45 YEARS AGO TODAY
JUDGE STRIPS MANSON OF PRO PER RIGHT
As we continue to explore the topic of if Charles Manson received a fair trial for his Tate-LaBianca murder convictions,at this point Manson has been acting as his own attorney since Christmas Eve 1969 when granted his pro per right by Judge William Keene.
And while most of his motions have been denied and called "outlandish" by the court, Manson seems to have received any due rights as any other inmate or accused would receive.
However, it appears as Manson's "outlandish" motions are about to catch up with him.
As you will read below, forty-five years ago today, things are about to change for Charles Manson in court.
Below is the complete transcript for the entire day of March 6, 1970.
reflect the appearance of the defendant, the presence of both Mr. Stovitz and Mr. Bugliosi.
Mr. Manson, you've filed with this Court a document on the 4th day of March,
1970, which you entitled a Notice of Motion to Compel Reasonable and Effective Representation, Depositions and Commission for Modernization of Trial
This is a document that consists of some seventeen pages and someone has
apparently prepared for you a memorandum of points and authorities consisting
of some two pages-- three pages, which I have read and considered.
You ask that the matter be set down in this court for a hearing and that's the purpose for my setting the matter in court this afternoon, Mr. Manson.
However, your document filed in this court has precipitated me to undertake a complete review of the file in this case since I first met you in Department 100 back in December of last year.
Have you read this motion, Mr. Manson?
THE COURT: Can you actually read, Mr. Manson?
You know, Mr. Keene, I say this to the Court in all sincerity. There is a Constitution.
You know, I wasn't aware of the Constitution until I was arrested this time.
And I look at the Constitution and I don't see the Court nor the District Attorney protecting their Constitution.
It's not me that's on trial here as much as this Court is on trial, also.
It's on trial for the atmosphere that's created in a procedure strucken mechanized jail that is so mired down with procedures and security and-- that you can't-- you can't move around, you can't move around without the subliminal effects and the under effects of the dehumanizing, "Stand over there. Not there, over here. Get over there and take your clothes off. Do this. No, you can't do that. Yes, you can do this. No, you can do this today but tomorrow we change the rule. You can't do that tomorrow. You can't bring witnesses in. You can't pass that out. Let me read that." And I say, "I don't want you to read this." And they say, "We read everything that goes in and out of here."
What line, sir?
And every witness that I have called in the County Jail so far Mr. Stovitz has taken the liberty to question and go over with the witness anything that I may have said to that person.
These people are afraid, your Honor. They're afraid. They're afraid of the case. They're afraid of the situation. They're afraid of the publicity. They're afraid of the name that I have.
And it would take someone with a very understanding of the long hairs and the generation gap to get to these people and talk with them and ask them to come in and offer their testimony. Now, I can't send someone to do that.
THE COURT: All right, Mr. Manson. I am satisfied in your taking this time to read to me a couple of portions of this document that you filed that you were, in fact, serious when you signed this document and sent it to the Court.
As I indicated, Mr. Manson, when I received this document I read it and I was appalled that that type of a document would be filed in a case such as this and making those requests, which I think to anybody were outlandish.
Now, as a result of this, when I did read it, took the time to completely review the file in this case, as I have indicated to you, from the date that I first met you back in December in Department 100.
And I am sure you will recall the number of times, and I trust that you will recall the number of times that you were in Department 100 before I permitted you to act as your own attorney.
And you were in-- to refresh your memory, as a review of the file indicates to me, and I have gone over it and made some notes, that you were in the court on December 11th, December 17th, December 22nd.
In a review of the transcripts-- I have not only reviewed the file, I have reviewed the transcripts of what has been said by the Court, what has been said by the various attorneys who appeared, and certainly what has been said by you, and, as I say, the Court.
I have read the transcripts not only of what has transpired in my court but also what has happened in the courts presided over by Judge Dell and Judge Lucas.
That was on December 22nd. On December 24th, when I did grant you the pro per privileges, this was after our many conversations about the pitfalls that I felt that you were going to fall into if I did permit you to go in pro per.
I implored you at that time not to take a step which I felt was a tragic step. I went so far as appointing Mr. Joseph Ball to give you what I considered to be sound advice, as I know Mr. Ball's reputation, and after all that I'm sure you will recall that morning you and I had further conversation and I permitted you at that time to act as your own attorney.
