Brian Nichols to Get Life in Atlanta Courthouse Shootings

The Atlanta jury which was deadlocked Thursday on the death penalty for Brian Nichols remained deadlocked today. The final outcome was 9 to 3 for death. As a result, the judge will impose a sentence of life without parole on Nichols today.

Nichols, who turned 37 on Wednesday, sagged in the shoulders as he heard of the continued deadlock that foreshadowed his escape from execution. Wearing a dark pin-striped suit and cobalt blue shirt, the former $80,000-a-year UNIX administrator for United Parcel Service sat expressionless, as he has for most of the 56 days of the trial, his only hint of nervousness an eye that blinked repeatedly.

The prosecution turned down an offer by Nichols to plead to life without parole last year. The cost of this trial was enormous.

The jury heard 144 witnesses and considered more than 1,200 pieces of evidence. The cost to taxpayers for the defense alone is estimated to have cost well over $2 million — perhaps more than $3 million — although a final accounting won’t be known until all vouchers for lawyers, their staff and four expert witnesses are submitted.

Hopefully in the future, more prosecutors will see the wisdom behind such pleas.

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    not until such time (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 01:16:06 AM EST
    Hopefully in the future, more prosecutors will see the wisdom behind such pleas.

    as they stop seeing these kinds of high profile trials as stepping stones to higher public office.

    as long as someone else (read: taxpayers) are footing the bill, the state (ambitious prosecutors) has little incentive to accept a plea that basically gets what it wants, but without the attendant publicity.

    that would require a wholesale psychological shift, on the part of the electorate, who fear a mugger behind every tree and telephone pole, because that's what they've been told, forever.

    No, I fear "stupid drivers" (none / 0) (#2)
    by Fabian on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 04:15:42 AM EST
    and I am now educating my sons about our local "stupid driver".  Mugger behind a tree?  Never seen one.  Idiot behind the wheel?  Seen plenty.

    absolutely! (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 09:28:42 AM EST
    Idiot behind the wheel?  Seen plenty.

    i constantly tell my son (and will tell my daughter as well, when that time comes) that everyone else on the road is trying to kill him, and he should drive accordingly.


    I'm probably out of step on this, (none / 0) (#4)
    by wmr on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 10:37:21 AM EST
    but I consider life without parole a harsher punishment than a quick execution.  

    Some convicted murderers murder again. (none / 0) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 11:40:19 AM EST
    Executed convicted murderers don't.

    What is the value of a human life?

    I thought they had a strong case here.  You wouldn't have to support it on the basis of retribution, vengance, deterrence, or "justice".  Their strongest arguement is self-defense.  The guy has made it very clear he has no intention of "fading away" into oblivion.  He'll try to escape again until he's dead.  I wouldn't trust Ga. to keep him in, though, now that the idea of Supermax has been thrown out, it's inconceivable to me he'll escape from there.

    How many people did this fellow (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 05:29:39 PM EST
    kill?  Rhetorical question.