18 February 2004
A shot in the dark
Terry Nichols, on trial for 161 cases of murder in the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, apparently has floated the idea of pleading no contest to the charges in exchange for an agreement from the prosecution not to seek the death penalty.
Don't count on this motion going anywhere; I'm inclined to think that had Nichols, like co-conspirator Timothy McVeigh, been sentenced to the Super Shot for the Federal charges on which they were convicted, there wouldn't be any support for trying Nichols on state charges in the first place. And The Oklahoman pointed out last week in an editorial that Nichols could have copped a plea long ago, suggesting that it might have been more favorably considered before all the trial mechanisms were set into motion.
But that was then. Unless something wholly unexpected takes place in the next couple of weeks, the trial will begin as scheduled on the first of March.
(Update, 8:45 am: Cam Edwards isn't surprised that the prosecution isn't biting: "The whole reason Nichols is on trial is so we can kill him.")Posted at 7:29 AM to Soonerland