January 1, 2008

"Am I sorry I tried? Yes and no. Yes, because it accomplished little except to throw away the rest of my life."

"And, no, I'm not sorry I tried, because at the time it seemed a correct expression of my anger."

Said Sara Jane Moore at her sentencing in 1976. The woman who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford was paroled yesterday, in accordance with a federal law — not applicable to crimes committed after Oct. 31, 1987 — that requires parole after 30 years of good behavior.

Does this mean Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme is due for release? Fromme too received a life sentence after attempting to assassinate Gerald Ford. Fromme was a devotee of Charles Manson, and she went first. Moore — a radical accountant who volunteered to do bookkeeping for the Symbionese Liberation Army — followed on 3 weeks later.


FGFM said...


[Fromme] has remained a devoted follower of Charlie Manson.

EnigmatiCore said...

I wonder if, many years later, it dawned on them that Gerald Ford was about as inert of a politician as one could ever find?

Unknown said...

You can see why people do not believe "life in prison" means "life" at all.

George M. Spencer said...

Sirhan Sirhan's motive for killing Robert Kennedy was his support for Israel.

Hope he never gets out.

He is 63.

Ann Althouse said...

Sirhan Sirhan is in the California state system, so this law doesn't apply to him.

Ann Althouse said...

Or he'd have been out 10 years ago.

SGT Ted said...

"And, no, I'm not sorry I tried, because at the time it seemed a correct expression of my anger."

So, trying to shoot someone with a .45 is free speech? And she's only thinks what she did is bad because she lost her freedom. Not the trying to kill the President part.

Yay for the culmination of radical leftism.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder as to why I support the death penalty.

paul a'barge said...

PatCA +1.

The next time someone in the legal community beyotches about sentencing guidelines, remind them of this.

Hopefully this middle age mutt will do something harmless but stupid and she'll be right back where she belongs ... in jail.

Laura Reynolds said...

She needed a good nickname, we always could remember Squeaky.

Kurt Shoens said...

Sara Jane Moore is 77 so perhaps more elderly than middle aged.

Does anyone know if there's a connection between Lynette Fromme and Moore? Seems an odd coincidence that two attempts were made on Ford's life by two woman only 17 days and 90 miles apart. Fromme was in the Mansons; Moore was an accountant for the People in Need program extorted from Hearst.

Perhaps the only connection is that Moore copied Fromm's crime, but I've never read that anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Patty Hearst in this menage a morons. What we have is another acolyte for dailykos!

Lynne Stewart is another period piece left over from the "I Hate America" group.

They walk among us!

Kurt Shoens said...

Ann asks about Fromme's parole. Fromme has attacked another prisoner, escaped (and been recaptured), and has declined her parole hearings. I think Fromme will remain in prison.

save_the_rustbelt said...

For those of you of tender age, we were really sickened with assassination as a political expression, not to mention a decade of body counts from Viet Nam.

I don't remember Moore having much family, how to you restart a life at 77 with no money and no prospects? I suspect she will be fed by the government somehow until she dies.

Flower power gone mad.

Roger J. said...

this is easy--shoot them all. They are scum and deserve no mercy.
But hey--I am a right wing neatherthal. But they are scum pure and simple. And you all have a nice day.

XWL said...

So, trying to shoot someone with a .45 is free speech?

According to the Wiki, it was a .38, not that it would have made much of a difference had she been more accurate.

And, speaking of nostalgia for 70s radicalism (weren't we?), Spielberg is set to direct a film about Abbie Hoffman and the Chicago Seven trial starring Borat.

OK, it's not starring Borat, it's starring Sacha Baron Cohen, but if his performance as Abbie Hoffman was done in the character of Borat, it'd be an awesome film.

blake said...

Squeaky's in prison, I'm in misery....

vnjagvet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vnjagvet said...

Asked a year ago about her attempt to kill Ford, Moore told KGO-TV, "I am very glad I did not succeed. I know now that I was wrong to try."

The quote in the title of the post was by Moore at her sentencing hearing before she went to prison. The quote above was by the 76 year-old woman after thirty years in prison.

