Tags: Judge | Plans | Hearing | McVeigh | Request | Delay | Execution

Judge Plans Hearing on McVeigh Request to Delay Execution

Thursday, 31 May 2001 12:00 AM

U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch immediately scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the request for the stay and gave the government until 5 p.m. Monday to respond to the petition, a court clerk said Thursday.

Earlier in the day, McVeigh gave attorneys Rob Nigh of Tulsa, Okla., and Richard Burr of Houston permission to file the motion for a stay during a two-hour meeting at the Terre Haute, Ind., federal prison where he is on death row awaiting execution.

Attorneys Nathan Chambers of Denver and Christopher Tritico of Houston filed a sealed motion and 300 exhibits asking Matsch to delay the execution and schedule a hearing on their allegations that the government wrongly withheld documents.

"I think it's important to understand that the Constitution works for everybody," said Tritico outside the federal courthouse in Denver. "The government has a responsibility and obligation that every citizen get a fair trial. That's what this process is all about."

Tritico and Chambers noted that they had received still another document, an FBI 302 investigative report, within the last 24 hours. They said they had no confidence that they have all the relevant documents. The Justice Department contends that all the records were turned over.

In Terre Haute, Nigh said McVeigh's decision was not easy because he was "prepared to die and he was ready to die on May 16, 2001," his original execution date. Earlier, he had dropped his appeals and said he preferred to die rather than spend the rest of his life in prison.

"It is upon principle that Mr. McVeigh has decided to seek court relief," he said. "And it is based on the government's failure to present evidence in his case. He is convinced that the Department of Justice and the FBI will not otherwise be held accountable unless he takes this action."

Attorney General John Ashcroft delayed the May 16 execution date until June 11 after it was revealed five days earlier that the FBI had discovered 4,000 investigative records in the case that had not been turned over to defense attorneys as required in the 1997 Denver trial.

Nigh said McVeigh wanted the attorneys to say that his decision was in no way an attempt to cause "any additional pain or trauma" for his family, the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing or Terre Haute.

"It is Mr. McVeigh's decision that this action is necessary to order to promote integrity in the criminal justice system," he said.

Burr said the information in the sealed motion could not be made public at this time because of investigative documents that are under court seal.

"The papers we are filing today will be arguing to Judge Matsch that a fraud upon the court has been committed by the federal government in withholding massive amounts of documents from the defense and in continuing to withhold numbers of documents from the defense," he said.

Burr said they can prove "that there are critical documents" that are still being withheld from defense lawyers in the case. He said they have found people that were investigated by the FBI but the federal agents have never produced any paper on those investigations.

Ashcroft said in a statement Thursday that his office would fight any attempt to delay McVeigh's execution. The Justice Department has contended that there is no information in the newly discovered documents that would change of the outcome of McVeigh's trial.

The newly discovered documents have also delayed the state prosecution of Terry Nichols, who was also convicted in federal court in the bombing. His lawyers want to review the FBI documents, but the records have not been turned over.

McVeigh, 33, was convicted and sentenced to die for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. Nichols was convicted in a separate federal trial in Denver for his role in the bombing and sentenced to life in prison.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

All rights reserved.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch immediately scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the request for the stay and gave the government until 5 p.m. Monday to respond to the petition, a court clerk said Thursday. Earlier in the day, McVeigh gave attorneys Rob Nigh of Tulsa,...
Judge,Plans,Hearing,McVeigh,Request,Delay,Execution
663
2001-00-31
Thursday, 31 May 2001 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved