DID CHARLES MANSON RECEIVE A FAIR TRIAL? Part III

"Monday, Monday, Can't Trust That Day

Monday, Monday, It Just Turns Out That Way"

Mama and Papa's - 1966

                                      
Charles Manson enters the court room.
Photo: AP
February 9, 2015
Jason Slater - TLB Radio
  
 
It's Monday morning and most of us are waking up to
start the work week or taking care of the family at
home but 44 years ago today, Charles Manson woke
up to start another day in court for the Tate-LaBianca trial.
 
And as we continue looking into the issue of Manson
receiving a fair trial or not, at this point despite
starting to show his frustrations Manson seems to
be getting his rights as he has been appointed as his
own attorney.

 


 
As pre-trial motions continue here is the court room transcript from the Tate-LaBianca
(pre)trial from February 9, 1970:


 
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1970, 10:15 A.M.

Upon the above date, the defendant Manson appearing in propria persona, the People being represented by Aaron Stovitz and Vincent Bugliosi, Deputy District Attorneys of Los Angeles County, the following proceedings were had before the Honorable William B. Keene, Judge Presiding, in Department 107:



THE COURT: All right. The case of People versus Manson, I will call the matter again.

I will have the record reflect the appearance in court of the defendant, Mr. Manson, and representatives of the Office of the District Attorney.

This matter, Mr. Manson, is in this court at this time for a trial setting.

That is the purpose of your having been brought to this court this date.

Is it your intention, Mr. Manson, to proceed with your announced policy of representing yourself in this matter?



DEFENDANT MANSON: Yes, it is.


THE COURT: No changes in that?


DEFENDANT MANSON: No changes.


THE COURT: You recall, I'm sure, our lengthy conversations on several

occasions when I implored you not to follow this course of action?


DEFENDANT MANSON: Yes, sir, I do.


THE COURT: Have you had a chance, now, to evaluate your ability to act as your own attorney?


DEFENDANT MANSON: I have had a chance, your Honor, to evaluate the

Court's pressure to keep me from acting as my own attorney.


THE COURT: All I want to make sure at this point, Mr. Manson, is that there has been no change as far as your announced position and it is still your intention to proceed and act as your own attorney.


DEFENDANT MANSON: Yes, sir.


THE COURT: Mr. Manson, the matter is in this court, as I have indicated, for a trial setting. I will now set the matter for trial on the 30th day of March.


DEFENDANT MANSON: Yes.


THE COURT: And that will be at 9:00 o'clock in the morning.


DEFENDANT MANSON: Your Honor, may I enter something into the record?


THE COURT: Yes.


DEFENDANT MANSON: I filed four motions for discovery. I would like to formally file another motion for discovery.

I would like a change of venue and I would like some associate counsel, if possible, and I would like to make a motion to dismiss under 1382, Section 2, and I would like to give you adequate notice of another habeas corpus that I would like to file tomorrow.


THE COURT: Mr. Manson, as far as your notice for discovery is concerned, I do, in fact, have two motions that have been filed. I have one motion that was filed apparently on your behalf by a Daye Shinn.


DEFENDANT MANSON: Yes, sir.


THE COURT: And that's on his letterhead and that is entitled Notice of Motion for Pretrial Inspection of Statement of Defendant and Witnesses, Points and

Authorities and Declaration.

And then I have another one that is filed by you in pro per and this is entitled a Motion for Discovery and Inspection. Now, you say you filed two others?


DEFENDANT MANSON: I filed two oral-- I filed one oral and then I gave the District Attorney an informal motion.


MR. STOVITZ: It's a handwritten copy entitled Discovery. This was presented in open court on January the 14th, 1970.

The Court at that time stated that it would not act on this matter because a trial date had not been set and a plea had not been entered at that time.

We are ready to proceed on all the defendant's notions for discovery, your Honor.


THE COURT: What is the position of the People insofar as the defendant's motion for discovery?


MR. BUGLIOSI: Your Honor, I have here a document signed by Mr. Manson.

It is a Motion for Discovery and Inspection.

The People will object to several of the items.

Mr. Manson, in his first request, wants the original notes of the investigating officers and of the arresting officers in this case and I have been advised that the original notes were incorporated into police reports which will be made available to Mr. Manson, but the original notes have since been destroyed, as is the custom, of course, with most police officers.

They incorporate the notes into the reports.


THE COURT: What document are you referring to now?


MR. BUGLIOSI: A Motion for Discovery and Inspection, your Honor signed by Mr. Manson, sent to him-- sent to us by him while he was pro per over at the County Jail.


THE COURT: Is that a two-page document?


MR. BUGLIOSI: Two-page document. He has 13 items which he is requesting.


THE DEFENDANT MANSON: Your Honor, is it procedure to enter a plea from the bench?


THE COURT: You mean on your behalf as Judge Dell did?


