U.S. backs McVeigh execution: poll


Most Americans still believe Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh should be put to death despite the FBI’s failure to hand over evidence to his lawyers before the 1997 trial in which he was condemned, according to a poll released Saturday.

The poll of 1,056 adults for Newsweek magazine found the same percentage — 72 percent — in support of McVeigh’s execution after Friday’s revelations the Federal Bureau of Investigation had withheld some 3,100 pages of documents as before.

However, the poll, which had a three percent margin of error, found a slight increase in those opposed to the execution Friday after news broke of the hidden documents — 22 percent — versus 21 percent Thursday.

And a poll last month for CNN, Gallup and USA Today showed that 81 percent of respondents favored execution for McVeigh while 16 percent were against it.

McVeigh, who has admitted to the April 19, 1995, bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah federal building, was to be executed Wednesday for causing the deaths of 168 people in what is considered the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil.

Attorney General John Ashcroft has delayed the execution until June 11 to allow McVeigh’s lawyers access to the FBI documents they should have seen earlier, which include transcripts of witness interviews.