This Year Marks The 100-Year Anniversary Of The Epic Black Sox Scandal

Few people who are alive today would remember the Black Sox Scandal that erupted after a group of eight Chicago White Sox players allegedly lost the 1919 World Series due to organized crime. They let the Cincinnati Reds defeat them after being promised a large cash payout by Arnold Rothstein, whose gambling syndicate was gaining power and wealth before the time of the incident.

Tension was boiling behind the scenes in the years leading up to the scandal. Many of the players detested White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, who had previously played the sport but was widely known as a cheapskate when negotiating salaries for his own players. Even in the clubhouse there were two distinct factions of players. From the outside looking in, it may have seemed like a battle between good and evil, or honor and greed.

It was later reported that a meeting took place between many players on the team, some already ready to lose games in exchange for the payment, and others simply open to the possibility. Even before the White Sox threw the requisite games, rumors in the gambling world were circulating that it was a possibility.

A grand jury wasn’t called to investigate the crime until late 1920, at which time one player confessed his part in the scandal. All hell broke loose from there. The players allegedly involved were all suspended in the midst of a strong season they had the potential to win, which left them in second place for the year.

Eight players were indicted, as well as five gamblers allegedly a part of the syndicate that paid them off. The “Clean Sox” who were not implicated in the crime were given bonus checks.

The outcome of the trial seemed to waver back and forth, being injected with new scandal at every turn — signed confessions and other evidence went missing while new testimonies were promised. Even though the testimony presented at trial seemed to clearly indicate the guilt of the players, each and every one of them were found not guilty by a jury of their peers. 

They didn’t get away with the scandal without consequence, though: all eight were banned from ever playing in the league again.

Baseball has always been known as a purely American sport here in the United States — even though it originally evolved from a European sport called “rounders” — and it should come as no surprise that the American psyche in the sports world was thoroughly trampled as a result of the alleged crime and subsequent trial. It would be a long time before the integrity of the game was fully restored.

Have you been falsely accused of a crime in or around Miami? You need the best defense attorney money can buy — and one is waiting at our Valiente Law offices.

The Trial Of Captain Thomas Preston After The Boston Massacre

Sometimes service to the king doesn’t pay. That was the case on March 5, 1770 when Private Hugh White ran into trouble when trying to protect the local Custom House treasury funds on King Street in the colonial city of Boston. The story goes that a number of colonists began to antagonize and assault White without cause, after which he eventually called for backup while prostrate on the ground. When Captain Thomas Preston and some of his troops surrounded the Custom House, it seemed only a matter of time before blood would be spilled.

Such was the case.

Colonists physically assaulted the soldiers — according to various accounts, none of which seem to say the same thing — and one of the soldiers apparently fired his weapon either intentionally or unintentionally. We’ll never know for sure, and it doesn’t really matter. It was only the first shot, then followed by many more. Five colonists were killed in the resulting chaos. Six others were injured.

This event was one of the sparks that caused the American Revolution. Preston and those serving under his command were arrested shortly after the bloodshed. It would be future president John Adams who would actually argue in defense of Preston and his men — not because he had any love for the British, but because he believed anyone accused of a crime should have the right to a fair trial. Adams even convinced the judge overseeing the trial to find a jury of out-of-towners to make sure the eventual ruling was as impartial as possible.

Adams argued well. 

He said that conflicting stories left reasonable doubt as to the men’s guilt, and that they should be found not guilty of murder. All were. Two of the soldiers were, however, found guilty on a lesser charge of manslaughter and penalized with branding.

Some time after the event, Preston commented on the chaotic nonsense that had led them astray: “None of them was a hero. The victims were troublemakers who got more than they deserved. The soldiers were professionals…who shouldn’t have panicked. The whole thing shouldn’t have happened.”

No one can argue against that.

Even so, events continued to escalate in Boston: the historic Boston Tea Party cemented the feelings of ill will between colonists and redcoats, which led to the First Continental Congress and even more skirmishes before all-out war finally broke out. The rest is history.

This Dead Pope Faced Trial in The Year 897: Medieval Madness!

Sometimes all you have to do in order to realize that the modern age really isn’t so bad is look back. History has shown us that humans are capable of horrific things, great things, and–often–some absurdly crazy-weird things. In 897, Pope Stephen VI decided that his predecessor should be adorned in traditional pontifical garb and placed on a throne in one of the basilicas of Ancient Rome. The skeleton-man thus stood trial. Not surprisingly, it was called “The Dead Pope Trial.”

