January 13, 1998 in Nation/World

Nichols’ Mom Says Death Would Have Been Better

Associated Press
 

Terry Nichols’ mother says she would rather have seen her son executed than have to face a long life in prison for something she says he did not do, The Daily Oklahoman reported.

“My gosh, with him suffering and going through this agony and everybody, you know, what’s his life going to be? Nothing. He has no future,” Joyce Wilt told the newspaper.

“Death would have been easier than him being put in there. He’s being tortured for something he did not do.”

A Denver jury last week convicted Nichols of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter, but couldn’t agree on the extent of his involvement or on a sentence. U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch will sentence Nichols; no date has been set.

Without a unanimous jury verdict, Nichols cannot be sentenced to death. Nichols’ former Army buddy, Timothy McVeigh, has been sentenced to die for his part in the bombing.

Wilt, who watched nearly every day of her son’s trial, told the Oklahoman she still passionately believes in his innocence - but she doesn’t expect a light sentence from Matsch.

“He’s going to give him a tough sentence, I’m sure. He’s a tough judge,” Wilt said.

Wilt, 67, said she visited her son after the verdict and said he felt let down. “How would you feel? How could you stand to be locked up away from your life and your family when you’re innocent? I mean, that’s a tough one.”

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