View Full Version : Terry Nichols and Jesus

06-12-2004, 11:03 PM
Do you believe Terry Nichols became a Christian? If so do you believe this should have spared him the death penalty?


Religious Conversion May Have Saved Nichols

Saturday, June 12, 2004

McALESTER, Okla. — Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols (search) may have been spared the death penalty for a second time because a jailhouse conversion to Christianity gained him sympathy from the jury, lawyers in the case said Saturday.

The state prosecution, staged in an attempt to secure the death penalty at a cost expected to soar to $10 million, ended with the same sentence Nichols received in federal court six years ago: life.

Juror Daniel Cochran said as many as eight of the 12 jurors agreed to impose a death sentence, but declined to disclose further details of their deliberations.

"We all agreed that what went on in the jury room would stay in the jury room," he said.

But lawyers for both the prosecution and defense agreed jurors were influenced by Nichols' religious conversion. Nichols was also portrayed as susceptible to manipulation by Timothy McVeigh (search), the bombing's mastermind.

During the sentencing portion of his trial, defense witnesses testified that Nichols had worn out four Bibles through prayer and research, and that he wrote an 83-page letter to a prayer partner in Michigan while trying to make a point about Christian faith.

"Terry Nichols' belief in God is so firm that he believes if the rapture occurred today he is going to heaven," defense attorney Creekmore Wallace told jurors.

After convicting him of 161 counts of murder in just 5 hours, the jury wrestled with his punishment for 191/2 hours before concluding they could not agree on a penalty.

The deadlock means that Nichols will automatically be sentenced to life in prison for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

He received the same sentence on federal convictions for the deaths of eight federal law enforcement officers in 1998. That jury deadlocked after 131/2 hours of deliberation.

The state charges are for the other 160 victims and one victims' fetus.

District Attorney Wes Lane (search), who pursued murder charges filed by his predecessor, Bob Macy, said the prosecution was about seeking justice for the other victims, not securing the death penalty.

"Justice was getting their day in court," he said.

But in announcing the state charges, Macy had said he was not satisfied with the outcome of the federal trial.

"Clearly the reason they brought this action in Oklahoma was to kill Terry," defense attorney Brian Hermanson said. "They spend a huge amount of money. They caused a huge amount of heartache for a lot of people. And basically we reached the same result as the federal case."

Lane said he believes Nichols was spared because of "sympathy issues" among some jurors, including for his religious conversion — one that prosecutors said conveniently began about the time state murder charges were filed against him.

"I don't see Terry Nichols as being repentant necessarily," Lane said. "I know that Mr. Nichols was not willing to accept responsibility."

Wallace said Nichols' religious conversion is genuine, and that jurors may also have believed that Nichols was used by McVeigh, who was executed on federal murder charges on June 11, 2001.

"Every person in his life who has had any kind of agenda has been able to manipulate the man," Wallace said. He said Nichols has no social skills and may suffer from a mild form of autism.

Polls conducted before the start of Nichols' trial showed that most Oklahomans opposed bringing Nichols to trial again because he was already serving life in prison.

A poll conducted by the Tulsa World in January found 70 percent of Oklahomans opposed the expense of a state trial. Only 25 percent were in favor, according to the Oklahoma Poll.

Nichols' defense team alone has been paid almost $4 million. That figure that does not include the cost of prosecution or of transporting and housing prosecution witnesses during Nichols' trial.

Bud Welch, a death-penalty opponent whose daughter, July Marie Welch, died in the bombing, said even some families who were angry that Nichols didn't get a death sentence in his federal trial opposed the state charges.

"It just made sense the jury would not go for the death penalty," said Welch, who read a victim impact statement during the penalty phase. "I think some of the jurors felt that it's been nine years, he's been in prison."

Hermanson said Nichols' jury had renewed his faith in Oklahoma's criminal justice system.

"I am so proud of those jurors that voted their heart and listened to the evidence in holding out for life," Hermanson said.

