Nichols confessed to the killings but claimed he was legally insane and gripped by a delusional compulsion that he was a slave rebelling against authority. Jurors rejected defense arguments that he was legally insane or mentally ill at the time.
Nichols was accused of overpowering Fulton County sheriff's deputy Cynthia Hall on March 11, 2005, as he was being led into a courtroom where he was facing a second trial on rape charges.
Officials say he took Hall's gun from a lockbox and fatally shot three people at the courthouse: Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes, court reporter Julie Ann Brandau and Fulton County sheriff's Sgt. Hoyt Teasley, who attempted to apprehend him outside the building.
Nichols also was convicted of killing David Wilhelm, a federal customs agent, hours later at Wilhelm's home in the Buckhead section of Atlanta.
It certainly sounds like a lame attempt at claiming mental incapacity. And there's no denying that a killing spree like this which was essentially an attempted escape from the second rape charge he was facing, makes him a very bad boy. The defense attorney must have felt this was their best shot, as opposed to the abusive childhood pitch, for example. The jury didn't agree, nor are they likely to in the penalty phase, I would say.
It's a case like this that tests one's resolve concerning abolition of the death penalty. I feel capital punishment is wrong because we should maintain consistency between what we preach and what we do, as a State. If it's wrong to kill, it's wrong for Brian Nichols as well as for the State of Georgia.
One comment by the lawyers really caught my attention because it's exactly the way I often feel on this blog.
They said he has been diagnosed with a disorder that involves delusions of persecution, as well as grandiose thinking.
I strenuously appeal to the readers of this blog for an acquittal based upon the above statement.
What say ye?