Terry Nichols' Jury is Out of Alternates

Terry Nichols's defense begins its presentation in the death penalty phase of his trial. Here's an interesting factoid: There are no more alternate jurors.

That's right. No more. So if one juror gets sick, Terry Nichols jury can't finish deliberations. Mistrial as to the sentencing. The matter goes to the judge, and under Oklahoma law, he has to impose a life sentence. Question: What's to prevent one juror, who wanted to make sure Nichols' got a life sentence, from just calling in sick?

All those millions spent prosecuting a man already serving a life sentence would be down the drain. For those of us opposed to the death penalty, we can't think of a more fitting ending.

Some legal eagles have suggested that the Judge could convene a second jury and retry the sentencing. We disagree. But even if it were legally possible, we don't see it. This judge has had enough. He's not going through this again.

Update: A commenter thought we were advocating that a juror pretend to be sick. We were not. That would be a fraud upon the court. Our comment about a fitting ending related to the possibility that a juror might really get sick and be prevented from deliberating.

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