THE DEFENDANT MANSON: Yes. I never waived the plea. I filed a demurrer.


THE COURT: I'm sure that Judge Dell explained all that to you at the time, Mr. Manson. Let me see the documents you have. I don't have that copy. Yes, I do.


MR. BUGLIOSI: You do have it?


THE COURT: Yes. All right. Go ahead, as far as this document is concerned.


MR. BUGLIOSI: People have no objection to request number two, three, four and five and number six. Mr. Manson mentions electronic surveillance of him or any and all other co-defendants.

I can tell the Court that there has been none of that in this case, so obviously we cannot comply with that request.

Number seven is a continuation of number six, again referring to all evidence, oral and physical come at, by or derived from electronic surveillance.

We cannot comply with that inasmuch as there was no electronic surveillance.

Number eight, all intercepted telephone calls, there has been none of that so we cannot comply with that request.

Number nine, no objection with the exception of the addresses of all witnesses. I don't know why Mr. Manson has to have their addresses.

I notice that another defendant, co-defendant, Mrs. Kasabian, wanted the telephone numbers.

We will furnish Mr. Manson with the names of all prospective witnesses and any statements that they may have made. He can have access to all of those reports.

Number ten seems to be redundant. Seems to state essentially the same thing as number nine. So we would object to number ten on the ground that it's redundant.

Number twelve, any and all other evidence now in the District Attorney's possession favorable to the accused.

This, of course, is a legal judgment, which, at least at this stage of the game, the prosecution is not in a position to make, your Honor.

The Court has the power to decide which evidence is or is not favorable to the defendant,
so we would object to number twelve.

It calls for a legal determination on the part of the prosecution. I might say this to Mr. Manson, that there is presently more information available to him than he has requested in this document.

Miss Van Houten, co-defendant Miss Van Houten, has made a similar motion for discovery and the prosecution has turned over all of our documents and all of our evidence to the Court.

It is presently in the Court's file and Mr. Manson, of course, should also have access to those documents and that evidence.

I repeat, there is more evidence available to him than he has requested in this particular document.

There is no need to restrict Mr. Manson to his requests. I think he should be entitled to all the evidence that was shown and is available to all the co-defendants in the case.


THE COURT: What about the documents that were filed on Daye Shinn's legal
stationery?


MR. BUGLIOSI: This was a motion to set aside the Indictment under Section 995, your Honor.


THE COURT: No. This is a Motion for Pretrial Inspection.


MR. BUGLIOSI: May I have the Court's copy of that?


DEFENDANT MANSON: Judge Keene, weren't we supposed to go to trial today?


THE COURT: No. This was for a trial setting, Mr. Manson.


DEFENDANT MANSON: Naturally I object to that.


THE COURT: All right.


MR. BUGLIOSI: This document here requests hardly anything. It is an extremely scanty request. We can give him everything he wants in here with the exception, again, of the telephone numbers and addresses.

He wants signed or unsigned statements of potential witnesses and documents and exhibits to be used by the prosecution.

He surely can have that but, again, we would vehemently resist furnishing Mr. Manson with addresses, and particularly telephone numbers, of prospective prosecution witnesses, your Honor.


THE COURT: All right, Mr. Manson. Your motion for pretrial discovery is granted in the document filed with this court February 3, 1970.

I will grant your motion for pretrial discovery as you have it set forth in your points number two, three, four, five, nine and ten, limiting nine and ten to only the names of potential witnesses, and number thirteen will be granted.

In the document filed on January 28th on Mr. Shinn's legal stationery, that motion seems to be a duplication of the second one filed, but insofar as it is not a duplication, that motion will be granted, again limiting your request for names of potential witnesses only.

In addition to that, Mr. Manson, I will order the District Attorney's Office to furnish you with the various other items of pretrial discovery that other defendants have asked for which is not encompassed in your two motions so that you will have access to all those documents as well.

Copies of these documents will be made for you and furnished to you for your pretrial inspection.

All right, Mr. Manson. The matter, as I have indicated is set--



MR. STOVITZ: Before we get off that, unlike the other defendants who have ability to come to this court, we will then transport these documents to the defendant in his cell

I will contact the captain over there to find out what is a convenient date for this. How soon do you want these, Mr. Manson? Within a week? Within four days? Within five days?

How soon do you want-- anticipating it will probably take me about eight hours to go through these. What day aren't you booked up?


DEFENDANT MANSON: Everything has been at your leisure. Why change it?


THE COURT: Well, let's order that they be furnished to him within seven days from today and we will transport them to the Los Angeles County Jail pro per tank so you will have an opportunity to go over those various exhibits and motions.

Now, Mr. Manson, insofar as your other motions that you indicated that you wanted to make at this time, you indicated that you wanted to make a motion for change of venue?


DEFENDANT MANSON: Well, I am just entering it into the record. I know they are all going to be denied.


