Almost six years after setting off the bomb that left 168 people in Oklahoma City dead, Timothy McVeigh will face death in a federal execution chamber. His May 16 execution date was set after McVeigh dropped all his appeals.

McVeigh gave no reason for his decision in an appearance in federal court. McVeigh's family has suggested that since execution appears inevitable, McVeigh apparently feels "it might as well be sooner than later."

Some of his victims' families opposed McVeigh's request, arguing that it would only further his goal of becoming a martyr in the eyes of the American radical right.

Terry Nichols, McVeigh's convicted co-conspirator, was denied in February a new trial for his conviction on federal manslaughter and conspiracy charges. He is serving a life sentence in federal prison.

Nichols still may be tried on Oklahoma state murder charges that could bring him, too, the death penalty.