According to the AP, California’s Supreme Court ruled on February 11 to uphold Governor Gavin Newsom’s parole rejection for Leslie Van Houten by way of refusing to hear out her legal team’s argument against it. While her attorney Rich Pfeiffer had filed a petition after Newsom’s block, arguing it violated Van Houten’s right to due process, it seems the state’s supreme court did not agree. The AP also noted Pfeiffer did not respond to attempts to reach out for comment.
As the New York Post noted, Van Houten has been recommended for early release by the prison parole board five times since 2016. Out of those five, four have been denied by Newsom and former California Governor Jerry Brown. These repeated recommendations are presumably based on both Van Houten’s model behavior in prison, her denouncement of Manson, and her expressed remorse for her crimes, as NBC wrote in 2016.
But there’s still hope for her: as the Post also pointed out, one of those recommendations has been under review since November 2021. In the end, there’s a slim possibility the former Manson family follower still has a chance of living the last phase of her life as a free woman after all.