Trial lawyers for convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh now believe they were wrong when they decided to ignore published reports of his alleged confession before his trial began.

"We made a serious judgment mistake," attorney Robert Nigh told a federal appeals court Tuesday. "Initially our decision was to act as if nothing mattered."Nigh commented as he answered questions from 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges during arguments in McVeigh's attempt to get his conviction overturned and his death sentence repealed.

McVeigh's alleged confession to the bombing was reported by the Dallas Morning News and Playboy magazine after jury summonses were issued but before his trial began.

Nigh was a key member of McVeigh's defense team for the trial, but since then he has become the lead attorney, replacing Stephen Jones after he and McVeigh had a falling out.

In the appeal, McVeigh's lawyers claim the trial judge unfairly excluded evidence that someone else may have committed the bombing, that the jury pool was tainted by the reports of the purported confession, and that at least one juror improperly discussed the case.