And Now, the Nice McVeigh

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DENVER: Sporting a new military-style haircut, Timothy McVeigh spent today watching a high-stakes version of 'This is Your Life,' smiling now and then as a string of witnesses described him as a paradigm of patriotism. "He was an outstanding soldier," said Captain Jesus Rodriguez, who was McVeigh's commander at Ft. Riley, Kansas. "He did what he was told. He anticipated what had to be done, took pride in his work." The defense will try to further fan jury sympathy with a string of family witnesses later today and tomorrow who will present the 29-year-old as a regular American kid, culminating with a 15-minute film narrated by McVeigh's father, William. Death-penalty expert Richard Burr will also introduce three videotapes about the FBI attack at Waco, Texas to establish McVeigh as an outraged patriot moved to desperate action. That may not make much of a dent in jurors who have spent 2 1/2 days during the prosecution's case watching him sit impassively through bloodcurdling testimony by bombing survivors and rescue workers. Having lost the first round to his conviction, the defense hopes in the second round to convince jurors they should not choose death by injection .