Walter Leroy Moody Executed Thursday Night

Saul Bowman
April 21, 2018

An Alabama inmate convicted of the mail-bomb slaying of a federal judge during a wave of Southern terror in 1989 was executed by lethal injection Thursday, becoming the oldest prisoner put to death in the U.S.in modern times.

The lethal injection procedure began at 8:16 p.m.

"Mr. Moody was convicted of killing Federal Judge Robert Vance and severely injuring Judge Vance's wife with a bomb purposefully created to kill and maim".

Moody was convicted of mailing a bomb in 1989 that killed U.S. Circuit Court Judge Robert Vance, 58, and the other that killed Georgia civil rights lawyer Robert Robinson.

According to CBS News, the explosion killed Vance instantly and seriously injured his wife. Prosecutors said Moody, who had attended law school, had a grudge against the legal system because the 11th Circuit refused to overturn a 1972 pipe-bomb possession conviction that prevented him from practicing law.

Passing row inmate and condemned pipe bomb killer Walter Moody, scheduled to be implemented at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, U.S. on April 19, 2018, is observed Within This undated Alabama Department of Corrections picture.

Earlier this year, the group's records show, Georgia executed a 67-year-old death row inmate.

A second bomb was sent to Robinson in an attempt to confuse investigators, prosecutors said.

Moody was first convicted in 1991 in federal court and sentenced to seven life terms plus 400 years.

The previous record holder for oldest inmate to be put to death in modern times was set by John Nixon, a 77-year-old MS man who was convicted of murdering a woman in 1985. They also argued that the aggravating factors used to impose a death sentence were improper.


Officials consider executions performed after 1976 "modern times" - since that's when the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty.

Moody did not give a last statement before he was executed, CNN reports. On Thursday, the judge's son acknowledged that his father had expressed reservations about executions.

Another two bombs were intercepted by police before they could cause harm.

Moody has maintained his innocence insisting he was framed. "Moody not only committed capital murder, he also sought to interrupt the flow of justice". Vance said he tossed the letter in the trash.

"I'm not a psychiatrist, but if you're talking about using labels like psychopath, this seems to be the kind of person that would fit that description because of absolute lack of empathy or concern for others", Mr Vance said.

In the effort to spare his life, Moody's attorneys have raised his victim's personal opposition to the death penalty in their request for clemency from Gov. Kay Ivey. Judge Vance was, by all accounts, a devoted husband, caring father, and remarkable jurist.

Legal questions that often surface in capital cases were not at issue Thursday as Moody's execution neared.

The younger Vance said his father also upheld death sentences because he believed in following the law.

The younger Vance made no plans to witness the execution.

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