As we mentioned in this post, after failing to obtain a death penalty sentence against Brian Nichols, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard requested U.S. Attorneys for the Northern District of Georgia to pursue a federal death penalty case against him.
David Nahmias, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, announced on Wednesday that they would not initiate a federal prosecution of Nichols, but may reconsider the decision if he challenges his state conviction or if his security situation changes. Nahmias cited several reasons for his decision, including the difficulty of “significant evidentiary issues” and the value in not disrupting closure that victims and their survivors, witnesses, and the community gained from the finality of the state case. He also emphasized the “extensive pre-trial proceedings, lengthy trial and sentencing proceeding, and extended appeals” that a successful case would require. In making this decision, Nahmias met with the criminal defense lawyers that represented Nichols, the Fulton County prosecution team, and victims and their survivors.
The entire press release can be viewed here.