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Tuesday, 27 March, 2001, 05:23 GMT 06:23 UK
White supremacist jailed for life
Court artist portrait of racist killer Buford Furrow
The accused appeared a shadow of his former self
A judge in California has handed down a life sentence to a white supremacist who killed a Philippines-born postal worker after injuring five people in a racist attack on a Jewish community centre in 1999.

As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Buford Furrow was spared the death penalty in return for his guilty plea.


I want to try, though it's impossible, to convey my deepest sorrow for my action

Buford Furrow
In court, Furrow apologised for the attack, which he put down to mental illness.

"I want to try, though it's impossible, to convey my deepest sorrow for my actions" the pale and subdued Furrow told the relatives of postal worker Joseph Ileto, the surviving victims and their families.

LAPD mug shot of racist killer Buford Furrow
Furrow was defiant after his arrest
"I do not harbour ill feelings toward any people of any race, colour, creed, religion or sexual orientation... I'm sorry for how I traumatised your lives and I would give anything for this not to have happened."

On his arrest, he told police he had been motivated by hatred towards minorities and reportedly wanted to send a "wake up call" to Americans to kill Jews.

He was given two consecutive life sentences without parole plus 110 years, and was ordered to pay $690,000 in restitution.


The way you smirked during the proceedings when you pleaded guilty to killing my brother, it was very painful to watch

Victim's brother Ismael Ileto
Two adults and three young boys were wounded in his attack on a Jewish centre in Los Angeles.

After the attack, Furrow spotted Mr Ileto delivering mail and shot him nine times, he said, because he was non-white and a federal employee.

Joseph Ileto's Mother Lilian said in court that she did not accept Furrow's defence of mental illness and had doubts about his apology, but she "was brought up to always forgive".

His brother Ismael told Furrow: "The way you smirked during the proceedings when you pleaded guilty to killing my brother... it was very painful to watch."

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