McVeigh's Final Day Before Execution

DONALDSON Lou, what do you say to Timothy McVeigh?

MICHEL Well, I know that his family wants him to know that they love him very much, and that people have told them from across the country that they're praying in churches for him. And on a personal note, I would like to thank him for the cooperation he gave for American Terrorist, the book we wrote.

There's a cottage industry of conspiracy in this country, and no doubt it will go into overdrive when he passes. But unlike other crimes, we know more about this crime because of his openness. And I think it's to our peril if we try to ignore him and his life. I think we should understand him, because we don't want other Oklahoma City bombings.

DONALDSON Gentlemen, thank you. Dan Herbeck, Lou Michel of The Buffalo News, thanks for being with us.

May I remind everyone that McVeigh did not receive a penny from the publication of that book.…

Four people invited by McVeigh will be among the witnesses. Lou Michel, author and reporter; Bob Nigh, defense attorney; Nathan Chambers, defense attorney; and Cate McCauley, defense investigator. Author Gore Vidal was also invited, but sent word that he could not make it because he didn't have enough advance notice and he will not be replaced.…

It was McVeigh's decision not to appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to delay his execution once the court of appeals turned down his original request. This was a decision made in consultation with his lawyers.

Nathan Chambers, one of McVeigh's principal attorneys, joins us now from Terre Haute. Welcome, Mr. Chambers.


DONALDSON Am I correct that last Thursday you had about a 90-minute session with Timothy McVeigh, the last outside person from the prison to have seen him?

CHAMBERS Yes, sir, that's correct.

DONALDSON And the decision was made not to appeal. Why not?

CHAMBERS I think that Mr. Mcveigh was at a point where he wanted some certainty. He realized that to continue the fight was a long shot, the chance of obtaining relief was slim. And he also realized that if he had gone to the Supreme Court, there would be at least another day, perhaps a couple more days of uncertainty about his future. And having so little time left, he wanted to know exactly what his fate would be so that he could prepare for Monday.

DONALDSON How would you describe his mood? Was he angry? Was he resigned? Was he content? How would you describe him?

CHAMBERS No, he was not angry at all, Sam. He wass in very good spirits. He was upbeat, and I've spoken to him since then, and he is at peace with the decision he's made.

DONALDSON Well, I ask about the word anger, because there's so much testimony from his own writings included about his anger toward the federal government — his reason, as he gave it, for the bombing that day. Now, did he express anger toward the federal government in any way?

CHAMBERS Not in my most recent meetings with him. You know, we've had discussions along those lines before; but not in the most recent meetings.

DONALDSON Am I correct, you will talk to him this afternoon, again?

CHAMBERS Yes, sir. That's right, I will, Sam.

DONALDSON Well, is there any chance he may have changed his mind and said, "Mr. Chambers, let's, in fact, appeal to the Supreme Court."

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