Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday blocked the release from prison of a former Charles Manson follower, reversing a decision of the state parole board.
Bruce Davis was convicted in the 1969 killings of Gary Hinman, an aspiring musician, and Donald "Shorty" Shea, a stuntman, but he did not participate in the infamous murder of actress Sharon Tate.
The state Board of Parole Hearings found Davis, now 70, suitable for parole last year "based on his remorse and insight, educational achievements and self-help programming," among other factors, Brown said in a written decision.
While the Democratic governor acknowledged Davis "has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated," he said the positive steps Davis has taken "are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole."
"The motives for these murders - to fund and incite a race war and to protect the Family from police intrusion - and the way they were carried out demonstrate to me an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering," Brown wrote.
Brown called the killings of Hinman and Shea "heinous and brutal," and he said Davis played a central role in carrying them out. He also said Davis fails to acknowledge the extent of his involvement in the crime.
Brown uses his power to block decisions of the parole board relatively sparingly.
Last year, he let about 80 percent of convicted killers' parole releases stand, reversing just 91 of 470 parole grants and returning two cases to the parole board for reconsideration.