In 882, John VIII was the first pope ever assassinated after a brutal clubbing by hammer. Ouch. In the years that followed, three more popes passed through Rome. All died quickly. From 891 until his death in 896, Pope Formosus had the job. He was the first ex-communicant to enjoy the title. He died of a stroke and was interred in a vault at St. Peters. Not a wonderful couple of decades for the church.

Stephen VI was put into power by Formosus’ rivals, and they didn’t wait long before placing the dead man on trial for crimes innumerable. There was a meeting called the Cadaver Synod, attended by bishops and cardinals, before the matter was put to a vote and the corpse was removed from its resting place. Pope Stephen prosecuted the dead man himself. His first matter was appointing the defense–a fresh eighteen-year-old deacon. Sounds like the trial was guaranteed to be fair.

This is when it starts to get amusing!

Stephen posed a number of questions to Formosus, asking him why he committed his crimes. Because the dead man refused to answer such simple inquiries, Stephen decided that the Church should find him guilty. The bishops agreed.

When found guilty of egregious crimes, one must be punished. Formosus had the skeleton-fingers once used for blessings chopped off, he was stripped naked, and then his body was dumped in the Tiber River. This next part is straight out of A Game of Thrones: monks who believed Formosus to be innocent retrieved his body. It wasn’t long before word spread that miracles were taking place all along the Tiber–enacted by none other than Formosus himself.

A coup followed shortly thereafter, deposing and imprisoning Pope Stephen VI. It was there he was murdered. Formosus was returned to his resting place (St. Peter), exhumed, returned to its second resting place (the Tiber), and then brought back (St. Peter).

In 898 trials of dead men were banned by the new pope, John IX.

Thank god!

Famous Criminal Defense Attorneys

Being a defense attorney is often a question or morality. In the United States, our constitution declares everyone is innocent until proven guilty. However, in the court of public opinion, there are many who are quick to judge and deem a guilty verdict before the trial has begun. And while many alleged criminals might actually be guilty of their accused crime, a defense lawyer doesn’t need to prove that the alleged criminal didn’t commit the crime, just show that the evidence presented by the prosecution is not sufficient enough to prove the alleged crime. Some defense lawyers are better than others. Here’s a list of the most famous defense lawyer.

Johnnie Cochran  – Best known for defending O.J. Simpson when he was accused of murdering his wife Nicole Brown Simpson, where he famously said “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit.” Cochran was successful and earned Simpson an acquittal. He has also represented other celebrities accused of crimes such as P. Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Rosa Parks, Michael Jackson, and Tupac Shakur. In the P. Diddy weapons charge case, Cochran was able to get him acquitted on all charges.

Mark Geragos – Best known for defending Scott Peterson who was accused of murdering his pregnant wife, Lacie Peterson, during the same time period where he was defending Michael Jackson, who was being accused of molestation. Attempting to defend two high profile cases at the same time became costly for Geragos; Jackson dropped him as a lawyer and Scott Peterson was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Howard K. Stern – Best known for representing Anna Nicole Smith and appearing on her reality TV show. The two of them dated in 2006 and were married in 2007. After Anna Nicole gave birth to her daughter Dannielynn, Howard was thrust into a paternity lawsuit against Larry Birkhead, which he lost. He was then arrested and tried for conspiracy surrounding prescription medications for Anna Nicole. However, these charges were dismissed as Judge Robert Perry believed that the fake names used in obtaining prescriptions were for Anna Nicole’s protection.

Famous Trials – Falwell v Flynt

Nowadays, there are many debates sparked regarding the First Amendment and the appropriate use of free speech. That people have the right to say what they want, however they want, regardless of the circumstances. Sometimes, however, the line between what can be regarded as free speech and what is considered slander or libel can be muddied and smeared to a point of near-indistinction. In the case of Jerry Falwell vs. Larry Flynt, this is exactly what happened.

Reverend Falwell was a well-known champion against the pornography industry, claiming that the content was poisoning the minds of young people and tarnishing the purity of marital relationships by encouraging sex out of wedlock. He was an activist who founded the Moral Majority organization, established to spread a religious agenda that promoted religious practices in schools and spoke out against acts such as abortion and the spread of pornography.

