April 20, 1996 in Nation/World

Unabom Leaks Only ‘Regrettable’ Judge Rejects Defense Motions, Says Kaczynski Treatment Fair

New York Times
 

A federal district judge Friday denied defense lawyers’ motions that no charges be considered against the Unabom suspect Theodore John Kaczynski.

The defense had based that motion on the argument that the pool of potential members of the grand jury that is to consider evidence against Kaczynski had been exposed to too many news leaks by law-enforcement officials, much of the information concerning the results of the authorities’ search at his remote mountain cabin.

But the judge, Charles Lovell, said at a hearing that although “it is entirely regrettable that these leaks” did occur, “they did not rise to the level of prejudice claimed by the defendant.”

Lovell also rejected the defense lawyers’ fall-back motion: that he at least hold an evidentiary hearing on their contention that the pool of potential grand jurors had been so prejudiced that a fair consideration of whether to indict Kaczynski was impossible.

“These deliberate disclosures poisoned the entire population of grand jurors within the United States against Mr. Kaczynski,” one of the lawyers, Michael Donahoe, wrote in this motion. He cited several hundred press reports quoting anonymous law-enforcement officials as saying that their evidence linked Kaczynski to the 17-year series of Unabomber attacks.

But Lovell, speaking from the bench, said: “The defendant is not entitled to perfect treatment. It’s not a perfect world. He is entitled to fair treatment. I think he has received fair treatment.”

Kaczynski attended the hearing in green shirt, khaki pants and black high-topped sneakers. He neither spoke nor showed any emotion. He sported a new, closely cropped haircut and trimmed beard.

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