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Oklahoma City bomber Timothy J. McVeigh moved a step closer to execution after he allowed a midnight Thursday deadline to pass without filing a request for clemency.

Under federal rules, McVeigh had one month after his May 16 execution date was set to ask the president to spare his life. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons set the execution date Jan. 16, after McVeigh dropped all appeals.

Rob Nigh Jr., McVeigh's attorney, said his client declined to seek clemency in part because the chance of succeeding was "exceedingly small or nonexistent."

McVeigh, 32, formerly of Pendleton, N.Y., is scheduled to die by lethal injection at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., the first federal execution in 37 years. He was convicted of murder and other charges in the 1995 federal office bombing that killed 168.

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