At that time I gave you, at your request, three weeks to enter your plea.
I gave you the transcript, at that time, of the proceedings in front of the Grand Jury and then at that time I then came to Department 107 and Judge Dell was my successor in the master calendar court.
However, I have not lost contact with this case because I have had some further proceedings with it.
Now, after I left Department 100 and now again reviewing the file, I find that you filed on the 14th day of January a document that is--
This was ruled on by Judge Dell and I'm sure that Judge Dell restrained himself at the time he made his ruling in that type of a document where you sought to incorporate something that you called (X) Felo DE SE (X).
The X's at that time were in parentheses, which somehow came out as The Family of Infinite Soul, Inc.
At that time other documents have been filed with the court prior to the time that you were in front of Judge Dell, and this was the three weeks that I gave you to consider the transcript and enter your plea.
You signed a document indicating that you did not know how to type; that your grammar was limited. This was in support of your seeking some type of a tape recorder.
You wanted some type of a licensed investigator paid for by the County of Los Angeles after you told me that you had the funds to hire your own lawyer.
Judge Dell ruled on these motions that you had made, or someone had made on your behalf, which you signed.
You at that time requested an additional two weeks to plead to this charge. Judge Dell granted you that additional two weeks, so you had a total of five weeks to study the transcript and enter your plea.
Now, five weeks later back on the 29th-- 28th day of January, you made another appearance in Department 100, and as I have indicated to you, I have read your performance in court at that time.
I have had a chance to evaluate your appearance in Judge Dell's court, your appearance in Judge Lucas's court, and, of course, I know of your appearances over which I have presided.
Now, at that time there were other documents that I have reviewed here that you filed. After Judge Dell had denied for you the right to associate as counsel these apparent inmates in the Los Angeles County Jail, you then sought to demur again to the indictment and you did so in the name of (X) Felo DE SE (X) again.
You signed some document about the interviewing of witnesses. You filed some type of a motion for pretrial discovery. You filed a writ of habeas corpus in which you put into that writ an aka, and that is you are also known as Jesus Christ.
This was signed, along with you, by these gentlemen that I assume are your fellow inmates in the Los Angeles County Jail pro per module, Messrs. Nash, Moorehead, Austin, Townes, Collier and Sheppard. You specifically at that time asked Judge Dell to give you a motion under Section 995 of the Penal Code.
Judge Dell, as I review the file, ruled on two of your motions. He denied your demurrer. He gave you certain privileges in the pro per module above and beyond those which are granted to the usual prisoner.
He told you that your motion for a pretrial discovery would have to be taken up with the trial court, which is what the procedure of this court is, and he set for you in Judge Lucas's court on the 6th day of February a writ of habeas corpus motion to be heard there.
That's the one where you put your name in along with your other fellow members of the corporation, Family of Infinite Soul, and set the 995 hearing.
Now, I have reviewed the file on February 6th, that's in 106. I think that was the first time that you met Judge Lucas.
At that time you came into court without any paper, you didn't have any pencils, you didn't have any books, and you told Judge Dell (sic) apparently that you just got out of the disciplinary tank and you and Judge Lucas then had some proceedings which were recorded by the court reporter, transcribed, and which I have read and considered.
I have read and considered that transcript.
Now, you told Judge Lucas at that time, after having told Judge Dell that you wanted a motion under 995, that you didn't want a motion under 995.
THE DEFENDANT MANSON: I said I want one of those, too.
Now, your performance in that court, after having told Judge Lucas that you never asked for a 995, is, in my opinion, hopelessly inadequate as far as someone who is charged with the charge that you are charged with and the seriousness of this offense, and yet apparently it was Daye Shinn at this point because I see his letterhead, his legal letterhead throughout the file, prepared for you and filed a motion to dismiss the Information-- to dismiss the Indictment under 995, and that is about an eight-page motion that I have also read and considered.
You-- In just reviewing what has happened to you since I granted you pro per privileges, Mr. Manson, what you've turned into as far as your court appearances are concerned is some type of an errand boy where you take into the courtroom the various motions that are prepared for you by people, and I don't know who has been preparing these motions for you.
