Nichols Appeals to Supreme Court
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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Lawyers for Terry Nichols, convicted in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people, asked the Supreme Court to reconsider an appeal in light of the FBI’s failure to give defense lawyers thousands of documents.
``The newly discovered fact that the United States withheld concededly discoverable FBI materials casts Mr. Nichols’ request ... in a much more favorable light,″ his lawyers wrote in court papers filed over the weekend and released Monday.
Nichols, who is serving a life sentence, wants the Supreme Court to reconsider an earlier action in his case. In April the court, without comment, turned down Nichols’ request for a new trial.
On Thursday the Justice Department revealed that more than 3,000 documents were not turned over to lawyers for Nichols and convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh. Attorney General John Ashcroft delayed McVeigh’s scheduled execution as a result.
Nichols’ lawyers said the documents issue bolsters their argument that prosecutors mishandled information that could have helped their client before trial.
Some of the documents apparently concern the FBI’s search for a possible ``John Doe No. 2,″ another suspect in the bombing.
``The identity of Mr. McVeigh’s primary co-conspirator, John Doe No. 2, was a key issue in Mr. Nichols’ trial defense and the withheld (documents) regarding the identity of that person went to the heart of,″ Nichols’ request for reconsideration, his lawyers wrote,