After reading about it, I thought I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to go for the death penalty. Not unsurprisingly they are. For a country being dominated by a bunch of people who call themselves Christians, their remarkably limited ability to experience compassion does seem to not match up with what they profess to believe. The US seems such the old testament culture these days.
Having been someone whose experience severe depression I do understand why someone would want to kill themselves, and I can see how someone not particularly bright could have difficulty seeing the consequences of their actions. Though his actions also set in a chain to weaken support for mass transit here in LA, because although driving is actually more dangerous than mass transit, people apparently feel safer because they feel a greater sense of control.
For instance in the age bracket 15-24, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death, and motor vehicle accidents does appear on the top ten list for most, if not all age categories in the 2002 causes of death statistics.