James Fields Seeks 'Mercy'

Man convicted in attack that killed Heather Heyer will be sentenced on Friday
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2019 7:19 AM CDT
Charlottesville Driver Wants 'Mercy'
James Alex Fields Jr., convicted of first-degree murder for driving his car into counter protesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.   (Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via AP, File)

The man convicted of plowing his car into a group of counter-protesters during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville would like to not spend the rest of his life in prison, reports the AP. Lawyers for James Alex Fields Jr. filed memos with the court in Virginia, ahead of his sentencing on Friday, asking for "an expression of mercy." "No amount of punishment imposed on James can repair the damage he caused to dozens of innocent people," his lawyers wrote, citing his difficult upbringing and history of mental illness. "But this Court should find that retribution has limits."

The lawyers asked that the court find that "no individual is wholly defined by their worst moments." Prosecutors aren't having it, however, notes Law and Crime, contending that Fields has shown no remorse for the attack that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured dozens. They want the full life sentence imposed to help prevent "similar acts of domestic terrorism." Fields pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes in a deal that avoided the death penalty but called for a life sentence. (More James Alex Fields Jr. stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.