She committed one of the meanest, nastiest, witchiest, most sadistic effed-up murders in history.
Vincent Bugliosi, who prosecuted Atkins, said she deserved the death penalty in 1971. But the former prosecutor said he believed now that Atkins has sincerely renounced Manson and that her 37 years in prison, along with her illness, changed things.
"She has paid substantially, though not completely, for her horrendous crimes. Paying completely would mean imposing the death penalty," Bugliosi said. "But given that she has six months to live, and the loss of her leg, I don't have an objection to her being released."