"There was not a valid reason for killing him other than the seeking of vengeance. There's no place for vengeance in the courtroom."

06-13-2004, 01:22 AM
bill, I have a hard time believing that crap, I worked corrections for awhile,and every time a parole hearing,or chance of transfer came up they were allthe time telling the boards how they have changed their lives,, by either find GOD or converting to Islam.WHen they were shot down, it was right back to the norm again.

But I do admit, with the prior training I have recieved,and the brotherhood I was in , I tend to look at this with a very slanted view.

06-13-2004, 12:20 PM
There's no place for vengeance in the courtroom."

And in to many cases no room for justice either.

06-13-2004, 12:22 PM
I do criminal appeals, so most of my clients are inmates at penitentiaries. I have known a lot of them to be fine Christians, but some are not able to maintain that lifestyle outside the prison walls. I don't know if that means they're no longer Christian - have to ask Jesus when I see Him.

Do I think that Nichols' conversion should have saved him from the death penalty? Not really up to me, since I wasn't on the jury. So, I haven't heard all of what was presented in the mitigation case in the penalty phase - I have a sneaking suspicion that it wasn't just evidence that he got saved.

Personally, I was pretty pro-Death Penalty (even as a defense lawyer) until I got saved, myself (and, the witnessing of some of my inmate clients was part of what lead me to the Lord, by the way). Now I feel like the DP should be reserved for those folks who we can't be sure to keep safely from hurting other folks. There aren't a whole lot of instances in which I can imagine this coming up, but I've got an open mind about it.

What with the "let him without sin cast the first stone" teaching, etc., I just wouldn't want to face the Lord if I couldn't tell him that every death I was responsible for was a necessary one. Let God make the ultimate judgment - I know the judgment that I merit as a sinner, so I'm planning to rely on God's grace, myself, and don't want to judge others in areas as ultimate as death if I don't absolutely have to do so.

Just my thoughts. God bless you all. :)

06-13-2004, 02:17 PM
Do I beleive Terry Nichols became a Christian? I don't know, but God does, and that's all that matters.

Should this have spared him from the death penalty? No, scripture says that we will pay for our sins, so this is no exception.

06-13-2004, 04:47 PM
While I doubt he was saved, it matters not one whit. He must face justice as an individual.
Those who think that the death penalty should be for those who pose a further danger to society do not understand what God has said.
He has said that a murderer must forfeit his own life. He has given that authority and responsibility to the government. Romans 13.

True justice is about vengeance. We might want to call it something else, but that is what it is. God has said that vengeance is His. He intends that the human instrument in this life/world be the government. Government takes vengeance in this life in the place of God. God will take His vengeance in the spiritual realm after death and at the Judgment. If Terry was saved then Jesus has paid that penalty in his place, but in this life Terry must face the justice of this life.

Justice is in fact an eye for an eye. That is not as bad as it seems at first glance. It accomplishes several things.
1. It makes the punishment fit the crime. 2. It insures that there is punishment. 3. It intends that the criminal make restitution when possible. 4. It intends that the punishment is not excessive.

When Jesus made the statements in Matthew 5, He was speaking against the individual taking vengeance. Romans 13 verifies that. The thought that a saved person should not have to pay the price for his crime has not Biblical authority.
Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

It is interesting that early in the history of Israel, God established that the Avenger of Blood could take vengeance for murder. That was not for manslaughter, but for 1st degree murder it was authorized. Details can be found in Deuteronomy 19, and Joshua 20. That is of course, not authorized today.


06-14-2004, 11:01 AM
Do you believe Terry Nichols became a Christian?Sure - why not? He saved the rest of us worthless wretches, why not him?
If so do you believe this should have spared him the death penalty?Nope. Actions still have consequences.

06-15-2004, 05:28 PM
I don't think the second trial for the same crime was justice in the first place. The duality of State and Federal charges is bogus, and should be eliminated wholesale from our Justice system.

