The Star Tribune’s account of Sara Jane Olson’s plea deal has more details than the AP story and is also worth reading. The story is “Sara Jane Olson pleads guilty to murder.” Here’s the beauty part: “‘I never entered that bank with the intent of harming anyone,’ Olson testified during a hearing Thursday in Superior Court in Sacramento, Calif. ‘I am truly sorry, and I will be sorry until the day I die.'”
See, she only meant to rob the bank. She only carried her own carbine for show. And her colleague wasn’t supposed to fire the hair trigger shotgun that blew Mrs. Opsahl away. Olson’s lawyer has nevertheless undoubtedly explained to her the difficulties presented by the felony murder doctrine. The former Emily Harris (now Emily Montague) was the person who pulled the trigger, and also, like Olson, expresses great remorse over the murder. On the day of the shooting, however, she advised Olson and her SLA colleagues that Mrs. Opsahl was a “bourgeois pig.” (The plea agreement stipulates to every relevant fact described in Patricia Hearst’s account of the robbery and murder.) By the way, the robbery in which Mrs. Opsahl was murdered netted $15,000.
The remorse expressed by the SLA crowd at the plea hearing will undoubtedly come as something of a surprise to the Opsahl family. They haven’t heard from any of the SLA folks in the 25 years or so since Mrs. Opsahl was murdered. And one of this disgusting crew beat the rap when he was charged and tried a few years back, a time when their expressions of remorse might have actually meant something.
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