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Killing McVeighThe Death Penalty and the Myth of Closure$
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Jody Lyneé Madeira

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814796108

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814796108.001.0001

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(p.221) 11 Done to Death

(p.221) 11 Done to Death

The Execution and the End of the Victim-Offender Relationship

(p.221) 11 Done to Death
Killing McVeigh

Jody Lyneé Madeira

NYU Press

This chapter examines Timothy McVeigh's execution that put an end to the victim-offender relationship. The day before McVeigh was executed on June 12, 2001, survivors and victims' families who would witness his death live began the long journey from Oklahoma City and elsewhere to Terre Haute, Indiana. Other family members and survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing opted not to attend the execution. This chapter considers how, on the morning of McVeigh's execution, the healing, voluntary relationships that family members and survivors had formed with one another converged with other destructive, involuntary relationships that chained them to the perpetrators. It also describes McVeigh's execution as a modern spectacle and a site of memory work, his gaze prior to his execution which was interpreted by witnesses as confrontational or defiant, and images of his execution.

Keywords:   execution, Timothy McVeigh, victim-offender relationship, survivors, Oklahoma City bombing, memory work, witnesses, victims

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