Remorseless white supremacist, 22, who killed woman and injured dozens in domestic terror attack asks judge to commute his sentence because he is too young for life in prison
- Lawyers for James Alex Fields Jr., 22, said in a sentencing memo that their client is too young for a life sentence, had a traumatic childhood ad is mentally ill
- He killed anti-racism activist Heather Heyer and injured dozens more when he drove his car into protesters who had assembled at a white nationalist rally
- Fields has shown no remorse for his actions and as prosecutors pointed out in the memo they filed last week continues to disparage the victim’s mother
- ‘Any mental health concerns raised by the defendant do not overcome … [his] lack of remorse and his prior history of substantial racial animus,’ read the memo
No remorse: Lawyers for James Alex Fields Jr. (mugshot above) said in a sentencing memo that their client is too young for life sentence
The white supremacist who killed one woman and left dozens more injured when he mowed down a group of protesters who had assembled at a white nationalist rally in Virginia two years ago is asking a judge for a commuted sentence.
A sentencing memo filed last week by lawyers for James Alex Fields Jr., 22, states that their client should not have to spend his natural-born life in prison because of his age, the fact that he endured a traumatic childhood and his history of mental illness.
Fields entered a guilty plea to federal hate crimes earlier this year in a deal that spared him from possibly getting the death penalty for killing anti-racism activist Heather Heyer.
‘No amount of punishment imposed on James can repair the damage he caused to dozens of innocent people. But this Court should find that retribution has limits,’ reads the memo.
Meanwhile, the man behind the domestic terror attack has continued to show no remorse for his actions.
Prosecutors countered that the avowed Adolf Hitler admirer has shown no remorse since he drove the car into the counterdemonstrators back in 2017.
In that memo, lawyers focused on years of documented racist and anti-Semitic behavior by Fields, which included keeping a picture of Hitler on his bedside table.
They also said in the memo that he has been recorded on his jail phone call making disparaging remarks about Heyer’s mother multiple times, including as recently as last month.
Prosecutors noted that while Fields has a history of mental illness issues, it does not excuse his behavior in a way that would require a lenient sentence.
‘Any mental health concerns raised by the defendant do not overcome the defendant’s demonstrated lack of remorse and his prior history of substantial racial animus,’ wrote prosecutors.
Fields’ attorneys argued that giving him something less than a life sentence would be akin to an ‘expression of mercy’ and a ‘conviction that no individual is wholly defined by their worst moments.’
Terror: He killed anti-racism activist Heather Heyer and injured dozens more when he drove his car into protesters who had assembled at a white nationalist rally (attack above)
Weapon: Fields has shown no remorse for his actions and as prosecutors pointed out in the memo they filed last week continues to disparage the victim’s mother
The defendant’s attorneys then highlighted his difficult upbringing and history of mental illness, most of which was redacted by the court.
Fields was raised by a paraplegic single mother and suffered ‘trauma’ by growing up knowing that his Jewish grandfather had murdered his grandmother before committing suicide, claimed his lawyers.
He admitted that he intentionally plowed his speeding car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters when he entered his guilty plea.
Federal sentencing guidelines for those charges are life behind bars.
Fields was convicted in December of first-degree murder and other state charges for killing Heyer and injuring others who were protesting against the white nationalists. Sentencing on the state charges is scheduled for next month.
The rally in 2017 drew hundreds of white nationalists to Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Hundreds of counterprotesters demonstrated against the white nationalists.