THE COURT: Let's just get the motions that you care to make at this time. Did you indicate that there is a motion for a change of venue that you want to argue?


DEFENDANT MANSON: Yes.


THE COURT: All right. That motion-- you're going to--


DEFENDANT MANSON: No, I'm just making it oral.


THE COURT: You don't want to argue?


DEFENDANT MANSON: Well, I have never really been able to argue anything else.


THE COURT: If you want to make that motion, I will calendar that motion for a hearing.


DEFENDANT MANSON: It's up to you, your Honor. I know I don't have the judgment here.


THE COURT: Do you want to make a motion for a change of venue?


THE DEFENDANT MANSON: Yes.


THE COURT: Do you want to argue the motion?


THE DEFENDANT MANSON: If necessary, why, I could argue about it.


THE COURT: I will set the matter down for a motion for a change of venue. What other motions do you want to make?


THE DEFENDANT: I would like to have a dismissal today. Today was supposed to be my trial date.

Everything that has been denied, the District Attorney always says I am stalling for time, but now that it's time, somebody else seems to be stalling for time.


THE COURT: Mr. Manson, you have the right to be brought to trial within a sixty-day period of time after all preliminary motions have been handled, and a review of the file indicates to me that Judge Dell entered a plea on your behalf of not guilty on the 28th day of January.

 


DEFENDANT MANSON: Yeah. That is because I was stalling for time, is what they said.
 


THE COURT: He entered a plea for you on that date.

Now, the law provides that you would have a right to be brought to trial within sixty days from that date, and sixty days from that date would be the 29th day of March, which is a Sunday, so I am going to set the matter for trial on the 30th day of March, which is the sixtieth day following the day that Judge Dell entered your plea, so that date is now set for trial.

Your motion for dismissal of the charges here at this time is denied.

Now, what other motions do you want to make?


DEFENDANT MANSON: Well, I have a habeas corpus that I would like to give notice that I am going to file tomorrow.


THE COURT: All right. You may file any petition for writ of habeas corpus but that will have to be done in writing. You can file that.


DEFENDANT MANSON: There's a lot I could tell you about but I think it would go into deaf ears so I'll just shut up.


THE COURT: So you want to make a motion for a change of venue?


DEFENDANT MANSON: Yes.


THE COURT: What I will do in your motion, I will set that matter for hearing in
Department 106 one week from today.


One week from today is the 16th day of February.

Make that motion in Department 106 on that date. Be prepared to argue it. The matter is set in this Department March 30th for trial.

That will be at 9:00 o'clock in the morning.


MR. STOVITZ: The motion for change of venue was what date, your Honor?


THE COURT: One week from today. That is the 16th day of February.

That will be in Department 106. It's the order of the Presiding Judge that all pretrial motions of that nature be handled in that department.


MR. STOVITZ: Your Honor, before your Honor recesses this matter, we have had a little difficulty in locating some of these witnesses that appear in court today.

I would like your Honor to order the following witnesses to return to this courtroom on March the 30th, 1969 (sic), and that your Honor's order is to constitute a subpoena so that an actual physical document called a subpoena will not be necessary.

I will call the names of the witnesses with the addresses that I have listed and I will have the order re publicity for witnesses served upon them at that time, if its agreeable with
your Honor.


THE COURT: Yes.


MR. STOVITZ: John Flynn. I have an address, sir, of you of 12000 Santa Susana. Mark S. Ross, 28 Clubhouse, Venice.


DEFENDANT MANSON: Your Honor, may I indicate that these are my witnesses. That he won't let me have the addresses of his witnesses, but he's got everything on mine.


THE COURT: Just a minute.


MR. STOVITZ: Nancy Pitman, 23803 Harbor Vista. Lynn Fromme. I don't have an address for you but I think Mr. Manson knows how to get in touch with you. Paul Watkins. Susan Bartel. Catherine Share.

You have already been subpoenaed but I think your subpoena is for February 9th, so this will be for March 30th.

And Sandra Good. Your Honor, reflect that the people's names that are called have all been served with an order re publicity for witnesses.

We'll ask your Honor to order all of those witnesses back for March the 30th, 1970, in this department.


THE COURT: All right. To these individuals who have been in court this morning and have been identified and have received the order re publicity in this matter, I would order each defendant-- each witness who is here present to be back in this court, Department 107, on the 30th day of March at 9:00 o'clock in the morning and that's without further notice or subpoena.

 


Whereupon, the proceedings were continued to Monday, February 16, 1970, in Department 106:


LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1970 9:00 A.M.

---0---


THE COURT: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I will call the matter of the

People versus Charles Manson.

In the matter of People versus Charles Manson, let the record reflect the defendant is present and counsel for the People are present.

Let the record reflect further that the Court has read and considered the defendant's documents filed herein.

