Convicted murderer and terminally ill cancer patient Susan Atkins may have a chance at freedom after serving 38 years in prison. Officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have scheduled a September 2 parole hearing for Atkins, who in 1968 had a role in the murder of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in Los Angeles. In 2008, Atkins was diagnosed with brain cancer and has since had one leg amputated, while the other remains paralyzed. Doctors diagnosed Atkins with only six months to live, prompting her to appeal for “compassionate release” from her sentence. The plea once again raises the question of mercy in the court system, not to mention the amount Atkins is costing the state by being kept in prison. Most critics, however, hope for Atkins to stay in prison given the severity and brutality of her crimes.