On January 27, 2011, noted defense lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for the immediate release of American prisoner Charles Milles Manson.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is a part of the Organization of American States (OAS).  Its human rights duties stem from three documents:  the OAS Charter, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and the American Convention on Human Rights.

In his petition to the IACHR, Di Stefano refers to Article 8 of the American Convention on Human Rights “Right to a Fair Trial”, specifically (1) – the right to a hearing, with due guarantees… by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal; as well as Article 8 (2d) – the right of the accused to defend himself personally or to be assisted by legal counsel of his own choosing…

The petition on Mansons’ behalf highlights the fact that Manson was illegally denied his right to pro-per (self-representation).  The appeal also points to the highly prejudicial and massive pre-trial media coverage.

Di Stefano closes his petition to the IACHR by stating; “Mr. Manson remains in custody more as a symbol for the US Criminal Justice System, a cult, an example made rather than because of real evidence to sustain a conviction, and under no circumstances did Mr. Manson have a fair trial.”

IACHR homepage – http://cidh.oas.org/DefaultE.htm