Tuesday will be the 16th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. Timothy McVeigh drove a truck loaded with explosives to destroy the Alfred P. Murrah federal building. The explosion damaged several buildings, killed 168 people and forever changed the way we view our enemies. The aftermath of this domestic terrorism tragedy shows its dramatic impact on our country.
June 1995: Senate allows for tracing of explosives.
The Senate allows tagging agents to be added to explosives after the Oklahoma City bombing. Gunpowder is exempt. It is an attempt to thwart other attacks and discourage terrorists.
Aug. 10, 1995: Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are charged.
McVeigh and co-conspirator Nichols are charged on several counts for their involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Oct. 19, 1995: U.S. federal building security is increased.President Clinton signs Executive Order 12977. The lack of sufficient security at the Alfred P. Murrah federal building is blamed for allowing the explosion to occur. Federal buildings are classified into five levels and security is increased after the bombing. Each level determines the amount of risk associated with the building and establishes necessary security measures. The number of employees and the use and size of the facilities are included in the measurements.
Feb. 20, 1996: The cases are moved to Denver.
The cases of McVeigh and Nichols are moved to Denver from Oklahoma. McVeigh's defense attorneys want the case moved because of fears the media would influence the jury. Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch allows the trial to be moved because the defendants have been "demonized in the media."
April 24, 1996: Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) is enacted.
AEDPA makes drastic changes to federal habeas corpus law after the Oklahoma City bombing. The intention is to limit state prisoners' ability to challenge their convictions. It limits the federal court's ability to issue a habeas writ. In addition, AEDPA creates new statutes of limitations and sets limits on successive petitions. All of these new rules are created to prevent criminals like Timothy McVeigh from delaying their punishment by filing numerous petitions and claims.
AEDPA increases restitution for victims of terrorist attacks. It also focuses on preventing financial assistance to organizations and countries with terrorist ties or groups. The AEDPA includes rules on preventing terrorists from immigrating to the U.S. and removing those who have already entered the country. Restrictions on explosive materials are also added.
The direct impact of moving the trials of McVeigh and Nichols to Denver is visible in the new act. AEDPA establishes that victims must have access to closed circuit televising of proceedings if the trials have been moved more than 350 miles.
March 19, 1997: The Victim Allocution Clarification Act is enacted.
The Victim Allocution Clarification Act allows victims to attend the trials of defendants and prohibits their exclusion. The act gives victims the opportunity to witness justice instead of barring them from the courtroom. Prior to this act, victims could be excluded because of fear they might influence the outcome of the trials.
The creation of this act is influenced by U. S. District Judge Richard Matsch barring victims' family members from the courtroom if they planned to testify at the trials.
June 2, 1997: Timothy McVeigh is convicted.
McVeigh is convicted on 11 counts for the Oklahoma City bombing.
June 4, 1998: Terry Nichols is sentenced.
June 11, 2001: Timothy McVeigh is executed.McVeigh is executed at the federal penitentiary at Terre Haute, Ind., via lethal injection.
- Timothy McVeigh
- federal habeas corpus
- the Oklahoma City Bombing