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McVeigh Execution: Federal Judge Matsch Denies Stay; Appeals May Be Made

Aired June 6, 2001 - 13:57   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Federal Judge Matsch has denied a stay of execution for Timothy McVeigh, in Denver. McVeigh's attorneys say there will be an appeal, but pending that, the execution date for Timothy McVeigh stands in Terre Haute for 7:00 a.m. Oklahoma City local time on Monday.

That's where CNN's Jeff Flock is today.

As you said, earlier, Jeff, the wheels still are in full gear out there.

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Lou, they've never slowed down in any way, but I think it is fair to say, from having talked to Bureau of Prisons officials this morning and a spokesman for the warden here, that they were certainly prepared to hear that there would be a stay. In fact, some of the planning had even begun to shift to the Garza execution, for June 19. There is a media logistical planning session with prison officials for that tomorrow.

But I think it's fair now to say that there is an increased sense tension. Perhaps if we take a look to the gates, there is a media check-in area there, a lot of equipment continuing to be brought in. There is not a large contingent of reporters here right now, but my sense is that begins to ramp up very rapidly now that there is every indication that this will go forward.

There is a 72-hour period out, in which this all begins really to kick in in terms of changes in procedures, McVeigh right now being held in the special confinement unit, what they call the SCU here, one of 20 people now on federal death row here. At some point during that 72-hour period, he gets moved to, for want of a better term, the death house here, the federal death house, which is where the execution would take place at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning.

Beginning at 7:00 a.m., 72 hours out, Friday morning, we begin to get access to the prison grounds, to begin to broadcast from there and see this a little more up close. But for now, everything continues to move toward that, and as I said, I think that it's fair to say that there is an increased sense of tension here, that perhaps this, in fact, will come off five days out -- Lou.

WATERS: Beyond the circumstances of his confinement, Jeff, is McVeigh speaking with attorneys, family, anybody?

FLOCK: He has access to the phone. We have no immediate reaction from McVeigh to what has happened here. He does have access not only to a telephone, but to television as well. So presumably, he is aware of what has been transpiring over the course of the last couple of hours. And he does have access to his attorneys; as you know, in that procedure, at some point, he loses access to the attorneys, but that's a far way out here as the execution approaches.

Now he does have communication -- no indication, though whether he's talked to his lawyers yet, but we believed, and the lawyers confirmed that, in Denver, he had authorized them that if Judge Matsch ruled against him, to move forward with an appeal. And that's, of course, where they are now.

WATERS: Do you know the circumstances of the appeal process? Is that an immediate or automatic situation?

FLOCK: It's not my bailiwick; I only know what the lawyers said here in Terre Haute last week and that McVeigh had given them the authorization to move forward with the appeal. We've reported the expectation that it could go, certainly, to the Supreme Court, and presumably, Mr. McVeigh is behind that.

Also, keep in mind he, at one earlier time, decided to terminate his further appeal. Certainly, the ball is in his court. If he chooses to put an end to that at any point, that is his right to do so. If he gets with his attorneys, he could simply shut it down.

WATERS: We'll, of course, be following up on that appeals process.

Jeff Flock, keeping watch in Terre Haute today.

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