OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Many Oklahomans still oppose a state murder trial for Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, despite the FBI's admission it withheld documents that could cast his federal conviction in doubt, according to a recent poll.
Nearly half of those polled opposed a state trial for Nichols, but opposition grew when they were told the cost of the trial could reach $5 million, according to the OU/Oklahoman Poll.
The poll found 49 percent believe Nichols shouldn't face trial in Oklahoma because he has already been convicted in federal court. Forty-eight percent supported a state trial, despite his federal conviction.
When told the cost of the trial could reach $5 million, 62 percent opposed a state trial, while 34 percent supported it, according to the poll.
Nichols' latest preliminary hearing date, May 21, was postponed after the FBI disclosed it had failed to turn over more than 4,000 bombing-related documents and other materials to prosecutors at the federal trials of Nichols and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
District Judge Ray Dean Linder scheduled a July 11 hearing when a new preliminary hearing date may be announced.
Nichols' defense attorneys have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider his already rejected appeal, in light of the FBI mistake.
Forty-one percent of those surveyed said a state trial was important because of the uncertainty surrounding Nichols' federal conviction.
The poll contacted 401 Oklahomans by telephone in late June. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Nichols, 46, is charged with 160 counts of first-degree murder for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people and injured more than 500. State prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty.
A federal jury convicted Nichols on federal involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy charges and he was sentenced to life in prison.