Contrarily, Larry Flynt was regarded as the ruler of the pornographic world. His famous magazine, Hustler, was well-known throughout the country, delving from written articles on public and private opinion regarding the pornography industry into the pin-up starlet display that many of us know it to be today. And it was inside one particular issue of Hustler, in November 1983, that Flynt had published what many would argue to be a libelous article defaming the Reverend Falwell, falsely claiming an interest in incestuous relations with his own mother chief among other acts. Not surprisingly, Reverend Falwell took these matters to heart and called upon his campaign to fund a legal pursuit for damages to his reputation as well as emotional distress suffered as a result of the matter, calling it a mission to champion against the pornographic industry.

During the process of the trial, some might recall the fantastic deposition given by Mr. Flynt as he lay handcuffed to a gurney, in a state of apparent discomfort that suffered due to an attack on his person in Georgia years earlier. He seemed to mock the legal process with comments of incredible association such as collaborative efforts toward the ad targeting Falwell that involved the likes of Yoko Ono, Billy Idol, and even President Jimmy Carter. Other comments involved his blatant distaste for the Bible and organized religion as a whole, comments that involved exceedingly colorful language. Eventually, the deposition devolved into a series of personal attacks on Falwell’s attorney, Norman Roy Grutman. The entire process went over so poorly that Flynt’s attorney, Alan Isaacman, had to claim mental incompetence on the part of Flynt due to manic-depressive syndrome brought on by Flynt’s physical state combined with medication he was taking while in jail.

In December of 1984, Falwell appeared in court in Virginia. He described in detail the relationship with his mother and his steps with religion that had transformed him into the man he was – the “second-most admired man behind the President.” He described his personal vendetta against the pornographic industry before and especially after Hustler’s personal attack on him, telling about how he was so angry that he might have reacted physically if Flynt had been anywhere near him.

When Larry Flynt arrived in court, he appeared to be a man changed. Instead of being strapped to a gurney in prison garb, Flynt wore a three-piece suit. His expression was much calmer and composed than it had been during his deposition. He spoke more clearly and concisely, and he cited his reasons for publishing such an article as a reactionary piece to Falwell’s campaigning against his magazine and the industry as a whole. Flynt claimed he didn’t expect his readers to take any of it seriously due to the simple fact that it was so incredible to think a man such as Jerry Falwell could realistically engage in such activities, and that he didn’t even harbor any personal vendetta against Falwell despite the ad. In the end, the court awarded Falwell for damages due to emotional distress as well as punitive damages, though denied him the award for libel due simply to how fantastic and unbelievable the ad was.

After this point, supporters of Flynt’s right to free speech spoke out, and eventually, Isaacman called for a certiorari (effectively a review of proceedings from a higher court) to the United States Supreme Court. The case became one that centered heavily around the interpretation of the First Amendment. Isaacman argued in front of the Supreme Court the parallel between Flynt’s ad and such demonstrations as political cartoons that are a clear-cut case of satire and not necessarily an intended defamation on a targeted person. He argued the distinction between unpopular speech as opposed to a treatise on standards of decency and morality. Isaacman emphasized Falwell’s personal quest to combat the pornographic industry as detrimental to Flynt’s profession and livelihood, and that Flynt was only reacting with a parody to meet the threat of Falwell’s campaign. And while Grutman attempted to argue a “deliberate, malicious character assassination,” the Supreme Court appeared to side with Isaacman. Counterpoints included Justice Scalia comparing the event with “politicians depicted as horrible looking beasts,” and Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote following a unanimous decision toward the tune of emphasizing the protected right of Flynt to write such an article even out of malice regarding public figures. The Supreme Court reversed the jury’s award to Falwell, cementing the near-absolutism of free speech without fear of reprisal protected by the First Amendment.

Famous Trials – George Zimmerman

On February 26, 2012, a confrontation between a young, black man and a neighborhood watch group leader sparked one of the largest social controversies the United States had experienced in many years. It was an event that rekindled issues such as racial profiling, civil rights, and ever-debated gun control laws. The altercation that was initially considered by police as an act of self-defense later brought on the activist star power of the likes of Jesse Jackson and Reverend Al Sharpton, and it even garnered attention from President Barack Obama. As widely known as the trial of O.J. Simpson in the mid-90’s, the trial of George Zimmerman in the case of Trayvon Martin’s death is sure to go down as one of the most infamous trials of the 21st century.

