Aging Manson 'Family' members long for freedom

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Susan Atkins is terminally ill; Charles "Tex" Watson is an ordained minister. They and other members of Charles Manson's murderous "family" now shun him.

After three decades behind bars, Manson family members Atkins, Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten have repeatedly been described as model prisoners who have accepted responsibility for their crimes.

Parole boards, however, continue to reject their bids for release, and a debate rages over whether the four should ever be freed.

The Manson family members were initially sentenced to death, only to have their sentences commuted to life in prison when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down death penalty laws in 1972, establishing a four-year moratorium on executions.

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