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Charles Manson and the Right to Marry in U.S. Prisons

kelly-hanson-pic-itv-image-1-989998856-thumb-300x199-89852.jpgWill convicted serial killer Charles Manson really get married?

It's hard to tell.

What we do know is that 26-year-old "Star" Afton Elaine Burton, who reportedly has been seeing Manson for nine years, obtained a marriage license in Kings County, California on November 7th.

Burton and Manson have 90 days to decide whether they will indeed tie the proverbial nuptial knot.

Manson's Helter Skelter Holocaust Theory

You may recall that Manson received a death penalty verdict back in 1971 for the 1969 murder of Sharon Tate. Authorities also charged him with the deaths of four guests at his home and the murder of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Manson continues to live because the California Supreme Court lead by Rose Bird, "Rosy and the Supremes", outlawed the death penalty in 1972.

Before the Manson murders occurred, Charles Manson believed that an apocalyptic war would ensue due to racial tensions in the U.S. between blacks and whites.

According to Manson's idea, members of his makeshift family would live in a city beneath Death Valley and emerge at the end of the holocaust blacks would wage on whites. Manson and his followers, or so he thought, would then emerge as post-apocalyptic leaders to rule over African-Americans living in the U.S.

No Turning Back: U.S. Supreme Court Supports Prison Marriages

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that prisoners have a constitutional right to marry. Prison officials do have the discretion, however, to decide how and when prisoners conduct their ceremonies.

There are consistencies in how the law is applied. Rules that govern when prisoners can marry differ from state to state, and even from prison to prison within the same state.

The California prison system has little legal recourse to deny Manson his right to marry Burton. However, it can - and it's been reported that it will - forbid conjugal visits after the marriage takes place.

Manson isn't the first serial killer to marry behind prison bars. The Hillside Stranglers, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, married while serving prison terms for killing ten girls and women in 1977 in California.

Richard Ramirez, known as the Night Stalker, was on death row in California for murders he committed in 1984 and 1985 when he tied the knot.

Nearly two years ago in New York, Joe Perez and Brie Morris got married. They met through a website,, a digital forum for prisoners and the outside world.

Along with finding Morris, Perez has been busy earning a college degree so that when he's released he can find a job. Experts analyzing his case felt that getting married and earning a degree provided some normal social activities that would prepare him for life upon his eventual release.

In Manson's case, he'll die in prison; officials say they won't allow conjugal visits and his new wife will eventually be a young widow.

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