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McVeigh scheduled to die by lethal injection May 16
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Federal Bureau of Prisons notified convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh Tuesday that he will be executed by lethal injection May 16.
He is expected to become the first civilian prisoner put to death by the federal government in nearly four decades.
The 32-year-old Gulf War veteran asked U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch, who presided over his 1997 trial in Denver and imposed the death sentence, to waive further appeals in the case. Matsch complied at a December 28 hearing.
McVeigh, on death row at the maximum security prison at Terre Haute, Indiana, could still seek executive clemency, but must do so within the next 30 days.
He was convicted of murder, using a weapon of mass destruction, in the April 19, 1995, truck bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people in the bloodiest terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil. Prosecutors called it an act of revenge for an FBI clash with members of the Branch Davidian religious sect exactly two years earlier in Waco, Texas, that ended with the fiery deaths of some 80 Davidians.
An Army buddy, Terry Nichols, was convicted of helping McVeigh plan and secure the explosives used in the attack and sentenced by Matsch to life imprisonment in a separate trial. He also may be tried in state court in Oklahoma on murder charges.
The last execution by the federal government was the 1963 hanging of Victor Feguer, convicted of murder and kidnapping, at the Iowa State Penitentiary.
McVeigh's would be the first since then unless another federal inmate on death row at Terre Haute, David Paul Hammer, fails to file a final appeal of his sentence before January 31. Hammer, who killed his cellmate while imprisoned in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, would be executed February 21 in the unlikely event no appeal is filed.
The Bureau of Prisons said the exact time of McVeigh's execution will be announced later. Bureau spokesman Dan Dunne said officials are prepared to make "unique modifications" -- possibly including video monitors -- to accommodate survivors and relatives of the dead who may wish to witness the execution.
"We don't know yet how many may want to come," he said.
Judge says McVeigh can drop appeals
Federal Bureau of Investigation
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