McVeigh's Final Day Before Execution

CHAMBERS Well, you know, Sam, when a question is phrased, "Is there any chance?" I'm always hesitant to give categorical answers. I suppose there's always a chance; but I'd say the chances of that are slim at best. I'm sure Mr. McVeigh has made his final decision. He is resolved.

DONALDSON As you know, Mr. Chambers, another appeal has been made to the Supreme Court in another case, but having to do with your client, asking that your client's death be videotaped. So then this other case, the defense can make the argument that an execution is a cruel and unusual punishment. McVeigh gave his permission for that, didn't he?

CHAMBERS Yes, he did.

DONALDSON Why?

CHAMBERS Well, you know, this issue is one that has come up several times in the last couple of months — whether or not the execution should be broadcast or videotaped. And Mr. McVeigh's attitude toward that has been consistent. He has never sought to have his execution broadcast or videotaped. By the same token, he's never objected. It's been his view that if someone wants to broadcast the execution or if taping the execution can be of use to someone in the future, he wouldn't object to it.

DONALDSON You are going to be a witness to his death. What do you think will be going through your head?

CHAMBERS I don't know, Sam.

DONALDSON Have you ever seen an execution before?

CHAMBERS No, I have not.

DONALDSON I don't know how to ask you the question as to whether you're looking forward to it because the answer is going to be no; but, do you feel it's your duty? What sort of reason that you have in your own mind as to why you're there?

CHAMBERS Well, my client asked me to be there and that's the reason I'm there. As his attorney, it's part of my job to be there. I also feel that no one should face the executioner alone; and I intend to be there for him.

DONALDSON Mr. Chambers, people who are accused of crimes in this country deserve defense, and good lawyers, such as yourself, defend them. And that's the way the system works. But I want you to step back right now and tell me… Since you have gotten to know him, what do you think of Timothy McVeigh?

CHAMBERS Well, you know, Tim is a very interesting guy. He's very intelligent. You can have very intelligent discussions with him, and logical. He is also personable. He is affable. He has a sense of humor.

And there's a huge disconnect for me, between the person I've gotten to know over the last couple of years and what happened in Oklahoma City. It's hard to connect the two. You know, I think that the work that Dan and Lou did is very important to help us try to understand.

DONALDSON Do intelligent people blow up 168 men, women and children?

CHAMBERS He's an intelligent guy. He is not stupid. He is a smart person. I think that, you know, his intelligence is misguided, but he's smart.

DONALDSON Mr. Chambers, thank you very much for joining us today. Nathan Chambers, one of Timothy McVeigh's principal attorneys.

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