Ashcroft to Aid Victims' Request to View McVeigh Execution

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:19pm EDT

( - Speaking in front of the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Tuesday, Attorney General John Ashcroft promised to accommodate any victims who want to see Timothy McVeigh's execution on closed-circuit television.

"I'm going to do what I can to accommodate the needs of these families. That has to be done in conjunction with the need for justice in the culture," Ashcroft said.

Federal prison regulations prohibit public telecasts of executions, however the Bureau of Prisons is considering the use of closed-circuit television.

McVeigh has said he wants a public broadcast of his execution, but officials rejected the idea.

"We'll make specific announcements about the exact process and the procedures before the end of the week," Ashcroft added. McVeigh is scheduled to die on May 16 at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.

Ashcroft said he was sickened by McVeigh's comments in the book American Terrorist, in which he referred to the children killed in the bombing as "collateral damage." He said, "It's hard for me to literally recite that [phrase] without having an adverse physical reaction."

Dan McKinney, whose wife was killed in the bombing, said McVeigh's execution will mean the closing of a chapter in his life. "For me, it's going to be the end of the chapter of Tim McVeigh controlling my life. April used to be a beautiful month, but for six years it's been hard on me. I cry 15 times a day," he said.

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