Death Row Inmate to Testify at Terry Nichols' Trial

Over objections by the prosecution, the Judge in Terry Nichols' state trial will allow death row inmate David Hammer to testify at Nichols' trial. The prosecutors argued Hammer is not a credible witness:

Hammer spent time with McVeigh on federal death row before McVeigh was executed in 2001. Hammer claims McVeigh gave him the identities of coconspirators including John Doe 2, a mystery man some claim to have seen with McVeigh on the day of the bombing, defense attorney Mark Earnest said.

Nichols' attorneys contend Nichols was set up by unknown coconspirators involved with McVeigh in the plot to bomb the building. Hammer's testimony was bitterly opposed by prosecutors, who described Hammer as "one of the least credible sources ever to serve time" in an Oklahoma prison. Assistant District Attorney Lou Keel said Hammer once threatened to kill him and a judge and blow up the Oklahoma County Courthouse.

Hammer is on federal death row for the 1996 murder of his cellmate, Andrew Marti, at the Allenwood Federal Penitentiary outside Williamsport, Pa.

Hammer has co-written a book with another death row inmate about what McVeigh allegedly told him, due out this month. It's titled "Secrets Worth Dying For" and is described as containing "details of being on death row with Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy James McVeigh and revelations about others involved in the 1995 bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City."

David Paul Hammer #24507-077 is on Death Row in Terre Haute, Indiana. His execution is now scheduled for June, 2004. Mr. Hammer's website is here. The Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty offers free websites to death row prisoners.

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