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The 'insanity defense' and diminished capacity
A discussion of the UNABOM case


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.

The legal saga of the UNABOM case now enters its next phase. Although Kaczynski's federal criminal trial is over, New Jersey prosecutors have expressed a desire to prosecute Kaczynski in their respective state courts. In both states, bombs allegedly sent by Kaczynski resulted in the deaths of recipients.

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 UNABOM trials: Two decades of terror come to a close

The year 1998 will witness the final chapter in a twenty-year drama in American criminal investigation, criminal justice, and terrorism. Theodore John Kaczynski will stand trial for a two-decades-long string of mail bombs, for which he has come to be known as the Unabomber.

The federal trial occurred in the federal court for the Eastern District of California.

This site explores the law and history of the "insanity defense" -- and the similar plea, "diminished capacity" -- and the historical background of the UNABOM investigation and trial.

New on January 29, 1998 new!

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Prepared by Michael Peil for the Legal Information Institute. Last edited 29 January 1998 at 07:16.