The man who plowed his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters during the infamous Charlottesville, Virginia white supremacist rally in 2017, injuring several people and killing activist Heather Heyer, is now pleading a judge for mercy during sentencing.
The lawyers of James Alex Fields Jr., 22, argued in a sentencing memo submitted on Friday that Fields should not have to spend his entire life in prison for his crimes – pleading for a shorter sentence due to his age, his history of mental illness and other “trauma,” including growing up knowing that his Jewish grandfather killed his grandmother before taking his own life the Associated Press reports.
“No amount of punishment imposed on James can repair the damage he caused to dozens of innocent people. But this Court should find that retribution has limits,” his attorneys wrote in the memo.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, argued that Fields has demonstrated no remorse since the August 12, 2017 incident.
“Any mental health concerns raised by the defendant do not overcome the defendant’s demonstrated lack of remorse and his prior history of substantial racial animus,” prosecutors countered in their own memo.
Fields, a self-avowed white supremacist and an admirer of Adolf Hitler took a plea deal, pleading guilty to several federal hate crimes, with prosecutors, in turn, agreeing not to seek the death penalty. However, under federal sentencing guidelines, he is expected to be sentenced to life in prison.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28.