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Charles Manson Trial

Charles Manson's Testimony
Linda Kasabian's Testimony
Virginia Graham's Testimony
Paul Watkins Testimony
Possible Murder Motives
Closing Argument
Parole Hearings
Victims & Photos
Map of the Area
The Defendants
Manson Quotes
Manson Forums

Charlie Manson Story



The Closing Argument...

Manson is guilty of all seven counts of murder under the vicarious liability rule of conspiracy. It is also called the joint responsibility rule of conspiracy.

And likewise, Susan Atkins is guilty of the two LaBianca murders because of the vicarious liability rule, the joint liability rule of conspiracy.

The law is clear then that once a conspiracy is formed, each member of the conspiracy is criminally responsible for and equally guilty of crimes committed by his coconspirators which were in furtherance of the object of the conspiracy.

As I stated in my opening argument, if A and B conspired to murder X, and pursuant to that agreement B murders X, A, even though he was not the actual killer, is equally guilty of that murder. I don't care where he was; he could have been playing tennis, badminton, anywhere; he was [a] member of that conspiracy. He was guilty of that murder. That is the law of conspiracy, and there just are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Even if Charles Manson was merely a member, just a member of this conspiracy to commit these murders, and never killed anyone, he would still be guilty of all seven murders, but here he is not only a member, he is a leader, the leading force behind all of these conspiracies.

Charles Manson is a clever fellow all right. He is clever all right.

In Manson's world, he probably felt ifhe never himself killed anyone but had someone else murder for him, he was thereby immunized or insulated, as it were, from all criminal responsibility. Well, it is not quite that easy, and when you folks come back into this courtroom with your verdict of first-degree murder against Charles Manson, you are going to tell him it's not quite that easy. In the offbeat world of Charles Manson he probably never heard of this rule of law. Well, he is learning about it right now.

The law of this state, ladies and gentlemen, has trapped and subdued these defendants just as they trapped and subdued these seven helpless, defenseless victims whom they so mercilessly murdered.

His Honor will instruct you that Linda Kasabian is an accomplice to these seven murders. This simply means that in the court's judgment, Linda Kasabian's testimony concerning her involvement with these defendants on these nights of murder makes her an accomplice as a matter of law.

His Honor will go on to instruct you that you cannot convict any defendant on the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice. If Linda's testimony has been corroborated as to each defendant, then of course you can convict each defendant.

If, on the other hand, her testimony has only been corroborated as to certain defendants and not as to others, you can only convict those defendants against whom Linda Kasabian's testimony has been corroborated.

more on the closing argument



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