Tuesday, August 23, 2005

No Death Penalty for Rudolph. A Georgia court sentenced the man who set the bomb during the Atlanta Olympics, killing an innocent and wounding others, later hid in the NC mountains and was finally captured. He received life imprisonment. Unlike the case with Kansas and the BTK killer, Georgia has a death penalty. A report in the New York Times states:

Prosecutors had agreed not to seek the death penalty if Mr. Rudolph pleaded guilty and revealed the whereabouts of about 250 pounds of dynamite he had cached in the North Carolina woods.

In July, Rudolph made a deal with prosecutors in Birmingham and avoided the death penalty there for killing an off duty police officer with a bomb.

Is Rudolph less culpable than Rader, the BTK killer? As demented as Rader seems and as horrible as his crimes were, one has to question whether morally there is any difference between him and a bomber who is likely to kill just about anyone who may be walking by. One crime is quite personal and focused, the other cruelly unconcerned about who the victim might be. To borrow a phrase from a former governor of Alabama, I don't think there is a dime's worth of difference between either crime.

Rudolph portrayed himself as a devout Christian, according to one report, interested in fighting abortion.

But, according to the NYT article:

[P]rosecutors took exception to his contention that the Olympics bombing was a protest of legalized abortion. David E. Nahmias, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said that investigators had spoken to almost everyone who had ever known Mr. Rudolph and he had not mentioned abortion. "He was full of openly expressed hatred for the federal government, law enforcement, African-Americans, Jews, Hollywood, there's a whole list of things," Mr. Nahmias said. "The one thing that there was virtually no evidence of is that he had expressed an opinion on abortion."

Some Christian.

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