U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced at a Friday afternoon press conference in Washington that the execution of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, scheduled for next Wednesday, will be delayed for 30 days, until June 11. "As painful as that may be to our nation," Ashcroft said of his decision, "it is my responsibility and duty to promote and to protect the integrity of our system of justice." The announcement came one day after the FBI disclosed that it had failed to turn over more than 3,000 documents to McVeigh's defense during the discovery phase of his trial. The Bureau has said that the documents do not in any way contradict McVeigh's guilt, a fact Ashcroft underscored. But he said the delay would allow McVeigh's attorneys "to take any action they deem appropriate." This weekend on network news shows, attorneys for McVeigh said their client is weighing his options and even considering an appeal.
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