The first document is entitled "Notice of Motion and Declaration In support Thereof and Points and Authorities" in which the defendant requests:

No. 1, the Court make an order finding that the defendant is an indigent person;

No. 2, the Court make an order granting the defendant funds to have conducted for him a public survey by a reputable public-opinion polling organization as to the widespread and unfavorable publicity which has been generated over the defendant and this case in Los Angeles County.

No. 3, an order granting the defendant funds to have conducted a public survey in all counties in the State of California.

The second document also entitled "Notice of Motion, Declaration in Support thereof, and points and Authorities" requests the Court to make an order:

No. 1, to dismiss the action on the ground that a fair and impartial trial cannot be had anywhere in California because of the widespread and unfavorable publicity in all media, and for an evidentiary hearing as to such publicity;

No. 2, if such order for dismissal be not granted, for its order for dismissal until such time, if any, as a fair trial becomes possible, on the same ground stated in 1 above, and for an evidentiary hearing thereon;

No. 3, if the relief sought in 1 and 2 above be not granted, for its order granting a change of venue from the County of Los Angeles, State of California, in the same ground as stated in 1 above, and for an evidentiary hearing as to such publicity.

The next document is entitled "Supplemental Argument for Dismissal On Grounds That a Fair and Impartial Trial Cannot Be Had Anywhere in California Because of the Widespread, Unfavorable Publicity."

The Court has read and considered this seven-page document.

In addition thereto the Court has read and considered "People's Opposition to Defendant Manson's Motion For Change of Venue, With Points and Authorities."

Let us begin preliminarily on the initial request first for the order finding the defendant is an indigent person, and second, for an order granting a public survey in Los Angeles County, and third for a public opinion survey in all Counties in California.

Mr. Manson, he Court has considered the documents that you have filed.

Do you wish to be heard further in regard to your initial documents?


MR. MANSON: Your Honor, I think it is evident to most people the effect that the television and the papers have on the people, and as I was saying, there has never been a ruling that I could find in any of the books and I think it's about time that someone made one.

Because the Court is pretty much stuck with the publicity as well as I am.

Even if there is no case, you couldn't very well grant a dismissal.

Everyone would say, "Well, that guy, there must be something wrong with him, you know."

You know there has been more publicity on this, even more than the guy that killed the President of the United States.

I think it's not anywheres like anything we have ever done in this country.

You know it is getting so far out of proportion that actually to me it is a joke, but actually the joke might cost me my life.

It might be a joke to a lot of people, and a lot of people have made a lot of money, but I think it is very serious.

I think a hearing should be called so we could get these very same people who wrote these articles and find out from them where they get their information to write the articles, who feeds them the information to write the articles.

The media is used by the District Attorney to try a man before, trial.

To me, I don't think the issue should just be decided here. I think there should be a hearing on it.


THE COURT: All right, let me ask you, Mr. Manson, do you have an offer of proof, or can you indicate to the Court what witnesses you would be calling and the purpose for calling the witnesses?


MR. MANSON: Well, the one in Life Magazine for the machine gun turrets on the dune buggies, and the photographs where they are supposed to be digging for graves. I would like to attack the gag order.

Judge Dell gives his statement to the press, and the District Attorney gives his statement to the press.

Then they get every privilege and right I'm supposed to have in the County Jail suspended because I talked to them on the telephone.


THE COURT: Referring to newspaper reporters?


MR. MANSON: Somebody called me on the telephone and I talked to him. You know I talk to everybody because I feel I have nothing to hide, but the same incident has prevented me-- you know-- I'm not supposed to be allowed to do this. But I got a side too.

I have got a side to my story.

You know like they say I am a vicious demon overnight, and actually I am not.


THE COURT: All right, thank, Mr. Manson. Let us hear from the People.


MR. STOVITZ: Your Honor asked Mr. Manson as to his request that he be declared an indigent person.


I have heard no evidence that he is an indigent person.

There is merely the bare allegation that has been made in some document that he has filed with the Court, though the People were not served with it.

I will submit that Mr. Manson was questioned by Judge Keene and he told Judge Keene at that time that he does have funds.

Now, in the absence of anything to the contrary I will submit that the defendant is not indigent.

However, if the defendant wants to have a hearing as to whether or not he is indigent or he has funds, whether he has various sources of funds, I do not oppose such a hearing.



THE COURT: Mr. Manson?


MR. MANSON: Your Honor, when I first came to Court I was asked if I had any money to retain a lawyer, at which time I was afraid that the Court was going to give me a lawyer and sew me up, and I presented a statement to the Court where I said in these words, "that I may have resources in story form, and that I could draw money from it and get a lawyer."

Now, there are a lot of firms that have offered me a certain amount of money or a lawyer for a story, but I decided not to-- I decided to stay poor rather than sell a story to the likes of them.

So it's the same thing as it always was between us. It's just the words.

