"If they're doing good things in prison I applaud them," said former Manson prosecutor Stephen Kay. "But do they deserve to be outside in normal society? Not for what they did, no. Never."
Angela Smaldino, niece of the LaBiancas, was a college student in Los Angeles at the time her aunt and uncle were killed.
"I think they murdered people and they shouldn't ever get out of jail," she said. But Smaldino forgives "as a Christian."
She is also sympathetic about what Van Houten has lost in prison. What she'd like now is for her family's killers to reach out directly to her.
"Write me, Leslie ... let's talk about it," Smaldino said. "I'm going to make it a priority to heal. I don't want to carry this any further."
As for Waters who wrote about Leslie Van Houten in his upcoming book, "Role Models," he acknowledge there are no easy decisions in this case.
"I wanted at least to have a chance to stick up for my friend," Waters said. "I understand it's not a popular decision, but I hope people will consider it."
ABC News' Felicia Biberica contributed to this report.