Do you recall Alton Nolen, aka Jah’Keem Yisrael? He was the “gentleman” (in the words of then-MSNBC host Melissa Harris Perry) who committed an act of “workplace violence” (Perry again) against a coworker who refused to convert to Islam. Which is to say he decapitated her using one of the large knives that was standard equipment at the food distribution plant where both of them worked.
On Friday, Nolen learned his fate. Confronted with a choice between the death penalty and life in prison without parole, Judge Lori Walkley selected Door One.
The decision, which followed months of deliberation by a jury, wasn’t made lightly. But in the end, the jury found it impossible to overlook recordings played by prosecutors in which of Nolen not only confessed to having beheaded 54-year-old Colleen Hufford but affirmed that he didn’t “regret it at all.”
During the trial, Nolen’s defense attorneys claimed that he was “mentally ill and … believed he was doing the right thing because of his delusional misinterpretations of the Quran,” according to the Associated Press.
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But prosecutors said Nolen knew right from wrong before he attacked Hufford.
Nolen had repeatedly tried to plead guilty and asked to be executed, but Walkley declined to accept his plea. One of Nolen’s attorneys had questioned whether his client was mentally competent to enter a guilty plea.
In handing down the death sentence, Walkley remarked that “oppressors don’t need to be here.”
Amen to that.