Kaczynski guilty plea brings life

  Jonathan T. Lovitt ; Martin Kasindorf


  USA Today


  Page 01A

  (Copyright 1998)


  SACRAMENTO -- Theodore Kaczynski pleaded guilty Thursday to being the

  anti-technology terrorist known as the Unabomber in a deal that spares him the

  death penalty.


  In exchange, he'll receive a life sentence without parole.


  The last-minute plea agreement, reached just before the trial was to begin, let the

  government avoid pressing for the execution of a mentally ill man. Kaczynski is

  diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic.


  The agreement did not address whether Kaczynski will go to prison or a

  psychiatric facility. Sentencing is May 15.


  During a 90-minute hearing, Kaczynski, 55, pleaded guilty to 13 counts

  connected to three deaths and two injuries. He admitted to all 16 Unabomber

  attacks, which also injured 27.


  Kaczynski confirmed that he had written in his journal: "I would do it all over



  An emotional David Kaczynski, who first alerted federal officials that his brother

  might be the Unabomber, embraced his mother, Wanda, outside the courtroom.

  We "wish to reiterate to the surviving victims our deep sorrow and regret and to

  express our wish to reach out in whatever way possible to ease your pain."


  Prosecutor Robert Cleary called David Kaczynski "a true American hero. . . .

  The career of the Unabomber is over."


  Connie Murray, widow of victim Gilbert Murray, the president of the California

  Forestry Association, said the guilty plea "brings this part of our life to an end.

  He will never, ever kill again."


  Earlier Thursday, U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. refused Theodore

  Kaczynski's request to defend himself. Kaczynski had made the request in a bid

  to keep court-appointed lawyers Quin Denvir and Judy Clarke from using his

  mental health as a defense.


  Kaczynski said he strongly opposed being labeled a "sickie."


  A report by federal prison psychiatrist Sally Johnson, who concluded that

  Kaczynski was competent to stand trial despite his illness, was a turning point in

  the procedure. Prosecutors would have had a difficult time persuading a jury to

  apply the death penalty, said Georgetown University law professor Paul



  "It would have been an unseemly spectacle to execute a mentally ill person," he