Federal Death Penalty

Executions Under the Federal Death Penalty

Three people have been executed since the reinstatement of the federal death penalty in 1988. View a list of earlier executions here.

Timothy McVeigh, White male, executed on June 11, 2001. McVeigh was convicted and sentenced to death in June 1997, for the bombing of an Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, in which 168 people were killed. McVeigh waived his collateral appeals, and the Government set McVeigh’s execution on May 16, 2001. McVeigh was granted a 30-day stay of execution by Attorney General John Ashcroft after it was discovered that the FBI had failed to disclose more than 3,000 pages of document to McVeigh’s defense team. McVeigh’s co-defendant, Terry Nichols, was capitally prosecuted by the federal government in a separate trial. In December 1997, he was convicted by the jury and sentenced to life without parole. Nichols was later capitally tried in Oklahoma state court for the murders of the 161 non-federal employees in Oklahoma City. In May 2004, he was convicted, and the jury deadlocked and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. (Terry Nichols Fast Facts, CNN Library; Oklahoma City Bombing Fast Facts, CNN Library.)

Juan Raul Garza, Latino male, executed on June 19, 2001. Garza, a marijuana distributor, was convicted and sentenced to death in August 1993, in Texas for the murders of three other drug traffickers. Garza was denied review by the U.S. Supreme Court in late 1999 and was facing an execution date of August 5, 2000. The date was postponed until the Justice Department finished drafting guidelines for federal death row inmates seeking presidential clemency, which were issued in early August. Garza was offered the opportunity to apply for clemency under the new guidelines and a new execution date of Dec. 12, 2000 was set. In December 2000, President Clinton again delayed Garza’s execution for at least six months to allow further study of the fairness of the federal death penalty. (In Death, Garza Seeks Forgiveness, ABC News, June 19, 2001.)

Louis Jones, Black male, executed on March 18, 2003.Jones was sentenced to death in November 1995 in Texas for the kidnap/murder of a young white female soldier. The United States Supreme Court granted review of the case and heard arguments on February 22, 1999. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction on June 21, 1999. Jones, a decorated Gulf War veteran who had no prior criminal record, claimed that his exposure to nerve gas in Iraq and post-traumatic stress from his combat tours contributed to his murder of Pvt. Tracie Joy McBride in Texas. President George W. Bush refused Jones’ clemency request. (Associated Press, U.S. Executes Gulf War Veteran Who Raped and Killed a Soldier, NY Times, March 19, 2003.)

Execution #Execution DateFirst NameLast NameRaceNumber, Race, and Sex of VictimsExecution MethodExecution Volunteer

717

6/11/01

Timothy

McVeigh

White

7 White Males

1 White Female

121 White unknowns

Lethal Injection

Yes

720

6/19/01

Juan

Garza

Latino

3 Latino Males

Lethal Injection

No

837

3/18/03

Louis

Jones

Black

1 White Female

Lethal Injection

No