Isn't it quite obvious that this kid IS a mental case? But the good Mississippians who sentenced him cannot face the plain fact that he is a squirrelly killer because he was brought up to believe the same insane things they do. To do so would be for them to admit their own lunacy: something psychotics never do.

So instead they send him to jail forever -- which is probably just as well -- its safe to say he isn't a "good citizen" any more.

Of course the legal definition of insanity (meaning completely out of it to the point of not knowing whats going on at all) doesn't really apply to him so legal justice has been wrought.

But it'd be nice if those who drove him nuts (the fundamentalists collectively) were to also be recognized as, at least partially, responsible for this crime and perhaps have the insight to realize their inescapable "sin" of adhering to lunacy in the guise of religion.

But I simply must guffaw at the unlikelihood of my own suggestion. Think of it this way: Madmen have sentenced one of their own for believing the madness they themselves promulgate. Talk about Kafkaesque!


Miss. Teen Sentenced Life in Prison

.c The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) - A day after testifying about his involvement in a satanic cult, a teen-ager convicted of stabbing his mother to death said it was ``God's will.''

Luke Woodham, 17, who is accused of shooting two Pearl High School classmates to death hours after killing his 50-year-old mother, was sentenced to life in prison Friday.

``I'm going to heaven now,'' Woodham, handcuffed and shackled, said as deputies led him from the courthouse. ``Everything happens for a reason. It's God's will.''

Woodham faces a second trial beginning Monday in the school shootings, the first in a string of similar rampages nationwide.

Jurors took less than three hours Friday to decide the eleventh-grader stabbed Mary Woodham seven times and shattered her jaw with a blow from an aluminum baseball bat on the morning of Oct. 1.

One juror sobbed after the trial and said hearing the case had been difficult.

``I never, never want to do this again,'' said the bespectacled woman with graying hair, who declined to identify herself.

His shoulders slumped and his hands by his side, Woodham showed no emotion as the verdict was read in court. Asked by Circuit Judge Samac Richardson if he had anything to say before sentencing, Woodham answered, ``No, sir.''

His lawyer, Leslie Roussell, promised to appeal the decision, which came after five days of testimony that alternately painted Woodham as a dupe of a manipulative older teen-ager or a cold-blooded killer.

Defense lawyers wanted Woodham to be declared insane, painting him as a vulnerable youth who felt mistreated and was easily influenced by others.

In closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Tim Jones repeatedly described Mary Woodham's murder as a deliberate, planned act.

``He's mean. He's hateful,'' Jones said. ``He's bloodthirsty. He wanted to kill her. Murder was on this boy's mind.'' The blistering allegations brought tears to Woodham, who had sobbed often during his own testimony Thursday.

Woodham, who said he was involved in a satanic cult, told jurors he woke up the day of the killings taunted by demons. He recalled taking a knife to his mother's room, all the while hearing an older teen-ager's voice in his head. But Woodham said he doesn't remember killing his mother.

``I just closed my eyes and fought with myself because I didn't want to do any of it,'' he said. ``When I opened my eyes, my mother was lying in her bed dead.''

Under state law, Woodham won't be eligible for parole until he is 65 years old.

AP-NY-06-06-98 0134EDT


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