March 27, 2001 (SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) – A nurse convicted of killing four patients at a Veterans Administration hospital has been spared the death penalty.
A jury in federal court in Springfield was unable to reach a decision on the sentence Monday, giving Kristen Gilbert a mandatory term of life with no parole. If she had been sentenced to death, she would have been the first woman to face execution under the current federal law. Massachusetts has no death penalty, so the sentence is the same she would have faced in state court.
Gilbert was convicted of injecting her victims with a stimulant that caused heart attacks. Prosecutors said that she wanted to be a hero, to impress her boyfriend who also worked at the VA hospital in Northhampton, by rescuing the patients.