Fox News host Bill O'Reilly blasted Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard for having "not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty" against alleged Atlanta courthouse shooter Brian Nichols. O'Reilly commented: "Can you believe this guy? An accused rapist guns down four people, and you don't seek the maximum sentence?" But O'Reilly himself has said he opposes the death penalty.
During the Talking Points Memo segment of the March 15 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: But the mass murder committed by Brian Nichols can also be laid partially at Howard's doorstep since he oversees justice in Fulton County.
Item: When asked if it was wise to assign a 51-year-old female deputy to guard Nichols alone, Howard said it was fine, even though Nichols was found with knives two days before he went on his shooting spree.
Item: Today, when Nichols appeared in court, 19 deputies were guarding him.
Item: Even though Nichols murdered four law officers, Howard has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.
What? Can you believe this guy? An accused rapist guns down four people, and you don't seek the maximum sentence? What the deuce is going on?
There's no question the criminal justice system is out of control in Atlanta, which, according to the FBI , is among the most dangerous cities in the country.
O'Reilly has previously stated his opposition to the death penalty. During the August 28, 2001, O'Reilly Factor, in response to a comment by Terry O'Neill, vice-president for membership of the National Organization of Women, that "You [O'Reilly] support the death penalty ... " O'Reilly said, "No, I don't. ... I'm against the death penalty, Miss O'Neill." Also, in a November 19, 2002, interview with human rights activist Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, O'Reilly said, "I'm against the death penalty as well ... " And on November 1, 2004, he said on Westwood One's The Radio Factor that "I'm against the death penalty for two reasons: No. 1, I don't think the state should be executing anybody; and No. 2, I don't think ... it deters."