The delay of Timothy McVeigh's execution until June has reopened the door for a webcaster eager to stream live video of the Oklahoma City bomber's final moments.
Attorney General John Ashcroft delayed Timothy McVeigh's execution by one month on Friday, and attorneys for the Entertainment Network are assessing the viability of appealing a U.S. District Court decision which denied the webcaster's original request. "We always thought we had a real strong case," David Marshlack, head of Entertainment Network, said late Friday.
The webcaster, which would make the execution available for $1.95 to Web surfers, is best known for its exhibitionist VoyeurDorm.com subscription site. Marshlack says the fee will be donated to charity and is intended to require credit cards, keeping children out. And he argues that streaming the execution simply makes an already public event more public.
"The only difference is that we're going to put it on the Internet. But people will have to find it and pay for it," Marshlack said. "It's not like we're putting it on a street corner."
Friday's public revelation that the Federal Bureau of Investigations withheld evidence from McVeigh's legal team prompted the temporary execution stay. Although Attorney General Ashcroft said he does not believe that the reams of evidence can raise doubts about McVeigh's guilt, he decided to postpone the execution until June 11 to give defense lawyers a chance to study the documents.
The webcaster's attorneys have only 30 days to file a notice of appeal from the time of the U.S. District Court's decision. On April 18, that court ruled that a Federal Bureau of Prisons policy regulating the viewing of executions didn't abridge Entertainment Network's First Amendment rights. Marshlack estimates the company has spent around $100,000 on legal fees in the case thus far. - Richard Tedesco
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