Why the Death Penalty Is 100% Justified, Forty-Nine Years After One of the Most Infamous Acts of Domestic Terrorism
This article contains controversial subject matter; this article was also written in collaboration with my mother, as her grandparents were friends with Rosemary and Leno LaBianca.
When we think of the death penalty, there are only two types of opinions. The first type views capital punishment as hypocritical and inhumane, which is understandable. The second viewpoint is that punishment by death is justified and fair in cases of murder and terrorism. One case that got people talking about the death penalty was the infamous Manson Family case; this case is now considered an act of domestic terrorism. Do mass murder and domestic terrorism warrant capital punishment? Yes they do, as this can be seen as a justified punishment for crimes that are horrific beyond belief. Human life cannot be compensated for with money or other materialistic items. Nor will it ever be.
The summer of 1969 was considered “the summer of love” all over the nation. Woodstock was in full swing in upstate New York. Protests against the Vietnam War were spreading like wildfire. All in the name of peace in love. One area of southern California was feeling the shock of one of the most prolific cases in the history of the United States: the infamous Manson Family murders. The entire country was left in both shock and fear at the horrific deaths of actress Sharon Tate Polanski, as well as grocery store owners Rosemary and Leno LaBianca. These are portions of the opening statements that were given to the jury by head prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi in the summer of 1970: “Mr. Stovitz and I, representing the prosecution, that is, the People of the State of California, expect to offer evidence in this case proving that on or before August 9, 1969, defendants Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel, together with Charles Watson, who is presently in Texas, entered into a conspiracy to commit murder. Whether or not a 5th person, Linda Kasabian, was a member of the conspiracy, will probably be up to you folks to decide. Pursuit to the aforementioned conspiracy to commit murder, in the early morning hours of August 9, 1969, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Charles Watson, murdered five human beings at the Roman Polanski residence, a secluded home at the top of a long, winding, driveway, located at 10050 Cielo Drive, Los Angeles.”
“As I’ve indicated, the Tate murders took place in the early morning hours of August 9, 1969. Later that same day, in the late evening of August 9, 1969, another defendant, defendant Leslie Van Houten, joined the continuing conspiracy to commit murder. Pursuant to that conspiracy, in the early morning hours of August 10, 1969, these defendants murdered Leno and Rosemary LaBianca at their residence located at 3301 Waverly Drive, in the Los Feliz, Griffith Park, area of Los Angeles.”
“What kind of diabolical, satanic mind would contemplate or conceive of these mass murders? What kind of mind would want to have seven human beings brutally murdered?”
“We expect the evidence that to show that defendant Charles Manson owned that diabolical mind. Charles Manson, who, the evidence will show, at times has the infinite humility, if you will, to call himself Jesus Christ.”
How and why would the Manson Family be considered a domestic terrorist organization? Like most terrorist organizations, the infamous cult was led by someone who had both the gift of gab and unbelievable intelligence. Charles Manson told his followers whatever they wanted to hear and had an Intelligence Quotient of 145; a high IQ and excellent speaking abilities are what evil geniuses like Adolf Hitler and Abu Bakr al-Zarqawi possess. How does charisma and high intelligence play a role in committing atrocities? Historically, telling someone what they want to hear and intelligence both work in sync. When an individual hears what they want, he or she can be easily manipulated; this tactic is how both the Nazi party and ISIS rose to power. Adolf Hitler and Abu Bakr al-Zarqawi also both had genius-level Intelligence Quotient scores. Yeah, charisma and a high IQ are factors, but what does having "people skills" have to do with anything? As previously stated, "people skills" have everything to do it. These can be easily used to prey on the weak. Other than ruthlessness, cocaine kingpin-turned-dictator Slobodan Milosevic utilized negotiation skills to run the Scorpion cartel like a formal business. These abilities were used not only to delay deportation back to Yugoslavia, but to be able to brainwash the public after filling the power vacuum left by the death of Josip Broz Tito; like Manson, Milosevic also planned to order hits on high-ranking officials in Nicaragua and Yugoslavia before deportation in 1979. Charles Manson had a high IQ, charisma, and great social skills. But it was the prosecutor, alongside the FBI and CIA, who would catch the predator and decide his fate.
For several years, Charles Manson was wanted by both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a variety of charges that can be considered acts of domestic terrorism by today's standards. He intended to start a race war through his actions, as well as planning to order the murders of high-ranking individuals in Hollywood and on the political circuit. Pinning his actions on the Black Panther party was part of his failed attempt to start a race war. Before he was wanted by both the CIA and FBI, he was wanted for human trafficking and arson, which are acts of terrorism. Although Dianne Lake, then 16, had spoken to the FBI about what had happened, she had seen right through Manson's attempt to control her when she testified against him in 1970. "He just looked crazy, so I was able to look at him. I had been pretty deprogrammed at this point, so I felt pretty safe," Lake said in an interview with People magazine exactly one month before Manson's death. "He preyed on the weak," Lake had said in a separate interview with Vice News after Manson's death from health complications. The FBI and the CIA had their eyes on him for at least seven years, but it was prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi who would deliver the final blow to Manson's reign of terror.
The prosecutor was a firm believer in capital punishment, as he had publicly stated that he felt that like-minded individuals “do not deserve to live.” When someone takes the life of an innocent individual without a motive, other than to satisfy their sick and twisted desires, the families of the victims live in fear knowing that the killer of their son or daughter is still breathing. The victim’s parents deserve to have closure knowing that the killer of their child is dead and can no longer kill anyone else. As well as closure for the victims’ families, everyone’s tax dollars keep them alive. $49 billion in taxes alone keep monsters like Charles Manson breathing. Is that fair? No. Shall the punishment fit the crime? Yes indeed.
Unsurprisingly enough, capital punishment is perfectly constitutional under the Eighth Amendment, and is considered humane by justification in the Geneva Convention. Crimes such as murder and terrorism, foreign or domestic, can warrant punishment by execution internationally. Punishment by execution for murder and terrorism is considered justified in France, Canada, Lebanon, Israel, Russia, Turkey, Switzerland, and many other countries allied with the United States. If any individual is subject to punishment by death, no human rights are violated. How so? If the scenario is justified, the punishment fits the crime perfectly. Individuals who commit treason are monitored closely by the CIA and FBI, as well as not being allowed to leave the country. Murderers and terrorists like Charles Manson should pay for their crimes with being penalized with capital punishment.
In conclusion, human life cannot be compensated for with money and material goods. Was Charles Manson a terrorist and the epitome of all evil? Yes, he was. Many would say that it is unfair that he got to live to the age of 83 when his victims were butchered to death in their own homes. No amount of money will be able to compensate for such horrific crimes. The only true compensation that can be given is that taxpayers are no longer paying for them to live, closure for the parents of victims, and knowing that the killer has met their fate.