Just read a long article in the paper on prosecutions in Russia. If arrested, you have about a 99% chance of being convicted. If acquitted, they just keep re-trying you forever. Not to mention the corruption and intimidation of defense lawyers and judges.

06-15-2004, 08:08 PM
He was tried for 1 murder in the Fed case. He was tried for the other 161 in state court.

06-15-2004, 09:18 PM
I can understand his point tho, he can not be paroled, he will die in prison, why waste the states money,oter than to give closure to the familys, or make a name for the DA.

06-16-2004, 05:17 AM
I don't think the second trial for the same crime was justice in the first place. The duality of State and Federal charges is bogus, and should be eliminated wholesale from our Justice system.

Just read a long article in the paper on prosecutions in Russia. If arrested, you have about a 99% chance of being convicted. If acquitted, they just keep re-trying you forever. Not to mention the corruption and intimidation of defense lawyers and judges.

Though I abhor what Nichols did I have to agree. This precedent, if it is one, is scary. If given the death penalty in the state trial I'll bet this would have ended up with the Supremes.

06-16-2004, 08:39 AM
Oh, the "dual sovereignty" doctrine (allowing prosecution for the same act in both federal and state systems w/o violating double jeopardy protections) is well established. The US SCt has no problem with it. "[W]hen a defendant in a single act violates the 'peace and dignity' of two sovereigns by breaking the laws of each, he has committed two distinct 'offences.'" Heath v. Alabama, 474 U.S. 82, 88, 88 L. Ed. 2d 387, 106 S. Ct. 433 (1985) (quoting United States v. Lanza, 260 U.S. 377, 382, 67 L. Ed. 314, 43 S. Ct. 141 (1922)). See also United States v. Wheeler, 435 U.S. 313, 317, 55 L. Ed. 2d 303, 98 S. Ct. 1079 (1978); Moore v. Illinois, 55 U.S. 13, 14 HOW 13, 19, 14 L. Ed. 306 (1852).

06-17-2004, 08:55 AM
Erich -
I'm not a lawyer, not do I play one on the internet. Having said that, while I'm sure the references you've cited are valid, I still just not smart enough for it to make sense to me - there's just something about it that kinda sticks sideways in my throat...

06-17-2004, 01:47 PM
Well, I don't disagree with you . . . but then I liked the Articles of Confederation a whole lot better than that Constitution-deal. :D In fact, I've recently argued against a different permutation of the dual sovereignty doctrine in the NM SCt. The aspect of dual sovereignty that Gecko mentioned is, alas, pretty well entrenched, however.

I'd propose that the reason that it doesn't make sense to you is that . . . it doesn't make sense, to any freedom-loving individual who's read the Constitution, that is. (Gee . . . and wasn't that 10th Amendment supposed to actually mean something?)

Liberty or Death
06-17-2004, 06:06 PM
(Gee . . . and wasn't that 10th Amendment supposed to actually mean something?)

It did at one time.

Until Adolph Lincoln's savage suppression of the South's bid for independence turned it into a dead letter.

see article below

Beheading the "Great Messiah"

by Karen De Coster

Abraham Lincoln, as most of us were told in Mr. Smith’s 9th-grade history class, was a God-sent savior, a brilliant, articulate, and diversity-loving individual, and the Messiah of the great "Union." Most of us were brainwashed on enchanting quotations from the "great man from the little log cabin." This week celebrates his birthday, and may he be remembered for what he truly was. So let me begin a short and biased Lincoln diatribe, and may it rattle Abe’s grave and leave him forever unsettled.

Lincoln was a ruthless dictator of the most contemptible sort. A conniving and manipulative man, and a scoundrel at heart, he was nowhere near what old guard historians would have us believe.

Lincoln has been transformed into the indomitable icon of the American Union. But yet, this beast ruled the country by presidential decree, exercised dictatorial powers over a free people, and proceeded to wage war without a declaration from Congress. Lincoln blocked Southern shipping ports, justifying his actions by saying "he would enforce all laws and collect all revenues due the North." The blockades were an act of war. He set his Northern Army upon the South at Fort Sumter, and set in motion one of the most brutal attacks ever upon freedom by maneuvering the South into firing the first shot at their Northern aggressors.

