.
Is it time for the convicted double murderer to live out the remainder of his 70-year-old life as a free man in society?
Not according to Debra Tate, the sister of Sharon Tate, Seattle pi reports, nor even a former Manson family member named Barbara Hoyt, who appears bent on making sure her former crime family remains behind bars.
But neither woman was harmed personally by the man who has spent 27 years behind bars for killings unrelated to the brutal murder of Sharon Tate.
And their presence to contest his parole hearing earlier in the year should not influence the decision of the panel or complete board at all really. And his defense lawyer pointed that out. The family of the victims he killed, however, is a different matter, but they have never appeared at his parole hearings according to an earlier Seattle pi report. And one has to wonder why?
The Charles Manson follower appears poised to follow in the footsteps of the only other Manson member to gain their freedom from prison once incarcerated: Steve Grogan. Incidentally, it is both of these men who were convicted of killing musician Gary Hinman as well as a stuntman known as Donald “Shorty” Shea.
Neither of them participated in the Tate murder, and Grogan willingly showed police in 1995 where the body of Shea was buried, bringing the victim’s family a small measure of closure about that aspect of their loved one’s death, at least.
If Hinman’s family, or that of Sheas, were to contest the release of Bruce Davis it is likely that the parole board panel would not have moved in favor of his release. But they didn’t. And the family members of a victim should be the one to decide–not other bystanders–whether a convicted criminal goes free from prison after 27 years of incarceration.
The HIman and Shea families’ wishes in the matter should be one of the driving factors when release of a killer is contemplated. That and the parole board, of course, since the parole board must maintain the safety of the public–even if a victim’s family chooses not to show up or respond.