McVeigh in 'Good Spirits,' Still Weighing Options, Lawyers Say
After meeting with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh on the morning he was supposed to be executed, his lawyers wouldn't reveal whether they are planning to file further appeals in the case — saying only that their client is weighing all his legal options.
Defense attorneys Nathan Chambers and Robert Nigh held a news conference Wednesday afternoon in Terre Haute, Ind., where McVeigh is jailed on death row. His execution, initially set for Wednesday morning, has been delayed until June 11 by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft while McVeigh's legal team reviews FBI documents they weren't privvy to during his trial.
"We had a good meeting with Mr. McVeigh this morning," Chambers said. "His spirits are good. He remains willing to consider all options that might be available to him."
Both attorneys said McVeigh is taking an "active role" in what to do, including thinking over the possibility of an appeal — but they refused to disclose specifics about what was said in their Wednesday morning meeting with him.
"As the defense team, we have a lot of work to do, and now is the time for us to work, not talk," Chambers said.
McVeigh, 33, is serving a death sentence in federal prison for bombing the Alfred Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The blast killed 168 people and ranks as the deadliest terroristic attack on American soil.
Last week, the FBI turned over more than 3,000 of their own documents that were never given to McVeigh's defense team before or during his trials or subsequent appeals. FBI Director Louis Freeh told lawmakers in Washington Wednesday that several more documents were unearthed and handed over just that morning.
Freeh said that while he believes the papers won't weaken the case against McVeigh, he and the Bureau are fully responsible for the mishap.
McVeigh is weighing whether the documents provide an opportunity to raise legal challenges to his conviction and death sentence.
"It's certainly not an exercise in futility," Nigh told reporters.