U.S. Won't Seek Death Penalty for Hanssen

The Justice Department has "reluctantly" decided not to pursue the death penalty against accused FBI spy Robert Hanssen, a government source said Friday.

"The Justice Department reluctantly took the death penalty off the table," a source has told Fox News, confirming reports in Friday's Washington Post. The source said Attorney General John Ashcroft was personally involved in the decision to remove the possibility of execution in Hanssen's case.

The government has alleged that Hanssen passed secrets to Moscow for 15 years in exchange for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds. The FBI said it obtained original Russian documents that detailed Hanssen's activities, including letters he allegedly wrote to his Russian handlers and codes he allegedly used to signal when and where he would drop documents.