Lawyer says McVeigh might now fight execution
TERRE HAUTE, Indiana (CNN) -- A lawyer for condemned Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh said Friday his client will take a "fresh look" at fighting his execution in light of the postponement of his execution.
Robert Nigh spoke after visiting McVeigh at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, where McVeigh had been scheduled to be executed on Wednesday.
McVeigh had previously dropped all appeals in his case, saying he preferred to die rather than spend his life in prison. But Friday, his lawyer would not say if his client had changed his mind.
"Now that this has occurred, he is willing to take a fresh look and evaluate the information," Nigh said.
When asked if McVeigh would initiate legal proceedings to fight his execution, his lawyer said "It is certainly possible. He is going to make an informed decision upon the information contained within the documents and the discussions that we have with him."
Nigh also used the opportunity to call for a moratorium on all federal executions. He said the failure of the FBI to turn over evidence to the defense team shows the government is not capable of carrying out federal executions in a "fair and just manner."
"In light of these recent failures in the system of justice, and equally prevalent failures in other federal death penalty cases, not only is a stay appropriate in Mr. McVeigh's case, I believe that a moratorium on all federal executions is in order," Nigh said.
He agreed with President Bush's call to stop the cycle of violence, adding "Let us say that we will no longer kill in the name of justice."
Nigh said McVeigh is very distressed about the recent developments, because he had made mental and psychological preparations for his death, which had been scheduled for next Wednesday.
"He had said his good-byes to his family and to his friends. He is distressed that he has had to put these people that he cares about through this process and may only have to put them through it again," Nigh said.
The lawyer said his client's reaction to the FBI's admission and the production of the documents "certainly was not (one of) amusement."
"I believe there was a degree of frustration, for the reasons that I've explained. I can't say there was anger, I can also not say there was a great degree of surprise. This kind of thing, unfortunately, happens far too often in the criminal justice system. I can't tell you how many times we were assured that we had every document that we were entitled to under the terms of the agreement, and those assurances were hollow," Nigh said.
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