Video replays show McVeigh was offside when executed

Small business owner disturbed by riots

Readers' letters

G8 leaders go on violent rampage at Creamfields

News in brief... Teenager can't get enough ironic consumption... Nepalese traditional dinner no longer to include gunfire... Taoiseach publicly criticised


Controversy has broken out over last Monday's execution in Terre Haute, Indiana of Timothy McVeigh, with human rights groups worldwide condemning the action since, they claim, video replays clearly show that McVeigh was offside at the time.

Speaking from Soixant Rouge, Louisiana, Amnesty International spokeswoman Gail Lindsay protested the use of the death penalty in this instance, "especially as any clown could see that the guy was sitting in an offside position [see diagram below] when the lethal injection was administered. This just goes to show how arbitrary and unjust the death penalty is".

Defenders of the death penalty have pointed out that it's relatively difficult to tell at a moment's notice whether an executee is offside or not. US Attorney General John Ashcroft produced transcripts of the live commentary to the execution by analysts from the NBC television channel, which he claimed support his claim:

Ted Hulce (Anchor): And Tim McVeigh surely must feel, Dan, that this is not going his way? Can't be long now.

Dan Hanafin (Analyst): You're right, Ted. McVeigh had high hopes coming in to this, but I really feel there's only going to be one winner. And really that's-

TH: I'll have to interrupt you there Dan, becuase... is... yes! yes they've strapped him down to the table.

DH: That's McVeigh finished, Ted. This match-up is over. They're moving quickly now, they're going to finish him off.

TH: And they've injected him. Oh, doctor! This has been a tense... the crowd's going wild over there, Dan, they've been behind the federal government all the way on this one.

DH: Goodnight McVeigh! He's a vegetable.

"These transcripts show," declared Ashcroft, "that post-mortem disputes of this sort don't take into account the difficulties of executing a prisoner who's been strapped down to a table. Believe me, when you're killing someone you're not going to worry about whether they're offside or not".

The Amnesty point of view was also rejected by execution attendee Rich Dudley, of Nouveau Bouef, North Dakota, who told the press afterwords, "They don't know shit 'cause they were'nt there. I'm telling you, there's no way McVeigh was offside. I was there, and man it was cool! I thought the Wilbur Henderson 'cution in '98 was a blast, but this knocked it on it's ass. Pity we can't kill the guy again".




    Back issues     Breaking news     Story archives     About