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Was Charles Manson Conviction of an Abuse of Discretion? Part 2

Updated on June 24, 2018

Repeatedly, Manson, who confronted death sentence, should demand further medical attention due to his mental condition, not execution. However, the police officers, the court judges, and the prosecutors unconsciously abused their discretionary power to charge him with murders and sentence him to death instead of life imprisonment. They miscarried the necessary justice for Manson due to the exercise of impartiality. The courts of law required people to have the fair trial, and the court judges should enforce those laws with appropriate justice for the criminals. What happened to Manson was a mistrial. Firstly, the local sheriffs did not have any idea about the crimes and the involvement of Manson. Secondly, the prosecutors did not have prima facie cases to determine the veracity of the key witnesses. Thirdly, the use of testimonial evidence did not hold the weight of evidence to establish the allegations. Fourthly, if Manson committed the crime through conspiracy theory, then he would receive life imprisonment, not the death penalty. Lastly, Manson was an aggressive, irrational, and mentally damaged individual. He came from the most terrifying childhood and lived in the harshest environment where learned all forms of evil and insanity. He also wandered around city blocks and sidewalks to commit burglary and survived in the streets without food, bedding, medicine, and comfort room. In addition to it, he did not receive attention from the social environment, which turned him to be perilous. His mother sold him, but he found himself in a school for boys. He did not know his father whom he expected to guide him. All these circumstances made him become savage, illogical, and psychologically ill, which the court judges and the adjudicators considered dead (Linder, 2008). Indeed, Manson’s emotionally disturbed character and deep-rooted absurdity did not reduce his criminal offenses, which brought questions why the court judges, the panel members, and the prosecutors overlooked to consider. In fact, they were aware of Manson’s personality since the latter was a career criminal. Manson’s case was truly byzantine and complicated wherein the people believe President Nixon influenced the judges and the lawyers for declaring Manson was guilty. In the end, if the case was true, then Mason’s verdict was an abuse of discretionary power.

Conversely, Manson, who did not have a direct involvement of the Tate-La Bianca murders, was still part of the crime. His involvement in the conspiracy would exclude him from the mistakes he took part in it. Nonetheless, he also needed to be briefed before he received his capital punishment. In this paper, it did not mean that the court judges, the prosecutors, and the jury members had lack of understanding about the case but that they simply forgot to recognize the needs and the conditions of the criminals. On the other hand, there were a number of supporting documents and legal reports that Charles Manson was unpredictable, offbeat, and precarious, and those preceding descriptions should serve as a basis for reducing Manson’s sentence to a long-term mental rehabilitation. Instead of considering Manson’s mental condition, the prosecutors and the court judges remained at their discretionary powers to forward the case. Manson’s pathological personality, irrationality, and twisted belief about the apocalypse did not strongly influence the court judges and the prosecutors to carry out justice. The use of discretionary powers overruled the judicial process and sentenced Manson family to death (Sanders, 1971, p. 12). Manson without a doubt was involved with the conspiracy; nonetheless, he had an emotional and psychological baggage that the court judges and the prosecutors should examine. Since the prosecutors could not prove Manson’s direct participation in the crime, they should, instead, lower the sanction to the life sentence without parole, rather than the death penalty.

Furthermore, the abuse of their discretionary powers to indict Manson with murder and sentence him to death only for conspiracy theory was way beyond the truth. According to Blaesser (1994), the abuse of discretionary power was committed when trial court exercised its authority to decide and judge people for crimes outside the frame of logic and evidence (p. 38). As mentioned, the court judges and prosecutors might commit their discretionary powers once they recklessly offered their verdicts without the established prima facie cases. Even if the Manson’s case contained oral testimonies from the principal witness, the court judges and the prosecutors unquestionably misused their discretionary power by sentencing his death penalty. If there was a solid ground to establish Manson’s involvement in the crime, it might be enough to put him in prison for a lifetime without parole. It did not mean that Manson was exempted of the crime but that he should deserve true justice. Furthermore, the grounds for committing an abuse of discretionary power was noticeable. Therefore, the court adjudicators and the prosecutors committed a grievous error of the law.

Overall, the discretionary powers, which the court judges, the jury members, and the prosecutors attempted to exploit, must adhere to the sense of logic and the demonstration of evidence. Without the stronger force of the prima facie case and the direct evidence that would pinpoint Manson’s crimes, the court judges, the jury members, and the prosecutors should never abuse their discretionary authorities for making the pieces of circumstantial and testimonial evidence as prima facie cases. They should realize that those pieces of evidence were not sufficient to institute justice beyond a reasonable doubt. The testimonies of Kasabian and the accidental confession of Susan Atkins should be assessed to prove Manson’s involvement in the case. Was Manson’s conviction an abuse of discretion? The answer is affirmative since the courts of law did not bear and hold the right procedure. In the end, the court judges, the jury members, and the prosecutors could truly use their discretionary powers, but they should not be allowed to abuse them especially when the pieces of evidence presented did not qualify its relevancy, admissibility, and sufficiency.


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