At any rate-- and the hearing that you had with Judge Lucas, your motions were denied, and then the next thing that is in the file is some document for discovery that was signed by you and dated February 3, and that's-- I don't know who prepared that for you, but that's also in the file. All right.
The next thing that I find in the file as I go through it is that I saw you on February 9th and at that time you made several demands totally inconsistent.
I think also indicative of your ability to represent yourself. You came into this court and you demanded that we go to trial on that date of February 9th.
That's on one hand.
On the other hand, at the same time you demanded discovery, which you got. This Court gave you more discovery than you asked for, consistent with all other defendants in this case.
You asked for a change of venue. You asked for associate counsel. You asked for a dismissal.
You gave me notice that another writ of habeas corpus would be filed tomorrow and you wanted to engage me in a question and answer period as to the correctness of Judge Dell entering a plea of not guilty for you at the time that you would not enter the plea on your own behalf when asked to do so by Judge Dell.
We set the matter for trial at that time in this court on the 30th day of this month and your objections to that were noted in the record, and then we had the proceedings in this court where the District Attorney stood up and called upon the various people who were in the back of the courtroom who were potential witnesses and asked me to order that those witnesses be ordered to return to this court on the 30th day of March, and I did so, and the record reflects at that time your inability to understand, I think, the concept that witnesses are not People's witnesses or defendant's witnesses, as such, but certainly witnesses, many times, are called on behalf of both sides to a lawsuit.
Nothing unusual in that procedure, although you certainly seemed to think so by your performance in court on that date in my reading of the transcript.
The next thing that's in the file in going through it is your ineptness, again, I think clearly shown of your ability to act as an attorney in attempting to order transcripts of proceedings that have gone on in this matter.
Here, again, having told the Court that you, in fact, had funds to hire a lawyer, although you subsequently filed conflicting documents in that regard asking for a declaration of indigency.
Here, again, having told the Court that you, in fact, had funds to hire a lawyer, although you subsequently filed conflicting documents in that regard asking for a declaration of indigency.
You did indeed file another petition for a writ of habeas corpus on February 11th, and that's the one you told me was going to be filed on February 9th when you were in this court on the one hand demanding that you go to trial, on the other hand demanding that you have a change of venue, that you have discovery.On the petition for a writ of habeas corpus that I read and considered and summarily denied, you indicated to the Court in your petition, which you signed, that you were incapable of following the most fundamental and rudimentary rules and regulations of the Sheriff's Office in running the Los Angeles County Jail. Things such as eating. Things such as taking a shower.
And then you made a suggestion to Peter Pitchess, et al, and to the County of Los Angeles and the Superior Court that proceedings be established in the Los Angeles County Jail for an evidentiary hearing every time any one of the thousands of inmates in the Los Angeles County Jail breaks a minor rule of that institution.
You talk in that petition for a writ of habeas corpus of manful hearts which must rebel. You talked about the glorious leaders of the thirteen colonies, and that petition for writ of habeas corpus was denied.
Going through the file again you next appeared in the courtroom of Department 106, Judge Lucas, on the 16th of February.
The transcript in that procedure consists of some twenty-seven pages, which I have read, and that transcript reflects your performance at that time.
This is the hearing that I trust that you recall where you asked for a public opinion poll conducted of all Los Angeles County, and then you wanted one conducted of the State of California at County expense.
Next, you had the motion for a change of venue, which at this point you termed as trivial, to use your word. You said in the transcript, "I trust that's the right word that I want to use."
You-- Once again, reading the transcripts, it indicates that you can go into court, you can carry a document prepared for you by someone else and then when you get into the courtroom you can't pursue yourself-- or, can't pursue the point any further by any type of meaningful, logical argument on that particular subject.
You say in these proceedings, "The document will speak for itself." And you have no further comments to Judge Lucas when he invited you to give him some indication, offer of proof, as to what you had in mind as far as the change of venue is concerned.
Next, we have motions to dismiss, motions of all types that have been filed and signed by you. The most encouraging thing I found in the later stages of your petitions and motions is that you had dropped the request that they be filed in the name of the corporate family body that you and your fellow inmates attempted to structure.
And then finally we get to this document that precipitated this hearing this afternoon, this seventeen-page document which you have indicated to me that you have read and considered and filed with this court in all seriousness. Mr. Manson, when I permitted you back in--
I want to tell you, at this point, what I have concluded based upon your performance in Department 100, your performance in Department 106, and your performance in Department 107.
