A parole board determined then that Davis was ready for release, saying he had no recent disciplinary problems and had completed education and self-help programs.
However, Schwarzenegger reversed the decision, citing the heinous nature of the crimes and saying Davis was still a danger. Gov. Brown has the final say on decisions by the current parole board. His spokesman Gil Duran declined comment after the hearing, saying the issue had not yet reached the governor's desk.
Davis has been in prison since being convicted with Manson and another follower, Steve Grogan, in the murders of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea.
"I'm pleased and relieved and I hope Bruce's ordeal will be over," said attorney Michael Beckman, who has been fighting for years for the release of Davis.
He said an emotional Davis spoke to the panel at length and took responsibility for his role in the killings. Davis also said he tried to do good for other inmates and would continue ministering for troubled souls on the outside, the lawyer said.
If eventually freed, Davis will go to transitional housing associated with religious groups in Los Angeles County.