Skip to main content /LAW /LAW

find law dictionary

Lawyer says McVeigh might now fight execution

Nigh said McVeigh is very distressed about the recent developments because he had mentally and psychologically prepared for his death
Nigh said McVeigh is very distressed about the recent developments because he had mentally and psychologically prepared for his death  

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.

graphic VIDEO
McVeigh lawyer Robert Nigh says his client will evaluate new information to decide whether he now wants fo fight execuition

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

Watch Ashcroft's announcement about an investigation into how the evidence was withheld and ordering the execution delay (May 11)

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating tells CNN's Greta Van Susteren he's 'puzzled and concerned' about the withheld McVeigh evidence (May 10)

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
graphic ALSO
Newly revealed FBI documents prompt Nichols' appeal
The Execution of Timothy McVeigh
graphic CNN ACCESS
jones Former McVeigh attorney: McVeigh protected others

ryan McVeigh prosecutor: Newly disclosed documents won't prompt new trial
Lesson Plan: Oklahoma City remembers

Latest Legal News

Law Library

FindLaw Consumer Center

"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.

McVeigh execution delay: What they're saying
May 11, 2001
McVeigh evidence withheld: What they're saying
May 11, 2001
Freeh was told FBI computer system 'obsolete'
May 11, 2001
FBI chagrined by missing evidence
May 11, 2001
Justice Department letter to McVeigh's attorneys
May 11, 2001
From decorated veteran to mass murderer
May 11, 2001
FBI says it withheld evidence from McVeigh lawyers
May 10, 2001
McVeigh attorney to witness execution
May 10, 2001
McVeigh execution witness list climbs to 300
May 2, 2001
Oklahoma City remembers
April 19, 2001
U.S. wants McVeigh webcast lawsuit dismissed
April 12, 2001
Bill Press: McVeigh to die on television
April 13, 2001
Ashcroft OKs closed TV feed of McVeigh execution
April 11, 2001
FBI: McVeigh knew children would be killed in OKC blast
March 29, 2001
McVeigh autopsy deal says no 'invasive procedure'
March 18, 2001
McVeigh scheduled to die by lethal injection May 16
January 16, 2001
Judge says McVeigh can drop appeals
December 28, 2000

Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Department of Justice
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Oklahoma State Government
Death Penalty Information Center
US Federal Bureau of Prisons

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

Back to the top