You can take a word and twist it and it doesn't mean the same thing that

you said, I said, "I may have resources." I didn't say I did.

In fact, I haven't been able to draw very much money from the County Jail,

you know, for the legal supplies.


THE COURT: The Court does note that on December 22nd you stated as follows, among other things: "The second time I filed a motion which you would not accept and told me to give it to my attorney. I explained these points in my motion. I explained the points that now that I did have funds to retain an attorney-- also, the Public Defender said that he didn't want to submit the motion because it was written by hand."

I believe at that particular point it was your statement that caused the Court to feel that you did have money.

You stated there: "I explained the points that now that I did have funds to retain an attorney."


MR. MANSON: At that point I was negotiating with a person who was going to give me quite a bit of money for a story, like I said.

It was between the lawyer McKissack and some writer with Life Magazine.

Anyway, they were going to put some money in a trust fund for an attorney for me and we were right in the process of that.

I could have had that if I wanted it, but then I told them I would rather be without it, that I would just go without it.


THE COURT: The record should also reflect that the Court has read and considered the People's 1, a series of documents for most of the counties throughout the State of California relating to various publicity and newspaper reports regarding this case, and incidentally, Mr. Manson, the Court did note in examining that variety of material that one time an attorney who at least was reported to be a friend of yours, if not your attorney, namely George Shibley, said that you were going to raise funds by selling records.

Do you wish to make any statement relative to that and to your present indication of indigence?


MR. MANSON: That is at a complete standstill.

It seems that the newspapers and the effect that the newspapers have had on the people that they don't want--nobody wants to handle it. Nobody wants to distribute it.

I shouldn't say that completely because there are a few people out there trying to make some tapes. I think last week they were trying to get $100.00 to press a few records.


THE COURT: All right, let's move on for the moment to your request for a public opinion poll and survey, first of all of the County of Los Angeles, and secondly

as to all counties in the State of California.

Do you wish to be heard as to that request?


MR. MANSON: Well, I think it would show the Court, I believe the Court already know but it would serve as evidence for a juror in relation to the hypnotic effect the written word and the television would have on the average person that they would pick as a juror.

It is phenomenal. I was with a guy once that didn't like a certain person, the President, and when the President got killed in the three days they ran nothing on the television but the assassination, it took him three days to change his mind and he put all his hate on President Johnson and President Kennedy was a good guy then.

You can convince anybody of anything if you just push it at them all of the time.

They may not believe it 100%, but they still draw opinions from it and especially if they have no information to draw other opinions from.

If I'm not allowed to give them information, the only information they have is the information in the newspapers or the television, or that someone might have said something.

Now, in reality none of these things are true. And it would be a good thing for the jury, to explain to the jury.


MR. STOVITZ: I cannot see where an opinion poll would help either side.

The final test is the twelve people we put in the jury box, asking them whether they have heard anything about the case and whether they were influenced by what they heard.

I think we are all aware that public-opinion polls have been inaccurate because they are not actually surveys, but they are just whoever the interviewer seeks to interview.

I feel even if Mr. Manson had an independent public-opinion poll conducted, it still would be immaterial to the final issue, that is whether or not twelve citizens in this county can give the defendant a fair and impartial trial and the People a fair and impartial trial.


MR. MANSON: That's a nice argument and it only goes for his opinion. I'm not asking for his opinion.

I'm asking for twelve people who when they see the poll and the effect that has been caused by the poll, then they realize the effect it has caused upon them.

When they look at that, they can see the very same thing has happened maybe in their minds.

In other words, it has stimulated their minds in relation to what the mass media has done, what effect the mass media has over people.


THE COURT: All right, is the matter submitted as to the public-opinion survey?


MR. STOVITZ: Submitted, your Honor.


MR. MANSON: Yes.


THE COURT: The Court does note there is a suggestion in the Reardon report which is referred to in the leading California case, the Maine case, that a public-opinion poll be taken, and the Court also knows that in the Alger hiss-Whittaker Chambers case, there was a public-opinion poll taken but that was not allowed into evidence because of some dispute as to the authenticity of the survey.

The Court is going to find that a public-opinion survey is not necessary.

The Court does not feel at this time it has to reach the question of whether the defendant is indigent insofar as public-opinion polls go.

The Court finds it is neither necessary nor appropriate, considering the fact that the publicity in regard to this case has been substantial and pervasive throughout the entire state.

The Court does not feel that a survey would be of assistance to the Court in any way.

We have your second motion, Mr. Manson, which is first of all for an order dismissing the action on the ground a fair and impartial trial cannot be had anywhere’s in California because of the widespread and unfavorable publicity in all media.

Next, if such order is not granted an order for dismissal until such time, if any, as a fair trial becomes possible.

Then, Number 3, if the relief sought in 1 and 2 above be not granted, for its order granting a change of venue from the County of Los Angeles.

