The release of a federal prisoner this month who many believe was responsible for the death of 168 innocent people, has outraged those left with feelings of injustice.

Michael Fortier, the government's star witness in the case against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, was recently released from federal prison after serving about 85 percent of a 12-year sentence for failing to report information he received regarding the Alfred P. Murrah building bombing.

Fortier, and his wife who was granted immunity from prosecution, admittedly knew of McVeigh and Nichols' plan to bomb the building.

Fortier was sentenced 144 months in prison, three years of supervised release, $200,000 in fines, and $4,100 in restitution after accepting a plea agreement and pleading guilty to conspiring to transport stolen firearms, transporting stolen firearms, making a materially false statement to the FBI, and commission of a felony.

Fortier, in turn, testified against McVeigh and Nichols who were each convicted and received sentences of death and life, respectively.

Due to good behavior time credits Fortier was released Jan. 20.

Anger from opponents of his release stems from the fact that 168 men, women, and children were brutally killed and more than 500 were injured in a senseless act that could have been avoided had he intervened. Although he made a grave decision not to report his knowledge, Fortier pleaded guilty to his charges and assisted the prosecution as a witness against McVeigh and Nichols. With his help, the coconspirators of the bombing were found guilty and punished accordingly.

Although many feel Fortier should have never been released, his plea, sentencing, and time served followed the design in which our criminal justice system is based.

The United States justice system is one that may too often seem unfair but in this case performed according to plan.