Skip to main content /LAW /LAW

find law dictionary

McVeigh defense gets more FBI documents

Timothy McVeigh
McVeigh's execution could be further delayed, as his attorneys continue to discuss the FBI's mistakes in not turning over documents to them.  

TULSA, Oklahoma (CNN) -- The U.S. Justice Department has turned over to Timothy McVeigh's defense team hundreds of pages of additional materials related to the Oklahoma City bombing investigation -- material not previously handed over to the defense.

McVeigh co-counsel Rob Nigh told CNN he received close to 400 pages Wednesday, about 300 last Friday, and a little more than 100 last Tuesday, the day before he and co-counsel Nathan Chambers of Denver visited McVeigh on death row at the federal penitentiary at Terre Haute, Indiana.

graphic VIDEO
In a press conference, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft discusses FBI handling of documents in the McVeigh bombing case (May 24)

Part I | Part II
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
Timeline: FBI under Louis Freeh
Previous FBI controversies
graphic ALSO
FBI agent waited months to reveal documents goof
More on the McVeigh execution

Latest Legal News

Law Library

FindLaw Consumer Center

McVeigh's defense team hasn't said whether it found anything in the documents that would change McVeigh's conviction or whether it could lead to overturning his death sentence.

Nigh said once the review of the materials is complete, it will be up to McVeigh to decide on the options before him. Nigh said no decision has been made.

As early as Thursday, prosecutors were expected to file a description of the documents for bombing trial Judge Richard Matsch in Denver and , according to sources, acknowledge that a small number of the documents might have been helpful to the defense if they had been turned over before trial.

Matsch is expected to ask for a reply from McVeigh's defense team after he receives the government's filing.

The Justice Department said Thursday it had nearly completed its search and review of additional documents related to the Oklahoma City bombing investigation.

Justice Department sources said the work should be done Thursday or Friday.


• About 3,100 pages of documents and pieces of evidence were turned over to McVeigh's attorneys in the days before his scheduled execution, including FBI reports of investigations, known as "Form 302s" and "inserts," and physical evidence such as photographs, written correspondence and audio and video tapes.


• The Justice Department says it does not believe the documents have "material bearing" on the case, but McVeigh attorney Nathan Chambers called the discovery "a cause for great concern."


• The evidence could be grounds for an appeal, but McVeigh's attorneys cannot file one without his consent because he has not been proven to be mentally incompetent.


The FBI and Justice Department insist there is nothing in the more than 3,100 pages of material turned over a few weeks ago, nor in the latest documents that would raise any credible, reasonable doubt about the convictions of McVeigh or convicted co-conspirator Terry Nichols.

The option before McVeigh would be to ask the court for another execution postponement to allow them more time to review the materials .

McVeigh was originally sentenced to die by lethal injection May 16th.

US Attorney General John Ashcroft postponed the execution to June 11th to allow the defense time to review the additional files and said he would not order another extension.

Federal Judge Matsch could order another extension. No such request has been made.


• Federal Bureau of Investigation

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


Back to the top