Do you wish to be heard as to those three items?


MR. MANSON: Your Honor, I think the motions reflect probably everything I would say on it, with the exception of what I've already said.

I know there has been no ruling ever made on this.





THE COURT: Let me ask you, Mr. Manson, let me ask you for purposes of clarification as to your motion, I'm referring to item number 2, "If such order for dismissal be not granted, for its order for dismissal until such time, if any, as a fair trial becomes possible," do you by that particular language request that there be a continuance, perhaps a lengthy continuance in this matter?


If that is your intent, you know you have the right to a speedy trial, to be tried within sixty days from the filing of the indictment, would you waive and give up that right so that a continuance could be granted

What is your intent? I'm not entirely clear.


MR. MANSON: No, your Honor.


THE COURT: Are you saying, "No," you would not give up your right to a speedy trial?


MR. MANSON: No, I don't believe I would give up that right, no, sir.

I wouldn't like to stay in the County Jail for four or five years. I think that bail would probably be out of the question.

No, I wouldn't give up that right, I am sorry.


THE COURT: You do understand that a continuance, at least, is a suggested alternative in the Reardon Report and that was mentioned in the Shepard versus Maxwell case as well as the Maine case in California

However, it does require a constitutional waiver on your part. If you are unwilling to waive your rights to a speedy trial, then of course the Court is unable to consider such an alternative.

I am not indicating to you that I would grant it or deny it, but the Court is unable to consider it, if you do not waive or indicate your willingness to waive your right to a speedy trial.

I'm just asking you, if you understand the point.




MR. MANSON: The only way a continuance would help me would be if it was over a period of two or three years.

A continuance for six months would serve no purpose at all, and further a continuance that long wouldn’t be in the best interests of the other defendants that are involved in this, and mine also.



THE COURT: At the moment the Court is not concerned with their rights.

The Court is concerned with your rights and you should be concerned primarily with your rights.


MR. MANSON: Okay.


THE COURT: Then, let's go to item number 3.

Do you wish to be heard on the order requesting a change of venue from the County of Los Angeles?


MR. MANSON: Well, I think that is a very trivial motion-- I think that is the word I should use. You know-- we all know that, it doesn't seem it could be done anywhere’s

When I mentioned that motion, it was in conjunction with about four motions I made to

Judge Keene and he picked that one out to give me a hearing on it. I wanted it entered into the record, if possible, for a later date, because I'm just going by the procedure in the books.

It says I have to do so and so, and I've been trying to stick with it as much as I can and get as much into the record as you are supposed to get into the record as you are supposed to get into the record. So actually that motion would probably speak for itself also.




THE COURT: All right, do the People wish to be heard?



MR. STOVITZ: As far as the motion to change the venue from the County of Los Angeles to another county, we have filed with the Court the exhibit containing newspaper articles that have run in every county of the State.

It appears to have been covered by the major wire services, and the accounts that are reflected here in our two Los Angeles newspapers and our so-called major newspapers up and down the state.

I feel that the Court acted wisely in issuing the gag order, that the police have not issued any statements concerning any declarations that any of the defendants made, and the police have not issued any inflammatory remarks and that the newspapers have been fair not only here in this County but in the rest of the State.

Therefore, a change of venue would only cause the defendant to have a trial by the same fair people-- in fact, it would be fairer here in Los Angeles County because we have a wider base of jurors to draw from.

Therefore, I think if there is some type of scale to weigh these matters, the scale should be weighted in favor of keeping it here in Los Angeles.

That fact that the defendant wants an indefinite delay and doesn't want an indefinite delay, would dispel that motion completely.

I feel it is completely out of order.

The defendant has not been, as he says, condemned or tried in the newspapers.

His trial will be in court, whenever he gets around to saying he is ready to go to trial, and at that time we can determine from the selection of the jurors whether they are prejudiced against him.

I feel from the few people I have talked to about this, that people read in the newspapers what they want to read. Some people read the war stories. Some people read the crime stories. Some people read the sport stories.

I'm sure we can find twelve jurors who have not formed any opinion about this matter and who would allow the facts to govern their decision in this case right here in the County of Los Angeles.

Therefore, I urge the Court to deny Mr. Manson's motion to dismiss for a change of venue.

THE COURT: All right, the Court, in addition to People's Exhibit 1, is going to take judicial notice of the case of People versus Beausoleil and also People's Exhibit No. 3, which is a Life Magazine article contained in the December 19, 1969 Life Magazine, as well as People's Exhibit 2, which are certain articles from the County of Sacramento, in particular an article in the "Parade" magazine, a Sunday supplement type of magazine, entitled "The Manson Family Murders," by Lloyd Shearer.

The Court has noticed, among other things, an editorial in the Sacramento, California Sacramento Union, an editorial contained therein in the December 26th 1969 issue, a part of which, I think, is of interest and I'm going to read from it.

