Timothy Mcveigh and Jodie Arias as Perpetrators Behind Okc Bombing

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Table of Contents

  • Timothy McVeigh – Case Facts
  • Jodie Arias – Case Facts
  • Legal Doctrines and Public Policy Reasons
  • Punishment Theory
  • Conclusion

There are many criminals that exist in the world today. Some are notorious for the crimes that they committed and others are just another criminal. The media turns criminals into celebrity figures per say. The Oklahoma City Bombing is a widely known mass murder that happened on April 19, 1995. Timothy McVeigh is the person who was responsible for the Oklahoma City Bombing. 168 people died in the bombing which also includes 19 children and a lot of injured people. (FBI, 2016) Another well-known criminal is Jodie Arias. She murdered her own husband in 2008. Her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, was having an affair and Jodie Arias killed him after he told her that he wanted to leave the relationship. However, Jodie is claiming self-defense. These two cases are very brutal cases. Was the right kind of justice served to these too criminals?

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Timothy McVeigh – Case Facts

Timothy McVeigh aka The Oklahoma City Bomber is notorious for the mass murder via a bomb that he sent off in April of 1995. According to, McVeigh was an ex-Army solider and security guard. He rented a Ryder truck and parked it in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma. (FBI, 2016) He made the bomb out of fertilizer, diesel fuel and other chemicals which bad a deadly bomb. McVeigh also flattened the building and 300 more buildings were damaged and/or destroyed. (FBI, 2016) McVeigh committed an act of terror that day. The worst homegrown terrorist the United States had ever saw. McVeigh was thrown in jail by a police officer 90 minutes after the bombing for a missing license plate and carrying a concealed firearm. The FBI then was able to find evidence like a business card that had “TNT @ $%/stick, need more” written on it. (FBI, 2016) This was very incriminating evidence for them to find. They also found traced amounts of chemicals on his clothes along with the axle of the Ryder truck that has an identification number on it which was traced back to Timothy McVeigh.

After this act of terror, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act(AEDPA) was passed. “It is a federal law that enhanced penalties for terror-related crimes and sough to streamline the federal appellate process for claims arising out of state criminal cases.” (Cornell Law School) According to Cornell law, “AEDPA was a reform of habeas corpus. It limited both the procedural and substantive scope of the writ.” This new law made it impossible for a defendant to make consecutive petitions and required them to all be made into one claim.

Jodie Arias – Case Facts

Jodie Arias, another notorious criminal, was charged for the murder of her boyfriend, Travis Alexander. Travis was believed to be having an affair and told Arias that he wanted out of the relationship to pursue this affair. However, Jodie Arias didn’t take this well and murdered Travis. She claimed that the incident was self-defense. However, Travis Alexander was stabbed 30 times, his throat was slit and he was also shot in the head. (Billeaud, 2013) It was a very gruesome crime and one that did not look like a self-defense case. It was too brutal to even be classified as a self-defense case. Arias has also plead not guilty to first degree murder and is denying any involvement in Travis Alexander’s death. Alexander was believed to be a very good man but was seduced and stalked by Arias. The couple were only together for a few months and Travis didn’t see anything serious with her down the road. He then tried to break it off, which happened but there were still seeing each other sexually. (Billeaud, 2019) Arias made a whole web of lies about what happened. She spun the story so many different ways and couldn’t even keep up with what she said and didn’t say. Jodie Arias case is one that is very gruesome.

Legal Doctrines and Public Policy Reasons

There are many outcomes that can happen when it comes to criminal cases. In regards to Timothy McVeigh’s case, he was sentenced to death and executed. Timothy McVeigh’s case did some prejudice in it. The courts looked for actual prejudice in regards to circumstances of publicity and the voir dire. (FindLaw) What was in question was whether or not the judge had a reasonable basis that the jurors were selected impartially. McVeigh was also arrested for a missing license plate on his car along with a concealed firearm. He also was charged with conspiracy on top of his terrorism, federal murder, etc. charges. Travis McVeigh’s case also does not really have any public policy reasons that are clearly defined or outlined by what he did.

