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David Keer, Internet Watch Foundation
and David Marshlack, Entertainment Network Incorporated
 real 28k

Tuesday, 17 April, 2001, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Web firm demands to show McVeigh death
Timothy McVeigh
The authorities want to deny McVeigh further publicity
An internet company says Americans should have the right to watch the Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh die by lethal injection.

It's our tax dollars paying for it.

David Marshlack, ENI
Entertainment Network Incorporated wants to broadcast the execution live on the internet on a pay-per-view basis.

The US Government says the execution will be relayed on closed circuit television to survivors of the 1995 bombing and victims' relatives but has barred all broadcasts of the event.

ENI is appealing against the decision.

David Marshlack, chief executive of ENI, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was every taxpayer's right to see the execution.

"This is something that is our constitutional right," he said. "We're paying for it, it's our tax dollars paying for it. This event is large, it's touched so many people's lives.

"We should be able to view it if we want to. We should be able to put closure to it."

'Individual rights'

McVeigh himself requested that his execution be broadcast live on national television, but federal prison regulations prohibit public broadcasts of executions.

US Attorney-General John Ashcroft has said there will be no recording of the execution and the FBI will put in place stringent security to make sure nobody can record or pirate the CCTV feed.

He has urged the media to exercise restraint in its coverage of Timothy McVeigh, explaining that he wants to restrict "a mass murderer's access to a public podium".

But Mr Marshlack says he is fighting for freedom of speech, and thinks it is wrong that the media has been barred from broadcasting the death.

"I don't think the government should have the right, or anybody else, to tell people what they can and can't view," he said. "The difference is on the internet, as a new medium, we can control who views it.

Attorney General John Ashcroft
John Ashcroft has called for media restraint
"By putting a credit card in front of it, it allows us to stop the children from getting in."

Any profits would go to the families of those killed, he said.

"If you look at all the case law out there, these are public executions, not private executions," he told the BBC. "I believe everybody should have their own individual rights to decide whether they're going to watch it or not.

"The place we're going to put it is a place that doesn't interfere with the execution in any way; the people are not present. It's somewhere where they have to go look for it to find it. It's protected from children viewing it."

Watching the execution, he said, would be no more gruesome than the images people see on television and in newspapers every day.

"Is it more graphic for me to look at a picture in a newspaper or magazine showing gruesome bodies spread out, or is it more gruesome to show a guy who gets a little injection and falls asleep?" he argued.

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See also:

12 Apr 01 | Americas
Victims to view McVeigh execution
12 Apr 01 | Americas
Live from death row
11 Apr 01 | Sci/Tech
Legal battle for live execution
16 Jan 01 | Americas
Oklahoma bomber to die in May
11 Feb 01 | Americas
Bomber wants public execution
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