Death Penalty

Beginning in the late 1980s, Michael Tigar began to write in opposition to the death penalty, which he believes compounds other forms of legal and social injustice. He worked on a number of death penalty cases throughout his career, the most famous of which is his defense of Terry Nichols.

Most of the materials in this section are from or about the Nichols case. The case provided the opportunity for a number of biographical profiles to be written about Tigar and other attorneys involved in the case, including Jane B. Tigar, Stephen Jones, who represented co-defendant Timothy McVeigh, and Ron Woods, a former prosecutor who helped Tigar with the Nichols defense.

Audio recordings from Tigar’s oral arguments in two other notable death penalty cases, Graham v. Collins
and Johnson v. Texas are also included in this section.

The death penalty was a significant topic of discussion during the oral history interview we conducted with Tigar, a number of clips from which are included in this section. In one, he expounds upon the connections between racial injustice and the death penalty.

49 archive items found.

Preview Type Title Year
Newspaper Articles Profile of Michael Tigar in New York Times

1995
Newspaper Articles The Jewish Journal: “The Juror”

1998
Arguments for Penalty Phase of Nichols Case

1997
Cases Opening Statement and Closing Arguments-Terry Nichols

1997-1998
Cases Post-Hearing Affidavit in Hall Case

C. 2010
Oral History The Terry Nichols Case

2016
Oral History Racism & the Death Penalty

2016
Oral History State of the Criminal Justice System

2016
Oral History How to Get Life Verdicts

2016
Oral History First Encounters

2016
Oral History Cost of Death Penalty Litigation

2016
Oral History The Permanent Battle

2016
Newspaper Articles NYT Story About Nichols Verdict

1998
Images Michael Tigar and Jane Tigar Depicted in Courtroom Drawing

1998
Correspondence Letter from Judge W.R. Wilson About Nichols and Other Matters

1998
Magazine Articles Time Magazine Winners and Losers

1998
Images Picture of Michael Tigar and Jane Tigar from Arkansas Paper, Courtesy of Bill Wilson

1997
Newspaper Articles Article About Impending Closing Argument

1997
Newspaper Articles Rocky Mountain News Article on Opening Statements

1997
Newspaper Articles Los Angeles Times Article: “Ex-Friend of McVeigh Denies Fabricating Firearms Robbery”

1997
Newspaper Articles Former Senator Eagleton’s Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch About Michael Tigar and the Nichols Defense

1997
Newspaper Articles Rocky Mountain News Article About Beginning of Nichols Trial

1997
Magazine Articles Short Interview with Two Lawyers About Michael Tigar and Nichols Trial from PBS Newshour

1997
Newspaper Articles Profile of Michael Tigar from Daily Oklahoman

1997
Newspaper Articles Rocky Mountain News Article: “Two Married Couples on Bomb Case”

1996
Magazine Articles New Yorker Profile About Michael Tigar by Jeffrey Toobin

1996
Newspaper Articles San Francisco Chronicle Story About the Severance Motion

1996
Newspaper Articles Denver Post Article on Jane Tigar Joining the Team

1996
Newspaper Articles Wall Street Journal Article about Jane Tigar Joining the Nichols Defense Team and Jane’s Feminist Response Letter

1996
Newspaper Articles Denver Post Story on Nichols Representation

1996
Newspaper Articles Wall Street Journal Article on Oklahoma City Bombing Case

1996
Magazine Articles Texas Monthly Article on Nichols Defense

1995
Magazine Articles Newsweek Article About Nichols Representation

1995
Newspaper Articles LA Times Serrano Piece

1995
Newspaper Articles Steven Labaton’s Profile in New York Times

1995
Magazine Articles American Lawyer Article: “Odd Couple Teams for Nichols Defense”

1995
Newspaper Articles San Francisco Examiner Article

1995
Audio Recordings of Graham v. Collins

1993
Newspaper Articles Firing Line Newsletter and Related Correspondence

1990
Audio Johnson v. Texas

1993
Book Review Missing McVeigh

2012
Lectures Remarks on Drones at Fair Trial Initiative

2011
Journal Articles The Lawyer and Faustian Bargains

2002
Book Chapter A Sanctuary in the Jungle: Terry Lynn Nichols and His Oklahoma City Bombing Trial

2008
Lectures Universal Rights & Wrongs: Roper v. Simmons, Torture and Judge Posner

2006
Essays Lawyers and Death Cases

1990
Book Review Federal Habeas Corpus Practice and Procedure

1990
Essays Judges, Lawyers and the Penalty of Death

1989
Book Review Federal Habeas Corpus

1965