Theodore J. Kaczynski asked an appeals court today to review his conviction for the deadly Unabomber attacks, saying the judge at his trial was unfair and his lawyers wrongly went ahead with a mental illness defense.

Kaczynski, who pleaded guilty in January 1998 to a string of bombings that killed three people and injured 23 others, said his plea was coerced partly by defense attorneys and partly by a hostile judge who rejected his request to change lawyers.

He made his contention in a handwritten request to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a review of his case.

Kaczynski, 57, a Harvard-trained mathematician turned forest recluse who lived more than two decades in a tiny Montana shack, is serving a life sentence in Colorado for a string of Unabomber attacks from 1978 to 1995.

Two of the deaths, which Kaczynski said were part of an anti-technology crusade, happened in Sacramento; the third was in New Jersey. Federal authorities dubbed the case "Unabom" because the early targets were linked to universities or airlines.

Kaczynski said that but for the mistakes of the judge and his lawyers, who believed a mental-defect defense offered the best chance of saving Kaczynski from execution, he "would not have pleaded guilty and would have gone to trial."