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McVeigh's lawyer in plea for life sentence

Timothy McVeigh's lawyers yesterday urged a jury to spare his life, portraying the convicted Oklahoma City bomber as a model soldier deeply disturbed by the government's deadly siege at Waco, Texas. Richard Burr said McVeigh was deeply affected by "seeing the lives of so many people burn away". About 80 people died in the disaster at the Branch Davidian complex near Waco, on 19 April 1993, two years before the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.

Mr Burr said he would offer two realities in addition to the horrific reality of the bombing. The first reality would be the life of McVeigh, a good soldier who took extra duty to help his colleagues. The second was "the reality of what McVeigh believed happened at Waco." McVeigh turned to far-right videotapes and to publications to learn more about what happened in the siege, and concluded that the government committed murder. "The right response is a life sentence," he said.