The Department of Justice on Friday announced that Eric Robert Rudolph was pleading guilty to all four of the bombings he is accused of committing, including the bombings of abortion clinics in Atlanta and Birmingham. He has signed plea agreements with federal prosecutors agreeing to plea guilty and waive all appeals, as a result of which he will avoid the death penalty and serve life in prison without parole.
“If accepted by the courts, Eric Robert Rudolph’s guilty pleas to having committed the Birmingham and Atlanta bombings will resolve these cases with certainty and finality, and hopefully bring some closure to the many victims of the bombings,” said US Attorneys Alice H. Martin of the Northern District of Alabama and David E. Nahmias of the Northern District of Georgia. Under the terms of the agreement, Rudolph also disclosed the locations of several caches of dynamite and a buried bomb located in a populated area of Western North Carolina.
“We are glad to see closure in the Eric Robert Rudolph case,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “However, we are concerned that law enforcement has never charged any other suspects with aiding Rudolph either in planning or carrying out these bombings or in eluding capture for five years. The plea bargain leaves too many questions unanswered, such as who helped with his target selection; what involvement Rudolph had, if any, with other Army of God participants; who helped with the deployment of the secondary device aimed at law enforcement and first responders at the Atlanta clinic and lesbian nightclub (“the first time such a device was used in the US)?”
“Experts now know so much more about terrorist organizations,” she continued. “A lone wolf theory is entirely inconsistent with such knowledge. Moreover, a drawing of a second possible suspect for the Atlanta clinic was circulated widely at the time but no one was ever charged. This case simply cannot be closed with no further potential with only the plea bargaining of Eric Rudolph.”
Through its National Clinic Access Project, the Feminist Majority Foundation works with law enforcement, and tracks and researches anti-abortion extremists and pursues litigation strategies to bring violent extremists to justice and stop violence against women’s clinics.