Looks to me like there was arguably an attitude adjustment.

BTW, in what jurisdiction in the US would attempted murder have resulted in the death penalty in 1976? I can't think of any off the top of my head. If that is right, although I support the death penalty in limited situations, I don't think this item is evidence that favors its use.

J said...

Attempted murder isn't punishable by death in any jurisdiction as far as I know, but letting people who have been given "life" sentences out of prison while they're still alive does indeed increase support for the death penalty. The public generally doesn't want violent, dangerous criminals released. Ever.

As for the attitude adjustment, this woman was in the SLA and supposedly an FBI informant at the same time. I have a sneaking suspicion she's what mental health professionals call a "sociopath".

Cedarford said...

Not just Sarah Jane Moore lucked out. Arthur Bremer, the man out to kill Nixon or Wallace, got out on parole on Nov 6, 2007 after 35 years in the slammer. Hinkley, the frustrated assassin of Reagan, has been 80% "cured" and allowed out on home release.

Not surprisingly the leading advocate of treating assassins just like any other ordinary criminal is The Dean of Palestinian terrorists, Sirhan Sirhan, who has tried for parole 13 times and been rejected - which he claims is anti-Arab bigotry and discrimination and if his victim hadn't been RFK or he had been White, he would have been out decades ago.

IMO, people who do assassination deserve far harsher sentences because they are attacking our democracy or society through targeting leading politicians or cultural figures.

I've always been willing to dispense with the death penalty if you basically shoved people in a hole with no entertainment, no exercise, no communication whatsover with even ministers or family in the outside world. Where their deaths are not even noted on the outside and all they created in prison is tossed into the unmarked burial hole with them.

I would put successful assassins like Sirhan Sirhan or Lennon's killer Mark Chapman (8 probation requests turned down) in that category.

For those that try and fail, I'd like attempted assassination of a major public figure to be treated as an attack on all of us and our society, institutions like democracy - not just an attack on the victim. And, for that reason, given a sentence of life without parole. (without the black hole treatment).

Harsh Pencil said...

Cedarford writes: IMO, people who do assassination deserve far harsher sentences because they are attacking our democracy or society through targeting leading politicians or cultural figures.

From: The Corner.

The subject here is François Ravaillac, who on May 14, 1610 assassinated Henri IV while the monarch was stuck in a traffic jam.

On 27 May, still protesting that he had acted as a free agent on a divinely inspired mission, Ravaillac was put to death. Before being drawn and quartered, the lot of the regicide, on the Place de Grève scaffold he was scalded with burning sulphur, molten lead and boiling oil and resin, his flesh then torn by pincers. Then his arms and legs were attached to horses which pulled in opposite directions. One of the horses "foundered," so a zealous chevalier offered his mount; "the animal was full of vigour and pulled away a thigh." After an hour and a half of this horrendous cruelty, Ravaillac died, as the mob tried to prevent him receiving last rites. When he finally expired,
the entire populace, no matter what their rank, hurled themselves on the body with their swords, knives, sticks or anything else to hand and began beating, hacking and tearing at it. They snatched the limbs from the executioner, savagely chopping them up and dragging the pieces through the streets.
Children made a bonfire and flung remains of Ravaillac's body on it. According to one witness, Nicholas Pasquier, one woman actually ate some of the flesh. The executioner, supposed to have the body of the regicide reduced to ashes to complete the ritual demanded by the law, could find nothing but his shirt.

Gary Rosen said...


You should have made an exception for Sirhan, it would be much more consistent with the slobbering blowjob you gave Hizbullah a few days ago. After all RFK was in the pocket of the neocon Bolshevist ACLU Zionist Trotskyist conspirators. But I guess contortions are routine for you, given your profession.

Danny Vice said...

Almost one year to the day since the passing of Former United States President Gerald Ford, the liberal activist who tried to kill him walks free.

Most people believe that attempting to assassinate a US President should and normally does result in a life in prison for the would - be assassin. Sara Jane Moore is proof that they are wrong. What's more, her prison record is dotted with conduct violations and an attempted escape in 1978.

