Charles Manson Costs Millions Upon Millions To Keep In Prison

Notorious cult leader Charles Manson was convicted in 1971 for conspiracy to murder seven people and has been in jail ever since. In the 46 years he's been living in prison, the costs have added up for the taxpayers and totaled an astronomical fee, especially considering how vile of an individual he takes pride in being.

Manson's original sentencing was for the death penalty, but when the California Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty in 1972, Manson's sentence was downgraded to life in prison.

In 2010, the average cost of keeping an inmate alive in prison was around $39,000, with some states' estimates being even higher than that. If that estimate were true for the 46 years he's been in prison, that comes close to $2 million, and that's just the rate for a "model" prisoner.

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Manson, on the other hand, has been far from a model prisoner. Since his incarceration, he has earned more than 100 additional offenses, including assault, possession of a deadly weapon, trying to intimidate staff, and illegally possessing a cell phone.

This past week, Manson had a serious health scare when he showed signs of intestinal bleeding and was taken from prison to a nearby hospital. When doctors determined what was wrong and knew they had to operate, Manson initially refused the procedure, seemingly accepting this as the end of his life.

Once convinced that he should go ahead with the surgery, the doctors then realized that the 82-year-old was far too weak to undergo the procedure. After a few days, he was returned to the prison and eventually became healthy enough to undergo the procedure.

In the late '60s, Manson dove head first into the hippie scene in San Francisco, using his charm, charisma, and powers of persuasion to further his radically racist and violent ideals. He convinced people, mostly young women, to adhere to his beliefs and they believe him when he warned of an upcoming race war, which he deemed "Helter Skelter."

While acting under his orders, his followers, or his "family," pulled off a series of violent crimes, including the murders of seven people. Most famously, the Manson Family broke into the home of Roman Polanski to murder his wife, actress Sharon Tate, and other guests that were found in the home.

Manson has been up for parole 12 times in the past 46 years, and been denied 12 times.

Many argue that, considering his obvious guilt and impossibility of ever being released from prison, execution would have been a more effective measure. By comparison, the price tag for executing a prisoner is around $100,000.


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[H/T CBS News/YouTube/]