On Jan. 16, 2001, the United States government set May 16 as the execution date for Timothy McVeigh.
The decision came five days after McVeigh let pass a deadline that could have held off the date pending an appeal. Several weeks earlier, on Dec. 28, 2000, a federal judge in Denver held a hearing to make sure McVeigh understood he was dropping all appeals in the case.
At the time, McVeigh said he wanted an execution date but reserved the right to seek presidential clemency. That request, if it ever came, was not expected to be granted.
The Bureau of Prisons notified McVeigh in writing of the execution date. The time of execution was to be announced at a later date, and has subsequently been set for 8 a.m. ET.
A jury recommended the death penalty for McVeigh on June 13, 1997, and, as required by law, U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch formally imposed the sentence on August 14, 1997.
McVeigh was convicted in U.S. District Court in the District of Colorado, of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosive and eight counts of first degree murder for the bombing of the Alfred P.Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma.
Following revelations that the FBI did not turn over thousands of documents related to the case, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft on May 11 ordered that the execution date be delayed until Monday, June 11.