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Judge: Kaczynski Used ‘Trickery’

May 8, 1998

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski faked an argument with his lawyers and staged an attempted suicide to improve his chances of striking a deal with prosecutors and avoiding the death penalty, a judge said in a recently unsealed court order.

U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. wrote that Kaczynski’s legal wranglings were all a ploy because he ``wanted to live,″ the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

Burrell, who presided over the Unabomber case, said Kaczynski was employing ``strategies that enabled him to delay the trial proceedings and to improve his settlement prospects with the government.″

Burrell also said in the order that Kaczynski made a conscious decision ``to employ trickery″ so that a jury would never have to hear the details of his crimes.

The government planned to introduce some 22,000 journal pages in which Kaczynski described his bombing sprees. Burrell noted that these details might have enraged a jury, resulting in an almost certain conviction.

The 55-year-old mathematician was sentenced in Sacramento, Calif., on Monday under a plea bargain that spared him a possible death sentence. He began serving four life sentences plus 30 years on Tuesday for the bombing spree that left three dead and 29 injured.

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