The general consensus of the story agrees that Trayvon Martin was walking down the street outside a resort community in Sanford when Mr. Zimmerman passed him by while driving on an errand. That is where the similarities regarding the separate points of view end. Mr. Zimmerman attested that, during  a 911 emergency call, he had heeded the advice of the dispatcher and broke off his pursuit of Trayvon Martin, when Martin had allegedly jumped him behind some bushes and began assaulting him. An audio witness who was speaking with Martin on the phone at the time attests quite differently: that Martin was approached by Zimmerman and promptly assaulted in turn. At this point, the guessing game involves whether Martin’s death was due primarily to self-defense or to an issue of racial profiling and bigotry.

While police initially concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman on grounds of assault, Travyon Martin’s father Tracy pursued the issue further with the help of civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump. The case attention and criticism nationwide, and an Internet petition gathered over 2 million digital signatures that called for Zimmerman’s arrest. State attorney Angela Corey charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder, a move that was criticized by many legal analysts as overreaching, without the arrangement of a grand jury.

While many nationwide viewed this act as racially motivated and thus called for Zimmerman’s conviction after his arrest, there were those within the legal community who fervently believed this case never should have gone to trial. Beyond the prosecution’s challenge of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman meant bodily harm to Martin without provocation, interviews later revealed that the jury did not even give discussion toward whether or not Zimmerman’s actions were motivated by race. Zimmerman was found not guilty after 16 hours of deliberation.

What may have been just as shocking as the event itself was the dichotomy of opinion and involvement that developed from the verdict. Polls suggested that a vast majority of Republicans approved the verdict while a minority number of Democrats agreed. Of those polled, an overwhelming number of African Americans found the shooting unjustified, while a dramatically lower number of Caucasian citizens concurred. As a nationally-involved trial, several political figures, athletes and celebrities voiced their opinions on the jury’s verdict, just as divided as the general public.

There are those who criticize Ms. Corey for her decision to take this case to court, especially without convening a grand jury beforehand. There are those who believe this case was simply one that no prosecuting team could win given the evidence that they were to use. Some believe Corey suffered from intense political pressure, and so charged Zimmerman simply for the sake of deflecting that pressure from her office. Some believe that charging Zimmerman was not serving justice, the primary function of a prosecutor, and that Corey may have just been looking for someone to pin the crime to in light of the situation garnering national attention from the civil rights community and anyone who believed the event was racially motivated. Whatever the case, after Zimmerman’s acquittal, the Justice department closed their own investigation and decided against pressing charges as well.

The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping: The Right Man?

Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a plane. If only he could have piloted the safe return of his young son.

The tragic story of “Lindbergh’s baby” made international headlines, and led to the “trial of the century,” resulting in a conviction and execution of the alleged kidnapper, though the convict maintained his innocence throughout.

The case involved 20-month-old Charles Lindbergh Jr., the son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne. In the evening of March 1, 1932, little Charles was reportedly abducted from his crib at home in New Jersey just after being put to bed by the Lindbergh family nanny, Betty Gow.

In the days following, several ransom notes were sent to the Lindbergh, each with different ransom demands and different conditions for the ransom to be delivered. Finally, Lindbergh asked a family doctor and friend to meet with the man believed to be the kidnapper for an exchange of money in return for information of the location of the toddler.

The toddler was said to be on a boat called the Nelly, though the boat was not found – even by Lindbergh himself, who flew up and down the Eastern seaboard in his personal plane. Finally, a motorist pulled over to urinate in a patch of woods near the Lindbergh home and found the remains of a small child, decomposing and missing organs. Officials later determined that it was indeed Charles Jr., and that he had been dead as much as two months – long before the last of eight ransom notes was delivered to the Lindberghs.

It wasn’t until two years later, in September 1934, that a man was arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder of Junior Lindbergh – a German immigrant named Richard Hauptmann, who was found by a license plate number written on the back of a dollar bill that was among those used as the ransom money (the police had tracked the serial numbers of the bills). Several of the bills were used along a certain subway route in New York City that went through the German-Austrian neighborhood of Yorkville in the Bronx.

An investigation of Hauptmann’s home revealed about $14,000 in ransom cash in his garage, the phone number of the Lindbergh family doctor written into a door jamb, and some wood floor panels missing that were consistent with the wood used to make the makeshift ladder that the kidnapper used to climb through the baby’s window at the Lindbergh home.

