Tags: Ashcroft: | McVeigh | Will | Die | June

Ashcroft: McVeigh Will Die June 11

Wednesday, 30 May 2001 12:00 AM

McVeigh's attorneys have said they might seek to postpone the execution to study newly released FBI documents, and are awaiting word from their client on setting the legal process in motion.

Ashcroft said May 11 that he was postponing the execution from May 16 to June 11 because of the newly discovered documents and pieces of evidence. Last week, he said that all of the documents have now been turned over to defense attorneys, that none affected McVeigh's guilt or innocence and that there was no reason to delay the execution further.

Using the strongest terms Wednesday, Ashcroft renewed his pledge to conduct the execution on time.

"On May 11, I directed the Bureau of Prisons to delay the execution of Timothy McVeigh to ensure that every document which the prosecution agreed to provide, which went well beyond what the law required, was produced and reviewed carefully by attorneys for McVeigh and the prosecution," Ashcroft said in a statement released by the Justice Department. "After an exhaustive review, it remains clear that none of the belatedly produced material raises any doubt about McVeigh's guilt."

The attorney general said any future delay would "deny justice" for McVeigh's victims.

"Because these documents cast no doubt on the surety of his guilt," Ashcroft said, "the Justice Department will vigorously oppose any attempt to further delay the imposition of the sentence. A jury determined that the death penalty is the appropriate punishment for McVeigh, and failure to carry out that sentence would deny justice for the victims of this crime and for the American people."

McVeigh was convicted of detonating a homemade truck bomb that killed 168 people, including 19 children, in the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

An inmate on federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind., McVeigh has admitted his guilt in at least two published reports. He has also said he set off the bomb in retaliation for the 1993 federal siege of the Branch Davidians near Waco, Texas.

The 4,000 newly found documents and pieces of evidence were discovered over the last month in FBI offices where they had sat for six years. Because they were recorded outside the main FBI computer database, they were missed during 11 previous FBI searches for material that should have been handed over to the defense during McVeigh's trial. Some FBI officials have estimated that documents and pieces of evidence in the Oklahoma City bombing case approached the 1 billion mark.

All documents and evidence gathered in the case, regardless of their relevance, were required to be handed over to the defense team under the terms of an unusually sweeping agreement between the defense and U.S. prosecutors in 1995.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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McVeigh's attorneys have said they might seek to postpone the execution to study newly released FBI documents, and are awaiting word from their client on setting the legal process in motion. Ashcroft said May 11 that he was postponing the execution from May 16 to June 11...
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2001-00-30
Wednesday, 30 May 2001 12:00 AM
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