Another interesting detail of this case is that Sara Jane Moore was successful at convincing a federal judge to block a prison warden from taking away an inmate's cell keys back in the summer of 2000.

So why would would a federal prison's parole board free Sara Jane Moore?

Inmates with life sentences can petition for parole after a staggeringly brief 10 years. This makes it possible to receive a life sentence and be walking the street again in little more than a two-term Presidency.

Presidential assassins can take shots at elected officials, skip two elections and be back in business for more political activism just in time to pop a new President if a parole board so desires.

Moore was released under a federal law that makes parole mandatory for inmates who have served at least 30 years of a life sentence without getting into trouble, according to Thomas Hutchison, chief of staff of the U.S. Parole Commission.

Never-minding the fact that Moore's conduct was not without incidence during her incarceration, the real outrage is that our own laws mandate the release of such prisoners in just three decades. This is good news for the John Hinckley Jr's in our prison system, and the future activists who feel like changing the course of history.

Now Listen To This....

Michigan’s second-highest court says that anyone involved in an extramarital fling can be prosecuted for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony offense where Life in prison is within the mandatory sentencing guidelines for that state.

That's right folks, our laws have become so politically and legally skewed that attempting to blow away a US President is nearly on par in the eyes of the law as an ordinary drunken fling. It's quite an outlandish thought considering many of our own Presidents have been caught up in extramarital affairs.

Danny Vice
The Weekly Vice

Crimso said...

"IMO, people who do assassination deserve far harsher sentences because they are attacking our democracy or society through targeting leading politicians or cultural figures."

One can make an argument (and a fairly convincing one) that had Gavrilo Princip killed, e.g., his barber instead, there would have been fewer people dying over the next four years. That war might well have happened anyway, but maybe not. Maybe not the next one, either (at least not the European flavor; Pacific was a whole different deal)

knox said...

a radical accountant

Freder Frederson said...

This is good news for the John Hinckley Jr's in our prison system, and the future activists who feel like changing the course of history.

John Hinckly Jr. is a delusional paranoid schizophrenic. The only crimes in his case were that this gun obsessed society made it way too easy to let this mentally ill person get a gun and his attempted assasination of Reagan made this country step backwards in its treatment of mentally ill people who commit crimes; returning in many cases, to barbaric Victorian standards and definitions of insanity.

Freder Frederson said...

it was a .38, not that it would have made much of a difference had she been more accurate.

As I recall, she never got a shot off because a Secret Service agent stuck the skin between his forefinger and thumb between the hammer and the bullet and disarmed her. Apparently they were trained to do that (and I remember that because I thought that was really cool at the time).

Trooper York said...

knoxwhirled said... a radical accountant

Don't start on the accountant jokes or we will have words.

Kirk Parker said...


"One can make an argument (and a fairly convincing one)"

I invite you to go ahead and try (though not, of course, off-topic here in Ann's comments.)

Crimso said...

"I invite you to go ahead and try"

Well, since this thread has died anyway, I'll try. To suggest that WWI was simply inevitable (perhaps computer models might suggest that) regardless of Franz Ferdinand's assassination (and don't forget his wife; she was a victim as well) is silly. Was it possible it would have occurred? Yes. Likely. Yes. Would it have been the same war that actually occurred? No. Worse? Hard to believe that. I'll grant that matches used to light powder kegs, if too wet to light, don't remove the threat of the keg. The problem is in people reading too much into that analogy. Without that assassination and the Austro-Hungarian response, some other "pretext" would have been found. The question is would all of the other countries who were eventually involved have gotten involved (due to their secret treaties) if the initiating event hadn't been the assassination of royalty and its attendant responses. I somehow doubt it. There, I tried.

Now, would you like for me to try to argue that the European theater of WWII was a direct result of WWI? How about whether war with Japan was inevitable in spite of what was happening in Europe? Do you believe Reconstruction would have occurred as it did (or more productively) had Lincoln not been assassinated? Let's return to my original point: assassins can make huge differences in the unfolding of events. The actions of a single assassin can effectively send many more people to their graves.