Timothy McVeigh was the gent who was convicted of bombing the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City, OK on April 19, 1995. This caused 168 deaths, including a bunch of little kids in a day care center, and destroyed the building. McVeigh was caught rather quickly.

He was reportedly upset with the government about the Waco, Texas deaths of the Branch Davidians and the killing of the wife and kid of Randy Weaver by government agents. Timothy chose the Murrah building because it housed several government offices.

Here's a timeline of McVeigh's court trials and tribulations:

  • August 10, 1995: McVeigh was indicted on 11 counts, including eight counts of murder.

  • June 2, 1997: McVeigh was convicted on all 11 counts.

  • June 13, 1997: The jury in the trial sentenced McVeigh to the death penalty.

  • August 14, 1997: Judge Matsch upholds the sentence of death. McVeigh is placed on death row.

  • September 8, 1998: The 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the death sentence. Death sentences are automatically appealed to the circuit court.

  • March 8, 1999: The US Supreme Court denys the request to hold a hearing on the case.

  • March 6, 2000: The second round of appeals are filed in federal court, in part asking for a new trial.

  • October 12, 2000: Judge Matsch denies request for a new trial.

  • December 7, 2000: McVeigh drops all appeals, requests that an execution be scheduled within 120 days.

  • June 11, 2001: McVeigh died by lethal injection at 7:14 a.m. CDT at the Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, the first federal execution since 1963. McVeigh left a handwritten statement quoting Invictus, a 19th century poem by British poet William Ernest Henley. It ends with the lines "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."

February 11, 2001:

The Sunday Oklahoman published a letter (on Sunday!) by McVeigh questioning the fairness of limiting the number of witnesses to his execution. The Federal Bureau of Prisons is considering a closed-circuit broadcast to accommodate survivors and relatives of victims.

"Because the closed-circuit telecast of my execution raises these fundamental equal access concerns, and because I am otherwise not opposed to such a telecast, a reasonable solution seems obvious: hold a true public execution -- allow a public broadcast," he wrote.

"It has ... been said that all of Oklahoma was a victim of the bombing. Can all of Oklahoma watch?" he wrote.

A national broadcast is not an option, Prison bureau spokesman Dan Dunne (what a name, can I buy one of those???) said.

"It hasn't been considered. It won't happen," Dunne said.

McVeigh, will be executed May 16 by lethal injection at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indianna.

Quotes from Cnn.com. Hey that's where the Columbia CD of the month club is located! see my next node in my scams series... how to rip off Columbia Record and Tape Club.

A different Timothy McVeigh from the Oklahoma City bomber was briefly in the limelight in 1997/1998. This man was a member of the United States Navy and held the position of "Command Senior Chief, or Chief of the Boat and the senior enlisted person on board the USS Chicago" when a civilian, working with the Navy to organize a Christmas present delivery, looked at McVeigh's AOL account profile and noted that he used the word "gay" under the "marital status" listing. The civilian told the Navy, who called up America Online to confirm the identity of the account's owner. America Online has a policy of not releasing this information without a subpoena, but their phone staff released the information to a Navy investigator in violation of that policy. The investigation may have violated the federal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on homosexual members of the military and the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.

In January 1998, Judge Stanley Sporkin ruled that the Navy could not throw McVeigh out; the Navy originally appealed this case, but in June McVeigh and the Navy reached a settlement where McVeigh would retire from the Navy in August 1998 and the Navy would pay his $90,000 in legal fees.

Sources: Articles at http://news.cnet.com/news/0,10000,0-1005-200-325481,00.html and McVeigh's web page: http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/9241/

In a letter to FOX News just prior to April 27, 2001, 19 days before his scheduled execution by lethal injection, Timothy McVeigh wrote that prior to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, he had considered other acts of retribution, among them the assassination of then-Attorney General Janet Reno, stating that doing so would make "her accept 'full responsibility' in deed, not just word."

In addition, McVeigh stated that as retaliation for the US involvement in the fire that killed more than 80 followers of David Koresh near Waco, Texas, two years prior to the bombing, he had considered the assassination of Federal Judge Walter Smith, and the assassination of Lon Horiuchi, an FBI sniper in the 51-day standoff at Waco.

McVeigh's own words:

"I decided to send a message to a government that was becoming increasingly hostile, by bombing a government building and the government employees within that building who represent that government."
McVeigh states that the bombing of the building was "morally and strategically equivalent to the U.S. hitting a government building in Serbia, Iraq or other nations." In reasoning why he chose the bombing of the building over the assassination of any one person, he stated that the bombing would serve more purpose; this is likely because it would garner greater national attention.

Timothy McVeigh died May 16th, 2001, at 7 AM CDT, the first federal prisoner to be killed willfully by the government in thirty-eight years.

I must point out from the outset that I am not American. My life is as far removed from US current affairs as any that contains cable TV and a net connection can hope to be. I have not walked past newstands plastered with Timothy McVeigh's face with the word "Monster" over it in huge letters. I've not seen hours of interviews with the families of the victims. I have, in short, received very little emotional input regarding him and his crime.

From this position I honestly don't see why McVeigh is more, as some seem to assert, deserving of the death penalty than any other murderer. Because he killed more people? Surely no coherent moral argument can be made for quantitative assessment of human lives. Because he is unrepentant? Give the man time. Your average death row convict can have up to 25 years in which to reinvent himself and find God, whereas McVeigh is probably one of the most swiftly tried and sentenced people this century - his trial lasted only a fraction of the time the OJ trial took to sort through, despite the obvious difference in the number of victims and the enormous scope of forensic evidence.

Timothy McVeigh is sane. That's why people hate him. He's not an oedipally obsessed psychotic oddball. He has academic prowess, demonstrable courage and stamina, the ability to work whithin the American system to high results, a loving circle of family and friends. He also happens to believe that US wartime tactics can bear being turned inwards for a change. This puts him a on a unique footing with the public - he is a mass murderer with whom it would have been possible in time to develop a meaningful dialogue. This is why everyone is in such a hurry to kill him - they don't want to see their own reflection in him, or hear their own beliefs echoed back through the medium of his mind.

This is of course also why no meaningful protest has emerged around the question of his excecution. The complacency of the American public during the last election is not conducive of serious and vocal debate on the issue, especially with a pro-death penalty President at the helm (it would have been a political boon for Bush, in fact, if any body tried to portray McVeigh and his death as anything less than justified - public feeling was so powerful in favour of the excecution that he and the rest of the pro-death lobby would have been riding the waves of righteousness for months). In this political and public climate, even anti-death penalty activists have reservations about publicly pointing out that the Oklahoma City bombing is a perverted extension of something their own tax money has been put to repeatedly and continually over the last 50 years.

Tim McVeigh will go down in history as someone who went through patriotic indoctrination and out the other side. He will be remembered as a revolutionary - bloody, merciless, misguided, but possessing ideological integrity and strength of conviction. There are two ways his personal story can go from here - out of the public conciousness and into the thesis papers of history graduates, or out into the realm of t-shirts and wall posters, shoulder to shoulder with that most recognisable of badly remembered revolutionaries, Che Guevara. The second option, being the more likely, is a shame and a pity. Society, denied the aforementioned meaningful dialogue with this oh so enigmatic zealot, will co-opt him into a pop culture icon and a catch phrase on the lips of white supremacists and disgruntled libertarians.

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