It reads as follows:

"The claim by defendant Charles Manson that news media have already tried and convicted him in the Sharon Tate murder case has a familiar and disturbing ring.

"It is familiar because hardly any criminal case of special notoriety reaches the courtroom these days without the issue of pre-trial publicity being raised to argue that the defendant's right to a fair trial has been abridged.

"It is disturbing because the news media, law enforcement officers, attorneys and judges are still without a workable set of guidelines to govern the handling of information about cases of unusual public interest.

"To solve such problems by a change of venue, transferring a trial to a distant community is beaming less feasible with the growth of communication in our society.

It is doubtful if there is any corner of the State of California where a jury could be assembled from among people who have not read or heard of the Tate murders and the bizarre background of those charged with the crime."

The Court feels that those are certainly accurate observations.

The Court is going to make the following finding: There has been extensive and pervasive publicity by all media regarding this case and the defendant Charles Manson both in Los Angeles County and throughout the entire state, if not indeed throughout the entire nation.

The Court finds that because of the number of the defendants in this case, the extent of the publicity, the question of the security of the prisoners, and the intense interest of the public and of the press and the Court's problems inherent in a case of this nature, that the case could not be tried properly in any but one of California's eight largest counties.

As previously stated, the Court has found the publicity relating to this defendant is equally extensive and pervasive in those counties as well as outside the state, and therefore a change of venue, even if warranted, would be ineffectual.

The Court would like to note that in the Reardon Report, it does take into consideration that such a situation might exist.

On page 75, the Reardon Report states:

"A change of venue may also require the sacrifice of state or federal constitutional rights, as well as waiver of jury trial, and will undoubtedly be ineffective if the case is one of wide notoriety."

Certainly this case can be described as falling within that category.

The People's brief I think is in point here.

"The case of Maine versus Superior Court" with the citation, "set forth the standard to be applied by a trial judge in the State of California in determining if a change of venue must be granted in a criminal case where it is alleged that extensive pretrial publicity would prejudice a defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial.

"The Maine Court expressly adopted the Reardon Report of the American Bar

Association in delineating the standard to be used in California.

Section 3.2(c) of the Reardon Report, entitled, 'Standards for Granting the Motion,' provides: 'A Motion for change of venue or continuance shall be granted whenever it is determined that because of the dissemination of potentially prejudicial material, there is a reasonable likelihood that in the absence of such relief, a fair trial cannot be had.'

"The Maine Court on page 383 of the opinion stated that the foregoing standard set forth in the Reardon Report was fashioned after the rules laid down by the United States Supreme Court in the ease of Sheppard versus Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 wherein the United States Supreme Court stated on Pages 363, 'Where there is a reasonable likelihood that prejudicial news prior to the trial will prevent a fair trial, the judge should continue the case until the threat abates or transfer it to another county not so permeated with publicity.'

"There can be no question that the so-called Tate-LaBianca murders have received widespread, extensive publicity in the radio, T.V. and news media in the Los Angeles area.

However, the nature of the case is such that it has likewise received extensive publicity in every other county in the State of California."

The question then is then in view of the extensive and pervasive publicity regarding this case that the likelihood is just as great that a fair trial can be held in the County of Los Angeles as it could be in any other county.

The Court finds there is not a reasonable likelihood in the absence of the relief requested by the defendant, that a fair trial cannot be had.

The Court would observe that extreme care has been taken by the trial judge to protect the rights of the defendant for a fair trial.

On December 10, 1969, the trial judge issued an order restricting the dissemination of information by a variety of people including officers of the court and law enforcement officials as well as others.

I have every reason to believe that the Los Angeles Superior Court and the trial judge will continue to protect the rights of the defendant in this matter.

The Court has had to act to protect the rights of the defendant, even against his own perhaps ill-advised actions.

The Court took judicial notice, the supervising judge of the criminal courts has found it necessary to at least temporarily revoke the defendant's telephone privileges because the defendant was giving out unauthorized telephone interviews, possibly to his own detriment.

In addition to the roder restricting publicity, the trial judge has a number of procedures that he may utilize in the selection of a fair and impartial jury and jury panel.

Some of the suggested procedures are as follows, in addition to the change of venue and continuance:

The examination of prospective jurors on voir dire to ascertain the extent of possible prejudice;


The sequestration of the jury; The admonition to the jury to avoid news reports relating to the case during the course of trial;

The cautioning of media representatives with respect to the reporting of certain matters;

The examination of individual jurors with respect to possible exposure to potentially prejudicial information during the course of trial;

The ordering of a mistrial on the basis of such exposure;

The setting aside of a conviction for failure of the trial court to take one or more of the steps listed above when circumstances require it.

The Court also notes that the Penal Code Section 1076 of the State of California presently represents the Legislative intent at least partially in regard to the matter before us.

