Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nichols Gets Life not Death

CNN reports on what could be viewed as a victory for the anti-capital punishment movement. The jury in Atlanta could not agree unanimously on the death penalty for Brian Nichols. We discussed this case before plus on Daisy's site there's a post with some fascinating background.

Nichols, 37, was convicted last month of 54 counts for a deadly shooting rampage that began in the same courthouse where he is standing trial. Nichols shot three people at the downtown courthouse and a federal agent in neighboring Gwinnett County.

Defense lawyers said Nichols, who confessed to the killings, suffers from a mental disorder.

I don't think anyone could argue with the need to keep a guy like Nichols off the street, I certainly wouldn't. He was on trial for rape when he made the daring and bloody escape. He's cool enough under fire to shoot people dead, one after the other. Yet, somehow the jury contained three members who would not agree to the death penalty. I mark that as a hopeful sign that we can move away from the vengeance and convenience factors inherent in capital punishment.

What do you think? Do you think the other nine jurors were right? If so, why? One thing missing in this case, at least in the reports I read, is the vengeance-seeking family member of the victims. Do you think they got a bad deal with this decision?


  1. Mike,

    I just read that Rome is in trouble, the Tiber expected to flood the city.

    Hope all is well with you and your family, I'll be praying for you.

  2. Nobody lives long in prison if they kill a Federal Agent.

    I expect his "life term" will be a short and brutal one.

  3. Thanks Bob. The weather has been so erratic. We've had the heaviest rains anyone can remember. Last week schools and offices closed early a couple days. Thursday I couldn't get to work and called in. A woman was killed not far from where I turned the car back.

    Anyway, thanks for asking. I think we'll survive, most of us anyway.