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Internet company loses bid to show McVeigh execution

Timothy McVeigh
McVeigh is scheduled to die by lethal injection May 16 at the federal prison in Terra Haute, Indiana.  

(CNN) - A federal judge has rejected an Internet company's request to Webcast the execution of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Entertainment Network, Inc., which produces the adult Web sites and, sued the U.S. Justice Department and the Bureau of Prisons arguing that the government's ban on the recording and broadcast of the execution violated the First Amendment protection of freedom of the press.

U.S. District Court Judge John D. Tinder rejected the request in a 31-page ruling issued April 18, saying the government's restriction does not "unwarrantedly abridge(s) the opportunities for communication of thought."

Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck chat about their book, "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing."
• Newsmaker Profiles: Timothy McVeigh
Entertainment Network, Inc. v. Lappin

Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Injunction
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
Memorandum in Support of Motion

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The court said that running a prison "is an inordinately difficult undertaking," and that the government has a right to issue regulations as long as they are "reasonably related to legitimate penological interests."

Entertainment Network is expected to appeal the ruling. Its attorney Derek A. Newman told The New York Times his client would take the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, or directly to the U.S. Supreme Court as a constitutional emergency.

The Justice Department argued that the restrictions do not infringe on the First Amendment because representatives of the media will be allowed to witness the execution.

McVeigh is scheduled to die May 16 by lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. It will be the first federal execution since 1963.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft ruled April 12 that survivors of the bombing and the victims' families would be able to watch a closed-circuit television broadcast of the execution in Oklahoma City. He said the transmission would be strictly secured to make sure that it is not intercepted.

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April 13, 2001
Ashcroft OKs closed TV feed of McVeigh execution
April 11, 2001
Ashcroft discusses McVeigh execution plan
April 10, 2001
FBI: McVeigh knew children would be killed in OKC blast
March 29, 2001
McVeigh autopsy deal says no 'invasive procedure'
March 19, 2001
Terrorism changes mind of death penalty opponents
March 6, 2001
McVeigh's attorney: 'I'm extremely disappointed'
February 16, 2001
Timothy McVeigh clemency deadline Thursday
February 12, 2001
McVeigh scheduled to die by lethal injection May 16
January 16, 2001
Judge says McVeigh can drop appeals
December 28, 2000
Roger Cossack on McVeigh request to end death penalty appeals
December 28, 2000
Oklahoma City bombing victims remembered, 5 years later
April 19, 2000
McVeigh: Gulf War killings led him on path to disillusionment
March 13, 2000
Grand jury finds McVeigh, Nichols acted alone in Oklahoma bombing
December 30, 1998
Oklahoma City bombing trial
March 1997
Timothy McVeigh and the death penalty
December 1996
McVeigh, Nichols plead not guilty in bombing
August 13, 1996

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

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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