It reads as follows: "No person shall be disqualified as a juror by reason of having formed or expressed an opinion upon the matter or cause to be submitted to such jury, founded upon public rumor, statements in public journals, circulars or other literature or common notoriety; provided, it appear to the court, upon his declaration under oath or otherwise, that he can and will, notwithstanding such an opinion, act impartially and fairly upon the matters to be submitted to him."

The Court does find that the issue of a continuance in this matter is moot by the defendant's indication that he would not waive his right to a speedy trial.

The Court would note parenthetically that the Court believes that the continuance in this matter would be ineffective because of the public interest in this matter and that there would undoubtedly be a revival or a renewal of the publicity that has been previously had.

Therefore, for the reasons previously stated, the Court is going to deny the motion to dismiss permanently, and deny the motion to dismiss as phrased by the defendant "until such time, if any, as a fair trial becomes possible," and further will deny the motion to transfer the cause outside of the County of Los Angeles.


MR. STOVITZ: I believe the Court used the word "persuasive" and you meant to use the word "pervasive."


THE COURT: Yes, I did, and "persuasive is ordered stricken and the word "pervasive" will be substituted in its stead. Is there anything further?


MR. STOVITZ: Your Honor, Mr. Manson does have an order for a discovery that was granted by Judge Keene and if I may consult with Mr. Manson and I notice Mr. Reiner is here who represents another defendant, concerning Mr. Manson's availability today, I will be happy to have these documents and tape recordings and what we have delivered to Mr. Manson.

We have a jury room in Department 110 available, and if the Sheriff's office feels that they can arrange sufficient security, we could use that jury room to have Mr. Manson look at these exhibits on a so-called introductory basis and then he could see which ones he wants copied and we could then copy the ones he wants.

If I might have a few moments to confer with Mr. Manson and Mr. Reiner.



THE COURT: Is that satisfactory with you, Mr. Reiner?


MR. REINER: Yes.


THE COURT: Mr. Manson?


MR. MANSON: Do you have a habeas corpus there?


THE COURT: I have no writ of habeas corpus before me.


MR. MANSON: May I bring that matter up?


THE COURT: Let's determine the question of your cooperation between yourself and Mr. Reiner regarding the use of the jury room over this discovery matter. Mr. Reiner, would you be able to assist Mr. Stovitz and Mr. Manson as they have described?


MR. REINER: Yes.


THE COURT: Mr. Manson, is that satisfactory with you?


MR. MANSON: Yes.



THE COURT: I will await the determination from the Sheriff's office as to whether the jury room is sufficient from a security point of view for this conference.


MR. MANSON: Your Honor, may I put on two motions for transcript. I don't know any way to get those transcripts. I have tried.

The position I am in, I can't even make a phone call and I don't have any mail coming in my direction at all. I'm kind of cut off.

I need those transcripts like I have a motion in front of Judge Keene and that is going to count on the last transcript, and can I have the last transcript?



THE COURT: I will say this, Mr. Manson, the Court has just certain limited motions that you have made before the Court. It doesn't have any notice of these matters that you have brought up before it.

The Court would suggest that you renew the motion before the trial judge and he will make a determination on it.

The Court will not rule on those particular motions at this time.


MR. MANSON: You wouldn't rule on the habeas corpus?



THE COURT: I do not have a writ of habeas corpus before me.



MR. MANSON: Nor on the phone calls?



THE COURT: No.



MR. MANSON: May I ask one more question?



THE COURT: You may.



MR. MANSON: There are a lot of things-- it’s hard to hold my thoughts. I will think about it when I get back to the cell.



THE COURT: All right, we will be in recess.



---0---


You can feel Manson's frustrations continue to build. No phone calls, can't get court transcripts, the court won't address his habeas corpus as the judge explained there was no habeas corpus motion before him.

Manson did win 6 of his 13 filed motions but tt's glaringly obvious Manson is out of his league in trying to represent himself. While Manson seems to have no problem understanding the legal jargon, he seems to have a difficult time understanding the procedure of filing the necessary paperwork regarding court motions, for example, an attorney would've had the habeas corpus writ before the court by the 16th.

Regardless, as the court goes to recess Manson is still his own attorney on record and I don't see where his rights have been violated at this point. However, it is still early in the game as they are

still in pre-trial.

To be continued. 


Meanwhile, here's a BONUS POST we hope you all will enjoy:
As you read in the above court transcript, in replying to Aaron Stovitz's argument against Manson's motion of having the trial being moved out of Los Angeles County, the judge cited items which the court would take notice,"People's Exhibit 2, which are certain articles from the County of Sacramento, in particular an article in the "Parade" magazine, a Sunday supplement type of magazine, entitled "The Manson Family Murders," by Lloyd Shearer."

Below is a copy of that article.

(Link will open in your default PDF viewer, ex; Adobe)


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