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Judge Won't Delay McVeigh Execution

June 01, 2001  | 

DENVER (AP) - A judge denied Timothy McVeigh a further stay of execution Wednesday, saying nothing in newly disclosed FBI documents could change the fact that he was the ``instrument of death and destruction'' in the Oklahoma City bombing.

McVeigh's lawyers said they would file an appeal Thursday. The 33-year-old Gulf War veteran is set to die by injection Monday at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.

After a hearing that lasted a little more than an hour, U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch said he was shocked that the government waited until six days before McVeigh's original execution date to begin turning over more than 4,400 pages of documents in the case.

But he brushed aside McVeigh's bid to force a hearing over the mistake and said the findings of the jury that convicted McVeigh in 1997 still stand.

The jurors ``executed their moral judgment as a conscience of the community,'' said Matsch, who presided at the trial.

``Whatever role others may have played, it's clear that Timothy McVeigh committed murder and mayhem as charged,'' he said. ``Whatever may in time be disclosed about possible involvement of others in this bombing, it will not change the fact that Timothy McVeigh was the instrument of death and destruction.''

McVeigh's attorneys had argued that the execution should be delayed because the FBI documents released last month could have helped McVeigh's defense, perhaps by pointing to the involvement of others in the crime.

Matsch said if the FBI had the duty to disclose what it knew to prosecutors, McVeigh had the same duty to tell his lawyers if others were involved in the bombing.

McVeigh will be moved as early as Friday from his cell to the holding cell in the death chamber.

Nichols, 46, is serving a life sentence for involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy in the bombing. His appeal is pending at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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