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McVeigh Lawyer, U.S. Attorney Square Off
(Released: 11/09 /01)

By Allison Thompson, Office of University Communications

HARTFORD, Conn. --One of Timothy McVeigh's attorneys and a former lawyer for the United States Attorney's Office will face off Friday, Nov. 16 at the University of Connecticut School of Law, 55 Elizabeth St., in A Timely Debate: The Death Penalty & the Terrorist Threat. The debate will take place at noon in the Starr Reading Room.

Randall Coyne, a professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, served on McVeigh's defense team in the Oklahoma City bombing trial. McVeigh was accused and convicted of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168 people. McVeigh was put to death in June 2001.

The co-author of the American Bar Association's publication, Death Without Justice: A Guide for Examining the Administration of the Death Penalty in the United States and A Report Regarding the Implementation of the American Bar Association's Recommendations and Resolutions Concerning the Death Penalty and Calling for a Moratorium on Executions, Coyne took a one-year unpaid leave of absence from the University of Oklahoma to serve on McVeigh's defense team.

Coyne will debate William Otis, an adjunct professor at the George Mason School of Law and a former lawyer in the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. While at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Otis was a member of the Attorney General's Advisory Subcommittee on Federal Sentencing and served as special White House counsel to former President George H.W. Bush. During last year's presidential campaign, he served as an informal advisor to George W. Bush.

"These two men have very distinguished backgrounds but drastically different ideological viewpoints," says Brian Farnen, president of the Student Bar Association, which is co-sponsoring the event with the Federalist Society. "The debate promises to be passionate and thought-provoking."

The event is free and open to the public and the media.

November 2001 Releases
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