Newsom's last effort to prevent Van Houten's parole came in May, but was overruled by a California appeals court. It was his fourth appeal in Van Houten's case.
“The governor is disappointed by the Court of Appeal’s decision to release Ms. Van Houten but will not pursue further action as efforts to further appeal are unlikely to succeed,” Newsom's communications director Erin Mellon said in a statement.
Van Houten was convicted in 1971 of killing actress Sharon Tate, who was 8½ months pregnant, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, Polish movie director Voityck Frykowski, and Steven Parent, a friend of the Tate estate’s caretaker. At the time, Van Houten was a cult follower of Manson, who was also convicted for the murders. Fellow followers Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel were also convicted, with all four being sentenced to death.
In 1972, California did away with its death penalty, sparing Van Houten, Atkins, Krenwinkel, and Manson at once. Manson died in prison in 2017.
The parole board recommended Van Houten's release in September 2021.