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Only The Beginning

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DENVER: The verdict concludes the first of several trials that arise from the bombing. As for McVeighĺs punishment, jurors on Wednesday will begin hearings that could take as long as two weeks to determine whether he should get the death penalty. The defense has not tipped its strategy for that phase, but Jones may ask the jury to consider McVeigh's youth and the fact that he served his country during the Gulf War. Another possible tactic: Put McVeigh, who did not testify during the trial, on the stand to appeal for mercy. Because Judge Matsch has put lawyers for both sides under a gag order, Jones would not comment on the future of the case, but he is expected to appeal Monday's verdict. No matter what the sentence, the trial just concluded concerned only the 8 federal employees killed in the blast. Oklahoma state officials will now charge McVeigh with the deaths of the 160 others who died that day. Meanwhile, the federal case will continue in August, when opening arguments are expected to begin in the trial of Terry Nichols, the man the government says was McVeigh's co-conspirator.
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