Charles Manson's sentence is for first-degree murder. This is defined as

"any intentional murder that is willful and premeditated with malice aforethought. "

How can this be the case if he did not murder and only encouraged others to kill? Isn't his crime incitement at worst?

1 Answer 1


See California Penal Code Section 31:

All persons concerned in the commission of a crime, whether it be felony or misdemeanor, and whether they directly commit the act constituting the offense, or aid and abet in its commission, or, not being present, have advised and encouraged its commission, and all persons counseling, advising, or encouraging children under the age of fourteen years, or persons who are mentally incapacitated, to commit any crime, or who, by fraud, contrivance, or force, occasion the drunkenness of another for the purpose of causing him to commit any crime, or who, by threats, menaces, command, or coercion, compel another to commit any crime, are principals in any crime so committed.

  • Thanks for the info. So how does this differ from incitement?
    – Charlie
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 0:55
  • 1
    @Charlie: I can't find any relevant references to "incitement" in California law. Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 1:00
  • Hmm... So if someone encouraging revolts that's a crime? I thought only immediate harm is the limit of freedom of speech.
    – user4234
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 13:11
  • 1
    @SharenEayrs: You'll have to look at case law to see how this is interpreted and what its limits are. Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 16:56
  • Was the emphasized text in force when the murders were committed?
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 16, 2022 at 18:56

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