McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. His execution, which took place just over six years after the offense, was carried out in a considerably shorter time than for most inmates awaiting execution.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) transferred McVeigh from USP Florence ADMAX to the federal death row at USP Terre Haute in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1999. McVeigh dropped his remaining appeals, saying that he would rather die than spend the rest of his life in prison. On January 16, 2001, the BOP set May 16 as McVeigh's execution date. McVeigh said that his only regret was not completely destroying the federal building. Six days prior to his scheduled execution, the FBI turned over thousands of documents of evidence it had previously withheld to McVeigh's attorneys. As a result, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced McVeigh's execution would be stayed for one month. The execution date was reset for June 11. McVeigh invited conductor David Woodard to perform Requiem Mass music on the eve of his execution. While acknowledging McVeigh's \"horrible deed\", Woodard consented, intending to \"provide comfort\". McVeigh also requested a Catholic chaplain. His last meal consisted of two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
McVeigh chose William Ernest Henley's poem \"Invictus\" as his final statement. Just before the execution, when he was asked if he had a final statement, he declined. Jay Sawyer, a relative of one of the victims, wrote, \"Without saying a word, he got the final word.\" Larry Whicher, whose brother died in the attack, described McVeigh as having \"a totally expressionless, blank stare. He had a look of defiance and that if he could, he'd do it all over again.\" McVeigh was executed by lethal injection at 7:14 a.m. on June 11, 2001, the first federal prisoner to be executed since Victor Feguer was executed in Iowa on March 15, 1963.
McVeigh was raised Roman Catholic. During his childhood, he and his father attended Mass regularly. McVeigh was confirmed at the Good Shepherd Church in Pendleton, New York, in 1985. In a 1996 interview, McVeigh professed belief in \"a God\", although he said he had \"sort of lost touch with\" Catholicism and \"I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs.\" In McVeigh's biography American Terrorist, released in 2002, he stated that he did not believe in a hell and that science is his religion. In June 2001, a day before the execution, McVeigh wrote a letter to the Buffalo News identifying himself as agnostic. However, he took the last rites, administered by a priest, just before his execution. Father Charles Smith ministered to McVeigh in his last moments on death row.
On April 26, 2001, McVeigh wrote a letter to Fox News, \"I Explain Herein Why I Bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City\", which explicitly laid out his reasons for the attack. McVeigh read the novel Unintended Consequences (1996), and said that if it had come out a few years earlier, he would have given serious consideration to using sniper attacks in a war of attrition against the government instead of bombing a federal building. 153554b96e