At the time that I permitted you to go and act as your own attorney, in pro per, I felt that I had a constitutional obligation.
THE COURT: To permit you-- I agree.
I have a constitutional obligation to permit you to act as your own attorney, if I am satisfied, based upon your conduct, that you are capable of making an intelligent waiver of your right to act as an attorney, but there's a corollary that goes with that, Mr. Manson, which I've always known, and that is to observe your performance prior to trial, to determine by what you've attempted to do in these various courtrooms to determine whether or not you are, in fact, capable of making that determination that you want to waive that constitutional right and act as your own attorney.
Now, in my review of the file and my review of your conduct since I initially permitted you to do so, I am satisfied that you cannot act as your own attorney.
I am satisfied, based upon a complete review of everything that I have seen in this file, my personal observations of you, my reading your performances in other courtrooms, that if you went to trial in a courtroom in front of a jury on charges as complex and as serious as those with which you are faced, it would be a fundamental, absolute denial of due process.
And based upon what you have done as far as your attempts to act as your own lawyer, it becomes crystal clear to me and abundantly clear to me that you are incapable of acting as your own attorney.
Now, this, incidentally, is not just my opinion.
I have had occasion, as I felt that I must, to discuss your conduct in the courtrooms of Judge Dell and Judge Lucas, two members of this court that I highly respect, and it is their considered judgment that you are incapable of acting as your own attorney and that your performances and your conduct since the time I permitted you to do so clearly indicate that to them.
Now, nobody else will help me. I asked for assistant counsel. It says in the Constitution of the United States that I am allowed assistant counsel.
If your Honor-- if your Judge will remember, I told you that I didn't think I was capable of being a lawyer, that all I wanted to do was maintain my voice, and that's all I've asked for.
To me, it doesn't make any sense. What it says in the Constitution, it doesn't say the same thing in the law books.
You're to listen to the judge and he's to speak, and I'm not going to engage with you, at this time, in any type of debating contest.
I've indicated to you what my observations are based upon this record, and this record is clear.
A transcript has been made of every proceeding that has occurred in your case, as far as you are concerned or any of the co-defendants.
One other thing I wanted to say and put in the record, which I failed to do, at my request, there is a document that I want ordered filed by the Sheriffs, three pages, indicating what your conduct has been while you have been in the Los Angeles County Jail pro per tank.
I think I failed to indicate that I wanted that in the record, which also reflects--
THE COURT:-- your inability to abide by the very rules that we have provided or permit people to act as their own attorney in the event they are capable of doing so. Your status as--
You are no longer acting as your own attorney.
This Court will now find, based upon the information contained in the file, that you are perhaps, as you allege, indigent.
At least I will make that finding, that you do not have the funds to secure the services of an attorney and if in the event there is any change in that, as far as any money expended by the County of Los Angeles, insofar as your defense in paying for the attorney that I am about to appoint to represent you, it will be equated in the future.
At this time I am going to appoint an attorney to represent you pursuant to Section 987a of the Penal Code.
If you want to select your attorney, you select the attorney and I'll substitute Mr. Hollopeter out and substitute whatever attorney you select into this case.
Do you understand that? Do you understand that you have that right?
And if I find that that is a valid request and they are attorneys who can handle this case, I will certainly substitute them in and Mr. Hollopeter out.
DEFENDANT MANSON: Judge Keene, may I sincerely say something?
THE COURT: Your status as a pro per--
THE COURT: Would you please take those four people, I want their names--
I heard the other three but I didn't hear you. Did you say anything to this Court? If you want to say-- Tell me at this point what you have to say. Go ahead and say it.
And so it seems the court interpreted Manson's motions as not only ludicrous but also as signs Manson is inadequate to represent himself therefore stripping Manson of his pro per status.
I can't say I disagree with the court. Manson clearly has no understanding of proper procedure or legal jargon and when you refer to yourself as Jesus Christ and
"Family of Infinite Soul" it may bring into question your sanity and ability to represent yourself in a murder trial. I think the court actually gave Manson more tolerance and latitude than most inmates.
As we continue on, we'll take a look at other issues and incidents that might prove Manson's claim of not receiving a fair trial but at this point I think everything has been fair.