Atkins -- terminally ill with brain cancer and, according to her attorney, paralyzed over much of her body -- was denied her freedom by the California Parole Board after a hearing at the prison where she is being held.
Now 61, Atkins was convicted in 1971 of taking part in seven "Manson Family" murders, including that of heavily pregnant actress Sharon Tate, the wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski.
Her death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972, when the California Supreme Court abolished capital punishment. Atkins will next be eligible for parole in 2012.
Manson became one of the 20th Century's most infamous criminals during the summer of 1969, when the Beatles-obsessed ex-convict directed his mostly young, female followers to murder seven people.
Tate was stabbed 16 times by members of the Manson Family at her Beverly Hills home in the early hours of August 9, 1969.
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