June 14, 2008 in Nation/World

Manson follower seeks release

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

LOS ANGELES – Susan Atkins, the former Charles Manson follower who confessed to killing pregnant actress Sharon Tate during a murderous rampage in 1969, has a terminal illness and has asked for compassionate release from prison in her final days, authorities said Thursday.

Atkins, 60, who has been incarcerated at the California Institution for Women at Frontera for 37 years, has been held longer than any other female inmate in state history.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Thornton declined to specify the nature of her illness.

“She is very ill” and has been hospitalized, said Thornton.

“Her condition is very serious and her prognosis is poor,” she said.

Thornton said a doctor determined that Atkins has less than six months to live, which could make the application for release futile because of the length of the process.

“Sometimes inmates being considered for compassionate release die during the process,” Thornton said.

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