For Jodie Arias case, she was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. She also was found guilty of felony murder. However, Jodie Arias was seen to be mentally ill when she was explaining what happened to the officers. She also was seen to be changing her story many times. Arias was believed to be a narcissistic, liar, sociopath and also was believed to have to borderline personality disorder. (Archer, D) In regards to legal doctrines, there are many that deal with mental illness. She also is believed to have PTSD. (Archer, D.)The Durham product test is one that can be applied to Jodi Arias, however, someone would disagree and argue that it is limits criminal law. However, Arias shows many signs of having mental illnesses even before the murder happened. She was known to be stalkerish and was also known to have a personality disorder. While metal illness are very serious can be the root cause of a person committing a crime, there are some lawyers and offenders that will hide behind a mental illness doctrine. Was Jodie Arias doing just that? She was later found to be guilty of the crime that she committed along with being diagnosed with multiple mental illness. Arias also could have been guilty but mentally ill at the time of the murder. However, Arias shows not so many severe symptoms of mental illness, but they are still there. Guilty but mentally ill can apply to Jodie Arias as she was believed to be suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness. She also was found guilty for the murder of Travis Alexander. Jodie Arias also does not have public policy reasons that could be found for her case.

Punishment Theory

Punishment theories is the main goal of the criminal justice system. People are innocent until proven guilty. The United States has five different punishments that range from retribution to rehabilitation. Retribution usually is what most people want to get out of a trial. They want the criminal to feel what they did to the victim. This usually revolves around murder cases, etc. In both of cases of Timothy McVeigh and Jodie Arias, they both were sentenced to life in prison, however, Timothy McVeigh was sentence to death. Both of these cases where punished under retribution. Retribution usually focuses on the saying “an eye for an eye” which means the same punishment will be given to a criminal as they gave to their victim. Both of these case were very gruesome. They were given the correct punishments based on the crimes that they committed. An act of terror, on American soil, by an American should 100% result in the death penalty. The United States prides itself on having freedom of speech, however, that is revoked the second someone commits a criminal act, like Timothy McVeigh did. He did not like the US government and though that he should bomb a federal building. McVeigh got what he deserved.

Jodie Arias also got what she deserved. She killed her innocent boyfriend just because she was jealous that he was having an affair. So stabbed him 30 times, slit his throat and shot him in the head. This doesn’t happen when a person is defending themselves. Jodie Arias planned and thought out his murder. She went to his house with the intention if killing him that day, which she did. Arias gets to sit in prison for the rest of her life and think about what she did to her boyfriend at the time. She gets the easy way out though. She will never understand what it is like to lose her life because she keeps to live hers even though she killed an innocent man just because she was jealous. She also spun a web of lies to throw off law enforcement and to make herself look innocent, however, she kept forgetting what she previously told the officers, etc. Arias was protecting herself as she wanted to avoid going to prison for life without parole.

Both of these cases did receive the justice that they deserved. Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people which includes 19 children and he also injured way more people. McVeigh was the worst terrorist in the United Stated until 9/11 happened. He got what he deserved and was sentenced to death for all of the lives that he took because he was unhappy with his government. Jodie Arias also got what she deserved. She killed her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, but stabbing her 30 times, slitting his throat and then shooting him in the head. Arias did get life without parole and will be sitting in a jail cell for the rest of her life. However, she has no idea what it’s like to lose your life like her boyfriend Travis. Both of these criminals were given what they deserved and will be paying for it he rest of their(actually only Jodie Arias) lives.


Timothy McVeigh was a very wanted man in 1995. He committed the largest terrorist attack in the United States. However, he was caught with 90minutes of the attack on some petty traffic violations. He was linked to the terrorist attack and was sentenced to death. McVeigh’s case resulted in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. This basically blocked a person from making two different petitions of the same case. It was a huge step back and was very negative for the United States.

Jodie Arias was convicted for killing her boyfriend, Travis Alexander. She gruesomely killed him and was claiming it to be self-defense but the way Travis was left shows a different story. Arias was also believed to have many different types of mental disorders which could have been the cause for her actions, however, some would argue that it’s not the case. Arias received what she deserved for committing first degree murder. Both of these cases are very infamous for what happened. Both are widely known for their criminal acts. Justice was served for the families that these offenders affected.

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