Manson Family Killer With Brain Cancer Seeks Compassionate Release

In a letter to the parole board, Tate's father wrote a letter saying, "Thirty-one years ago I sat in a courtroom with a jury and watched with others. I saw a young woman who giggled, snickered and shouted out insults. Even while testifying about my daughter's last breath, she laughed."

Atkins said there was no way to defend herself against his charges.

"There's only the continued attempt to apologize to him," she said. "Every time I've gone to the board I've made every attempt possible to apologize."

But there is no way to measure remorse, she said.

"It's not something that's tangible," Atkins said. "What remorse is is not sitting in a prison cell for the rest of your life crying over what happened and what you cannot change. Remorse is genuine repentance, turning away from behavior."

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