Accessibility links

1996 Olympics Bomber  Eric Rudolph Sentenced to Life in Prison


Eric Rudolph, convicted of carrying out a series of bombings, including one at the 1996 Olympic Games, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday.

Eric Rudolph was sentenced to two life terms in prison in Birmingham, Alabama for setting off a remote-controlled bomb at an abortion clinic in Birmingham in early 1998. The bomb killed a Birmingham policeman, Robert Sanderson, and severely wounded a clinic nurse.

In August, Rudolph will be sentenced to an additional two life terms in prison, for a bombing at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 that killed one woman and injured over one hundred others. Mr. Rudolph has also confessed to other bomb attacks in Atlanta in 1997 against an abortion clinic and a gay bar.

Under an agreement reached with prosecutors, Rudolph agreed to plead guilty and accept all four life terms to avoid the death penalty. Emily Lyons, the Birmingham nurse who was severely injured in the 1998 attack, told reporters after Rudolph's sentencing that she wanted to be in court to tell Rudolph he had failed in his objective.

"His attempts that day did not go as planned," she said. "He did not kill me, he did not shut the clinics down. Unfortunately officer Sanderson was killed, but he [Rudolph] failed. He did not get what he wanted that day."

At his sentencing Rudolph read a statement defending his actions, saying the bombings were motivated by his opposition to abortion.

Under his plea agreement Rudolph agreed to disclose to the FBI the whereabouts of a huge cache of explosives he had concealed that authorities feared could have been used in other bombings. The explosives were found in a mountainous area of North Carolina, where Rudolph eluded federal authorities for five years before being caught in 2003.

XS
SM
MD
LG