Manson: Sane or Psycho?

We compiled clips from interviews with Charles Manson in which he discusses his views on the criminal justice system. Manson likens the criminal justice system to that of a large corporation; he believes the courts prioritize profits over the interests of the people. He also discusses how those convicted of crimes are not always guilty.

Manson appealed his murder conviction to the California Court of Appeals, but they rejected his appeal. He then tried to appeal his case to the Supreme Court, but they refused to even review his case. When asked for the reason for their refusal, the justices would not comment.

Manson discusses his frustration with his court-appointed attorney, who was later admitted to a psychiatric hospital after having a mental breakdown. The judge refused Manson’s request to represent himself, so he was assigned to Irving Kanarek, a California criminal defense attorney. Kanarek objected more than 200 times in the first three days of the trial and repeatedly interrupted the judge and witnesses. At the end of the trial, the judge said that Kanarek was “without ethics . . . and professional responsibility.”

We also retrieved depositions related to an incident in which Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi stalked his milkman, believing he fathered his child. Tom O’Neill, an investigative journalist, shared the specifics of the incident during an interview with Joe Rogan. During the incident, which occurred shortly before the Manson case, Bugliosi made anonymous calls and wrote anonymous letters to the milkman and his wife; he also visited them at work and home.

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