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Asked to explain her actions, she said, "I feel that at that point I had really lost my humanity and I can’t know how far I would have gone. I had no regard for life and no measurement of my limitations."
Van Houten has previously been commended for her work helping elderly women inmates at the California Institution for Women. She earned two college degrees while in custody.
Other members of Manson’s murderous "family" have lost bids for parole.
One former follower, Bruce Davis, actually was approved for parole last year only to have Gov. Jerry Brown veto the plan in March, saying he wanted the 70-year-old Davis to reveal more details about the killings of a stunt man and a musician. Davis was not involved in the slayings of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
Van Houten and others were given death sentences that were later reduced to life in prison with the possibility of parole when the death penalty was briefly outlawed in the 1970s.
Manson, now 78, has stopped coming to parole hearings, sending word that prison is his home and he wants to stay there.
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