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Nichols avoids death penalty

ATLANTA - The Atlanta courthouse gunman who killed a judge and three other people avoided a death sentence Friday when jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision on his sentence.

Superior Court Judge James Bodiford is required by state law to sentence Brian Nichols to life, and will decide in a hearing scheduled for this morning whether that will include the possibility of parole. It is likely Nichols would spend the rest of his life behind bars regardless of the decision.