Prosecutors argue against setting aside Nichols' conviction

Wednesday, November 1st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Denver-AP) -- Federal prosecutors have asked a federal judge to deny bombing conspirator Terry Nichols' motion to set aside his conviction and life sentence.

Nichols was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and conspiracy charges in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Nichols had asked U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch to vacate his conviction and sentence.

Prosecutors filed a reply today claiming Nichols' motion rehashes meritless claims that Matsch and the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have already rejected.

Defense attorneys had argued the conspiracy law that Nichols was convicted of violating is invalid. They say it allows a judge, rather than a jury, to assess the facts that allow the potential sentence to be increased from life in prison to the death penalty.

Prosecutors say the conspiracy statute allows a life sentence independently of considerations of the death sentence.