The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 36.0°F | Overcast

McVeigh Drops Appeal Efforts; Execution Slated for Monday

By Lois Romano


Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh Thursday abandoned legal efforts to stave off his execution and began preparing to die after a federal appellate court denied his emergency plea for a delay.

Barring unforeseen developments, McVeigh will be put to death by chemical injection Monday morning in a newly-built death chamber at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind., for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.

The blast, which killed 168 people and injured hundreds more, is the nation’s worst act of domestic terrorism.

In announcing their client’s wishes, McVeigh’s grim-faced attorneys said McVeigh did not want the “uncertainty” of waiting for a Supreme Court decision during what could be his last two days of life.

“He had prepared himself to die prior to his initial execution date of May 16,” said attorney Rob Nigh Jr., “and now again, he wants to make the final preparations necessary to be ready to die on Monday.”

Nigh said he spoke to McVeigh shortly after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected McVeigh’s latest effort to postpone the execution because of the recent discovery of more than 4,400 pages of FBI documents that should have been turned over to the defense before McVeigh’s 1997 trial. The lawyer said he made no effort to persuade McVeigh to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“His demeanor was extremely calm. I think that his resolve was clear,” said Nigh.

In December, McVeigh, 33, abandoned all his appeals, requesting a prompt execution date. In February he let pass a deadline to request clemency from President Bush. But he sought to reopen the case after the discovery of the new FBI documents, which are mostly transcripts of witness interviews conducted during the 1995 investigation.