Missing Mcveigh

By Tigar, Michael E. | Michigan Law Review, April 2014 | Go to article overview

Missing Mcveigh


Tigar, Michael E., Michigan Law Review


MISSING MCVEIGH

Killing McVeigh: The Death Penalty and the Myth of Closure. By Jody LyneéMadeira. New York and London: New York University Press. 2012. Pp. xxvii, 274. Cloth, $65; paper, $24.

Introduction

[O]n the 19th morning of April at 9:02 in the morning, or actually just a few minutes before, Timothy McVeigh parked in front of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. He was in a Ford F-700 truck from Ryder rentals with a 20-foot box. . . . The driver parked the truck and set the bomb to go off.

. . . An explosion as quick as a heartbeat and sadness as long as life.1

These words-from my opening statement in United States v. Nichols- sketch a story that many of us heard and saw in the days following April 19, 1995. The bombing that killed at least 169 people became an event by which time was thereafter measured-at least in Oklahoma.2 Ninety minutes after the bombing, a state trooper arrested Timothy McVeigh on a traffic charge; within hours, he was linked to the bombing, and the legal process began.

Terry Nichols, who had met McVeigh when they were in the army to- gether, was arrested in Herington, Kansas, where he lived with his wife and daughter. Within a few weeks, Michael and Lori Fortier, McVeigh's collabo- rators in Kingman, Arizona, had begun negotiating their plea bargain. Michael Fortier had traveled with McVeigh to inspect the Murrah Building as a potential bombing site. On the kitchen floor of the Fortiers' trailer home in Kingman, McVeigh had used soup cans to show how he would construct an ammonium nitrate-fuel oil bomb with plastic barrels in the back of a rented truck. Fortier and McVeigh were heavy methamphetamine users.

On August 11, 1995, the federal grand jury in Oklahoma City indicted McVeigh and Nichols for conspiracy to commit arson on a federal building and to use a weapon of mass destruction, as well as on substantive counts of arson, use of a weapon of mass destruction, and first degree murder of the eight federal law enforcement officers who died in the blast. The govern- ment alleged that Nichols had worked with McVeigh to plan the bombing and was therefore liable as a conspirator and accomplice, even though he had not been with McVeigh in Oklahoma City that morning. Nichols's de- fense was that his friendship with McVeigh did not include complicity in the bombing and that McVeigh had worked with others to plan and carry out the bombing.

District Judge Alley denied a recusal motion; his chambers had been damaged by the bombing, and he knew many victims and potential wit- nesses.3 On mandamus sought by Nichols's counsel, the Tenth Circuit or- dered all Oklahoma district judges recused.4 The Tenth Circuit chief judge designated Richard Matsch,5 chief judge for the District of Colorado, to pre- side over the case.

Judge Matsch came to Oklahoma City, where he heard-and on Febru- ary 20, 1996, granted-a motion to change venue to Colorado.6 In later hearings, he granted McVeigh and Nichols separate trials.7 McVeigh's case went to trial in Denver on March 31, 1997. The jury found him guilty on all counts on June 2, 1997,8 and after the penalty phase, it decided on June 13 that he should receive the death penalty.9

Voir dire for Terry Nichols's trial began on September 18, 1997.10 On December 23, the jury found him guilty on the conspiracy count, not guilty of arson, not guilty of use of a weapon of mass destruction, not guilty of first degree murder, not guilty of second degree murder, and guilty of involun- tary manslaughter.11 Judge Matsch held that this verdict required a penalty trial, which began after a few days' recess for the holidays. On January 7, 1998, the jury announced that it could not agree on the threshold issue of whether Nichols had a culpable intent with respect to resulting death.12 On June 4, 1998, Judge Matsch sentenced Nichols to life without parole.13

In an effort to get a death verdict, the Oklahoma County district attor- ney's office filed first degree murder charges against Nichols for victims other than the federal law enforcement officers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Missing Mcveigh
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.