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BACKGROUND: FEDERAL EXECUTIONS ARE RARE Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed in 2001 for the deadly 1995 terrorist attack, the bomb plot and the murder of eight federal agents. Federal prosecutors also sought the death penalty for bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols, but his jurors could not reach an agreement on punishment. Their deadlock meant Nichols was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release. Arthur Gooch was hanged in 1936 in McAlester for kidnapping. He and a partner kidnapped two policemen from Paris, Texas, and crossed into Oklahoma with them. One of the officers injured a hip before both were released. At his sentencing, Gooch said, “I think there have been worse crimes than mine, and I don’t see why I should hang.” The executions of McVeigh and Gooch are the only ones involving Oklahoma crimes in records of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons and a respected independent source, the Death Penalty Information Center. Both have lists dating back 85 years to 1927. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections lists Gooch as the only federal inmate executed at an Oklahoma prison. Awaiting execution are Edward Leon Fields Jr., who admitted killing a couple camping in the Ouachita National Forest in 2003, and Kenneth Eugene Barrett, who was convicted of killing an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper during a 1999 drug raid. Another man who once faced federal execution for a 1991 fatal shooting in Oklahoma was resentenced to a life term after an appeal.