However, Mr. Smith’s textbook would have us believe that Lincoln was a preservationist of sorts, a man dedicated to preserving the grandeur of State ideals. Most 9th-graders don’t have the intellect to ask what is so glorious about State ideals. Instead, they absorb just enough to make it into ignorant adulthood. In fact, if they had questioned these teachings, they would have discovered that Lincoln was a consummate con man, manipulator, and a State-serving miscreant.

In the march through Georgia during Lincoln’s War of Northern Aggression, he and Sherman carved out a murderous campaign, maiming innocent civilians and setting a precedent for the next century’s bloody genocides that followed. A fine exemplar was he, the Communists might say.

As if the pure evil of the war to subjugate the Southern states struggling for independence was not unscrupulous enough, Lincoln was hardly the watchman of the black race as portrayed by Mr. Smith’s ninth-grade history text, either. Lincoln had no fondness for the black man, and in fact, often spoke with the candor of that which would make him a modern-day racist of satanic proportions.

As Lincoln scholar Tom DiLorenzo points out, Lincoln believed there was an inherent inequality between the black and white race, and held a conviction that a "superior position" should be assigned to the white man over the black man due to this political and social inequality. David Duke was forever browbeaten for muttering anything even resembling this.

Any good historian at least understands that his goal was not to free the slaves, as DiLorenzo correctly states. In 1862, Lincoln published a letter stating, "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union."

Lincoln was the darling candidate of the moneyed industrialists of the North. At the core of his political tenets was a government of high import taxes, and his Republican party, whom he lead, passed the Morrill tariff into law soon after taking office. To quote DiLorenzo, Lincoln "even promised in his First Inaugural Address to launch an invasion of any state that failed to collect its share of tariffs." He was committing himself to collecting customs in the South, even if that meant they would secede. The free-market economics of the South were up for assault.

Lincoln signed ten more tariff-raising bills throughout his agonizing administration. He manipulated the American public into the first income tax, he handed out huge land grants and monetary subsidies to transcontinental railroads (corporate welfare), and he took the nation off the gold standard, allowing the government to have absolute control over the monetary system. Then, he virtually nationalized the banking system under the National Currency Acts in order to establish a machine for printing new money at will and to provide cheap credit for the business elite. This mercantilist tyrant ushered in central banking, our greatest economic curse to this day.

Furthermore, his "New Army" and the slaughter effort on the South put into motion an unprecedented profusion of federal coercion against free citizens, both North and South. By way of conscription, he assembled a vast army by presidential decree, an act of flagrant misconduct which drafted individuals into slavery to the federal government. Additionally, any war dissenters or advocates of a peaceful settlement with the South were jailed, and, as even Mr. Smith knows, Habeus Corpus was abolished for the duration of the war. He then tossed into the slammer as many as 30,000 civilians WITHOUT due process of law for reasons of criticizing the Lincoln administration, and suppressed HUNDREDS of newspapers that did not support his war effort.

After his Army stopped secession in its tracks, Lincoln created provisional courts sympathetic to Northern aggression, invented the office of Military Governor, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which became a propaganda tool for historians in later years, though it did not free the slaves in Northern-controlled areas.

All said, Lincoln was a ruthless dictator and he set the precedent for what is known as the "Imperial Presidency." He was the most evil, damaging, aggressive, abominable, and destructive president ever to defy American liberty. Happy Birthday, Abe.

February 12, 2001

Karen De Coster is a politically incorrect CPA, and an MA student in economics at Walsh College in Michigan.






06-21-2004, 08:48 AM
I'd propose that the reason that it doesn't make sense to you is that . . . it doesn't make sense, to any freedom-loving individual who's read the Constitution, that is. (Gee . . . and wasn't that 10th Amendment supposed to actually mean something?)Ahhh... Good, I don't feel like quite the bonehead now.