THE MERITS OF THE CASE

WITH ASTONISHING SPEED, THE MCVEIGH TRIAL RE ACHES ITS CLIMAX. HAS JUSTICE BEEN SERVED?

Where was Timothy McVeigh on the morning of April 19, 1995? When Stephen Jones, the lead defense attorney in the Oklahoma City bombing case, said in his opening statement that he would prove his client "innocent," he in effect promised the jury he would answer that question. But when the defense rested last week--after calling only 25 witnesses in 3 1/2 days--he had not done so. That failure reflected Jones' fundamental dilemma: he could not offer a story about McVeigh that was an alternative to the one brilliantly told by the government. Of course, the defense in a criminal trial does...

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