During the trial, the prosecution hammered the circumstantial evidence against Hauptmann, though there was no physical connection between Hauptmann, the baby and the crime scene (no fingerprints were found on the window, the crib, or the child himself). Meanwhile, Hauptmann’s defense was that he only discovered the money was left behind by a friend, Isidor Fisch, who had returned to Germany in late 1933 and died a few months later. However, cross-examination revealed that there was no record of the box being where Hauptmann claimed it was, and no record of a $7,500 business debt that Fisch supposedly owed Hauptmann, which the latter claimed as justification for about $40,000 cash being left behind by Fisch and claimed by Haptmann as debt repayment.

With Fisch dead, and the defense able to discredit several witnesses who claimed Fisch was near the Lindbergh house prior to the child’s disappearance, the circumstantial evidence against Hauptmann proved to be overwhelming, and he ws convicted of murder and kidnapping in 1935 and executed by electric chair in April 1936.   He insisted he was innocent, even turning down a commutation of his sentence to life in prison in exchange for a confession.

Scopes Monkey Trial: Collision of Religion vs Science

Can religion and science co-exist? Is there common ground between what fundamentalists believe about God and the creation of the universe, and what science has taught us about the universe and its origins?

In the 21st century, we can certainly answer that question a little more definitively than we could in the 1920s.In the 1920s, there was a real debate about religion and science and which should prevail in the education of children, and the flashpoint came in July 1925 with the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, which was immortalized in the book and play titled Inherit the Wind.

The Scopes Monkey Trial was a legal clash between Darwin’s theory of evolution and the Biblical account of creation as being antithetical. Earlier in 1925, the Tennessee state legislature passed what was called the Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in any state publicly funded school.  John Scopes, a high-school science teacher in Dayton, Tenn., worked with businessman George Rapalyea to test this new law by launching a conspiracy to violate the law and put it on trial as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.

To make a spectacle of the law, the ACLU joined in the defense of Scopes and wound up enlisting famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow to for the defense team for the trial, which was to be held in the tiny town of Dayton. Darrow joined the cause after the prosecution brought one of the Fundamentalist heroes of the time, three-time Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan, to represent the prosecution, despite not having tried a case in more than three decades. It seemed like a death sentence.

Because of the names involved, and the thought of religion being attacked in a Bible-belt state like Tennessee, a large crowd of spectators and national media descended on Dayton for what turned out to be an eight-day trial that discussed evolution and the Bible.

After the judge shot down the defense’s primary argument challenging the constitutionality of the law by keeping the focus of the trial on Scopes and his alleged violation, Darrow pretty much had his hands tied. Even some scientific witnesses, who would have testified to the theory of evolution, were not allowed to testify.

Eight days of the trial led to less than 10 minutes of jury deliberation, and Scopes was found guilty of violating the Butler Act and was ordered to pay the minimum $100 fine (which is near $1,400 in today’s dollars). The case was appealed, and the conviction was overturned on a technicality, as state law prevented judges from unilaterally imposing fines of more than $50; the jury was supposed to impose the fine of at least $100 according to the text of the Butler Act.

Though Scopes was not called to the stand during the trial, he did say publicly afterward that he was not sure that he ever taught evolution in class, but the fact was not in dispute during the trial, which led to the conviction.

While Bryan, the fundamentalist Christian, won the case, he was publicly humiliated during the trial when Darrow took the unorthodox step of calling Bryan to the stand as a witness and spent two hours exposing Bryan’s Christian beliefs and his ignorance of science (at the time) and his literal interpretation of the Bible, which was already being heavily questioned by scholars around the world.

By the way, the Butler Act remained on the books until 1967, and these kinds of laws were banned altogether by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968, which ruled a similar law in Arkansas was unconstitutional as a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The OJ Simpson Drama That Began In 1994 Is Not Over Yet

A double-homicide that occurred on June 12, 1994, became one of the biggest trials of the century after former football player O.J. Simpson was charged with the killings of his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. The outcome of that eleven months, heavily publicized trial would send shockwaves throughout the country, and unfortunately, the drama is about to get amplified once again as Simpson is scheduled for parole on a completely different set of charges that eventually led him behind bars.

Although the case against Simpson for the double-homicide was strong, his defense team convinced a jury of his peers that DNA evidence was far from conclusive, and certainly not a reliable way of proving guilt. Simpson was eventually found innocent, probably in part because using DNA as the foundation of a criminal homicide case was a new wrinkle in court back in 1994. People were not familiar with the science behind DNA, and so they found that there was reasonable doubt that Simpson had committed the murders.

