Survivors to watch execution from Oklahoma City prison

Thursday, April 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A federal prison facility in Oklahoma City has been chosen as the site where Oklahoma City bombing survivors and victims' families will watch Timothy McVeigh's execution on a closed-circuit broadcast.

Survivors and families have until May 1 to reserve a seat at the Oklahoma City facility from which to watch the May 16 execution, which will be carried out at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.

The Justice Department announcement Thursday comes a week after Attorney General John Ashcroft authorized the closed-circuit broadcast to accommodate survivors and victims' families. About 250 people had said they wanted to view the execution; only 10 seats for victim witnesses are allowed at the execution site.

The Justice Department said letters went out this week to victims with details on arrangements for the broadcast of the first federal execution in 36 years. The department did not release the letters but provided a summary of the arrangements.

A bus will pick up victims at a U.S. marshal's air hangar at 5 a.m. CDT and transport them to the Bureau of Prisons holding facility in Oklahoma City. The execution is scheduled at 7 a.m. CDT, 8 a.m. EDT.

No video cameras, tape recorders or cell phones will be allowed to ``ensure that the closed-circuit viewing is not recorded or otherwise made public,'' the department said in a release.

Ten persons have been selected by lottery to go Terre Haute to witness the execution in person. Seven seats will go to families of deceased victims and two will go to survivors with physical injuries. The last seat is for a survivor. The Justice Department did not release the names of those selected.

An area at the Terre Haute facility will be reserved for survivors and victims' families who want to go there even though they won't be able to see the execution. They will have to pay their own way to Terre Haute, the department said.