I guess shooting at the President isn't a threat to society



SAN FRANCISCO -- Sara Jane Moore, who tried to assassinate President Ford in 1975, was released from federal prison in Dublin early Monday after serving more than three decades behind bars, officials said.
Moore, 77, who in 1976 was sentenced to life in prison, was released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, a low-security facility for women, said Mike Truman, a spokesman with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Moore remains on parole.

Moore, an accountant and a divorced mother of four, fired at Ford on Sept. 22, 1975, as the president was leaving a speaking engagement at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.

Her single shot from a .38-caliber revolver missed Ford by several feet after Oliver Sipple, a disabled Vietnam War veteran, grabbed her arm and pulled her down.

Federal public defenders were preparing an insanity defense for Moore, who had received psychiatric treatment several times, but she pleaded guilty over her lawyer's objections.

Michael Ford, one of President Ford's four children, said the family would have no comment on Moore's release. "We're keeping a private, low profile on that," said Ford, who is an administrator at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

James Hewitt, the now-retired federal public defender who handled Moore's case, said the public should not be alarmed by her release from prison.

"She is probably too old to cause any damage," Hewitt, who lives in Marin County, said in a telephone interview Monday.

Besides, he said, her cause in trying to shoot Ford was political, even if it was a jumbled political goal. He said she does not pose a general threat to society.

Describing Moore as "a very confused person," Hewitt said he never got a clear sense of her motives. "I'm not sure anybody knows why she did it.

"This is a strange woman. Let's hope she has gotten over her strangeness," he said. "I think she has had a lot of time to think about it."

The former public defender, now 78, said he has had no contact with Moore for more than 30 years.

Her attempt on Ford's life ended up damaging more lives than her own.

Sipple, the ex-Marine who subdued her, said his life was ruined by publicity about him in the wake of his heroic act. Retired from the Marines on a disability pension, Sipple was gay -- a fact that he said his relatives never knew until it came out in the newspapers.

He filed a $15 million lawsuit for invasion of privacy against seven newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. A judge rejected it, and Sipple died in 1989 at 47.

Visitors sometimes gaze up at a quarter-sized gouge on an exterior wall near the north entrance of the St. Francis. It is said to be the spot where Moore's bullet ricocheted -- a notion confirmed by a hotel employee who asked not to be identified.

Moore's attempt on Ford's life came 17 days after Lynette Alice "Squeaky" Fromme tried to kill Ford on Sept. 5, 1975, when she burst through a crowd at the state Capitol in Sacramento, dressed in a nun's robe with a .45-caliber pistol strapped to her leg.

Fromme pointed the weapon at Ford from two feet away. Although the gun was loaded, there was no bullet in the firing chamber. A Secret Service agent disarmed and handcuffed her.

Ford died Dec. 26, 2006, of natural causes.

So much for "Life in prison" for people convicted of attempting to assasinate the President of the United States of America. No wonder there is still such strong support for the death penalty.

...and what about Jonathan Pollard? Why is he still in prison after being convicted of spying for Israel, an ally of the US? Is he not just a political prisoner, not "a general threat to society" too?

They are/were being held precisely because of the level of threat they posed to our society in general. That has to be the silliest statement of the year so far. Wink
That is so strange that they are letting her out. How stupid. Not stupid in the sense that she's dangerous, but just stupid because she was sentenced to life in prison and is being released for no apparent reason.

Although, I'd say that being a 'strange' person might qualify her as a threat to general society since who knows what she might do now that she has some freedom. And calling her 'too old' to be dangerous is just plain silly too.
Ridiculous. Twisted Evil

Exactly what is "Life in Prison" supposed to mean? Where is the justice in that? If the sentence is "Life", then LIFE it should be. Evil or Very Mad
"Life" is about 30-40 years, so a 20 year old could be out by 55-60. Life is not life unless they receive enough "years" that even with "good behavior" parole which is about 50% of a sentence, they'd still die in prison. For example we have a guy here with 248 year sentence. Short of escape or commutation of sentence, he's in for life. Period.
They probably figure since Ford's dead, and her beef was with him, she should be fine now.

Beaureguard's Mom wrote:
Ridiculous. Twisted Evil

Exactly what is "Life in Prison" supposed to mean? Where is the justice in that? If the sentence is "Life", then LIFE it should be. Evil or Very Mad

I agree with Tammy.. life should be life


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