California Governor Jerry Brown reversed the California Parole Board’s recommendation that Bruce Davis, a former member of Charles Manson’s infamous Family, be released from prison for good behavior. This is the third time such a recommendation has been made for Davis. Gov. Brown, however, felt otherwise, overturning the decision, stating, “I find the evidence shows that he currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Davis.”
Bruce Davis was convicted of first-degree murder for the deaths of both musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea. The body of Shea wasn’t recovered until nearly a decade after he was killed.
Davis’s lawyer called Gov. Brown’s decision “horrible.” Since being imprisoned 43 years ago, Davis has apparently become a born-again Christian in prison, and has earned a doctoral degree in philosophy of religion. Those two points, as well as his ministering to other inmates, were all listed as factors for his parole.
This is the second time Gov. Brown has reversed the decision to parole Davis. Gov. Brown said that his prior decision to not parole Davis was due to the gravity and seriousness of the crimes committed, as well as claiming that Davis still continues to portray his role in the murders as more passive, even citing Davis’s own words he made to a psychologist in 2013.
The convicted killer said, “I was a dependent person. I needed attention and approval. I wasn’t my own person. I wanted sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.” Davis also later claimed, “I wasn’t looking out for my best interests; I was led by fools, bigger fools than myself.”
Gov. Brown used those words to again support his decision to reverse Davis’s parole this year, saying that Davis had been asked to reflect upon his true role as more of a leader in the Manson family rather than the passive follower he portrays himself as, and that Davis has yet to do so in any meaningful manner.
In fact, it has only been in recent years that Bruce Davis even admits to being an active participant in the murders. He maintained for years that he was simply a bystander.
Today marks the 45th anniversary since the date of Sharon Tate’s gruesome murder at the hands of the Manson family. The actress was 26-years-old at the time of her murder, and due to give birth to her first child in a manner of weeks. Fascination with Manson and his Family and their vicious killing spree still persists today, even nearly half a century after the fact.
No Manson family member has ever been released from prison for “good behavior.”
What do you think? Can a criminal like Bruce Davis, who commits such a violent crime, ever really be rehabilitated?
[Image via Serial Killer Central]