The 'insanity defense' and diminished capacity


LII

The UNABOM trials: Two decades of terror come to a close

         On Thursday, January 22, UNABOM defendant Theodore Kaczynski pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement, under which Kaczynski will serve life in prison without possibility of parole. In return, federal prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty.

    At the close of the federal trial of Theodore Kaczynski, two states still maintained the legal ability to prosecute him for common-law murder. California prosecutors expressed a desire to prosecute him for the murder of two Sacramento residents, Hugh Scrutton in 1985 and lobbyist Gilbert Murray in 1995. New Jersey prosecutors expressed an interest in prosecuting
Kaczynski for the murder of advertising executive Thomas Mosser.

    On January 26, Sacramento prosecutors announced they would not prosecute Kaczynski, because he had already confessed to being the UNABOMber in federal court. Sacramento prosecutor Jan Scully said the state's hands were tied by the federal plea bargain. California law prohibits prosecutors from indicting a defendant who has already been convicted of the same charges in federal court. Although Kaczynski was not tried for the Murray and Scrutton bombings in federal court, in his plea bargain, he confessed to those and nine other uncharged UNABOM attacks. On January 28, state prosecutors in Sacramento County, California, confirmed that they will not prosecute Kaczynski in California state court. Kaczynski might have been prosecuted in California for murder. The federal trial occurred in the federal court for the Eastern District of California.