INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - While most want swift justice when it comes to the Boston bombing suspect, a local attorney says it will be a long slow process.
And he should know. Larry Mackey was a prosecutor in the Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols cases. Three years is how long Mackey spent working on the prosecution team of the McVey and Nichols cases.
Mackey was a Federal prosecutor in Indianapolis when he got the call from then attorney general Janet Reno.
Events in Boston bring back memories that date back to 1995.
"As soon as we saw the footage of what was going on in Boston, a week ago, I can't help but with my past, go right to Oklahoma City," he says.
18 years ago, on April 19, 1995, a bomb blew up the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in downtown Oklahoma City. 168 people were killed and nearly 700 were injured. While Timothy McVeigh was arrested within 90 minutes, his trial didn't begin for two years.
Larry Mackey says the Boston bombing case will move slowly too.
"The preliminary step would be to bring some charges sufficient to have Federal custody over him. To allow for the appointment of council. And to set bail. Obviously in this case, he would not be granted bail. He would be held in custody," Mackey says.
He says finding the motive is key in this case.
"Unlike McVey, his motive was clear, that he intended to attack the Federal Government itself. Thus the target of the Federal building and Federal employees. Here it's far less clear and far more complicated," Mackey says.
Complicated because of the international scope of the case.
"We've got a Federal law that would allow our government to bring charges for example to someone in Russia who never set foot on this soil, but who had some role in this bombing. And they could be charged," says Mackey.
Investigators he says are working on that right now.
"The good news is, those who seem to be most responsible, most obviously responsible either are dead or have been captured. But the next part of the story is making sure that someone else who might pose a risk to any of us, anywhere, is brought to justice as well," says Mackey.
All that, he says, takes time. And while it may appear like prosecutors would have no problem getting a conviction, Mackey points out there is no such thing as a "slam dunk" in the law.
He says prosecutors will still have to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
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