OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Three jurors thought life would be a tougher punishment than death for Oklahoma City bomb conspirator Terry Nichols, a judge in the case said.
Steven Taylor, now on the Oklahoma Supreme Court, spoke Thursday at Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, The Oklahoman reported.
After Nichols' conviction at his state trial in 2004 for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Taylor sentenced him to 161 consecutive life terms without parole. The jury could not agree on the death penalty, and the judge, by law, could not impose it himself.
Jurors said they were divided 8-4 and 7-5, with most favoring death. Taylor said Thursday three jurors who voted for life without parole later told him it was a more severe punishment.
"I sure wouldn't argue with them," he said.
Nichols also was spared death in his 1997 federal trial because of a jury deadlock. He got life without the possibility of release.
Nichols was convicted then of conspiracy and the manslaughter of eight federal agents. His state trial concerned the 160 other fatalities, as well as the loss of an unborn girl.
Timothy McVeigh, who planted the truck bomb that destroyed the federal building on April 19, 1995, was executed in 2001.