On top of that, Simpson’s defense attorneys also implicated the LAPD in a brand of misconduct that persists even today–racism. Many of us are already aware of the disparity between the way African Americans and Caucasians are treated by law enforcement (in some circumstances, but not all of course), and the defense team was able to capitalize on race as a source of confusion during the trial. It worked.

The lawyers also suggested that evidence had been handled improperly. If true, any evidence could have been tainted before it was provided as part of a court exhibit.

Although Simpson was eventually acquitted of the murders and released from custody, Nicole Simpson’s family levied a successful civil lawsuit against O.J., after which they were supposed to be given $33.5 million. To date, they have not received the full amount.

The trial itself unleashed a crazy amount of tension between African Americans, those of Hispanic descent, and Caucasians. Although a high number of African Americans thought that O.J. was the victim of unfair bias towards a man of color, Caucasians were much more certain that he had committed the double murder.

Back in 2007, O.J. was caught and convicted of felony armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas. He was slammed with 33 years behind bars, although he would be given the opportunity for parole after only nine. And that leads us to the newest tidbit of news regarding the case.

In a more recent development to the O.J. Simpson drama extravaganza, the prosecutor that put him behind bars now says that Simpson will likely be released after his next parole hearing. Because previous allegations (should) have nothing to do with the robbery charges that landed him in prison this time around, he is more likely to get out. After all, he has been jailed for nine years already. If he is to be released, it could happen by the first of October (2017).

The prosecutor also said that he gave Simpson the chance to make a plea bargain to reduce the amount of time spent behind bars to only two years, but that Simpson did not accept. The man is just about to turn seventy years old, and we’ll know soon enough if this is his last birthday behind bars.

How Much Do You Remember About The Manson Family Murders?

The Manson case gripped America like no other, in large part because everything about the family in question was fascinating from the very beginning. Charles Manson was reportedly sold by his mother for some beer in his early years. Eventually his uncle found him. One must wonder how much history could have changed if Manson had stayed in the arms of a woman who wanted children more than a pitcher of beer. Then again, Manson seemed worth giving up. Sadly, we’ll never know.

Charles grew up troubled, diagnosed with schizophrenia while exhibiting symptoms consistent with paranoid delusions. He was a control-freak, accustomed to manipulating people and circumstances in order to get his way. He spent time in facilities designed to rehabilitate delinquent youths, and then prison as well. But that was nothing compared with what was to come. In the late sixties, he moved to San Francisco and began recruiting. Him and his cult then moved to a ranch outside of Chatsworth.

Before his release from prison, he had spent most of his life behind bars of a sort–and he had asked permission to stay, suggesting there was no potential for him to adapt outside of prison walls. It turns out they should have honored his request.

Manson almost had a career in the music industry, but was turned down. When he didn’t get his way, he appears to have ordered his followers to slaughter a group of seven people connected–some, very loosely–to the man who denied him the opportunity to make music. Out of all those killed, the death of actress Sharon Tate caused the greatest stir.

When Manson first entered a courtroom to answer charges of murder, he had carved the letter “X” into his forehead. Later on while serving his inevitable sentence, he would have a swastika inked in its spot. Although he did have an attorney during the trial, he mostly defended himself. One of his followers, Kasabian, was rewarded with immunity for testifying against the rest of the Manson family. Although she did not commit a murder for Manson, she did accompany the rest in order to serve as a lookout while five people were slaughtered.

In January 1971, a jury took ten days to find each of the defendants guilty, and several of the Manson family were sentenced to death. The trial itself lasted seven months.

Having ordered the death of a pregnant woman–something seen akin to child molestation to those serving time in prison–it’s a shock that Manson has survived all these years. At least one failed attempt that we know about was made on his life.

Although Manson was originally sentenced to die and would have never received the opportunity for parole, the death sentence was abolished in the state of California, forcing the state to adjust his sentencing. This odd loophole allowed him to seek parole only seven years after his incarceration, and he has since had parole rejected twelve times. Although a couple of his followers had favorable parole hearings within the last decade, the push to approve these cases was denied by the governors who were serving at the time. As of now, Manson’s parole board hearings have gone so poorly that he will not be allowed to petition again until 2027 when he will have reached age 92.

He will almost certainly never see the light of day outside of a prison, and his current health is in question.