Charles Manson Caught With Cellphone. Is That a Crime?
One of the state's most notorious criminals, Charles Manson is making headlines again from behind bars. The mastermind of multiple slayings in the 1960s, Manson has been keeping in touch with the outside world with a modern device: A cellphone.
Authorities found the LG flip phone underneath Manson's mattress, according to the LA Times. "Manson made calls and sent text messages to people in California, New Jersey, Florida and British Columbia before officers discovered the phone, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections."
What Manson was calling about is unclear, however what is more clear is that Manson isn't actually breaking the law by having the phone. In August, President Barack Obama signed a bill making it illegal to have a cellphone in federal prison, but that does not apply to state institutions. However, inmates can make arrangements to commit or commission crimes using the phones, and the phones are being smuggled in to them, sometimes by prison guards.
Prisoners' rights activists say that the collect call tolls are a burden on inmates, and having cellphones gives them the liberty to contact loved ones without the high cost.
Manson, 76, who is expected to die in prison, though he is eligible for parole, had 30 days added to his sentence as punishment for having the contraband phone.