Oldest man in modern USA history executed

Walter Leroy Moody, who was convicted for a 1989 mail bombing that killed a federal judge, is set to be executed Thursday night by the state of Alabama.

If the penalty were to be carried out, Moody would replace John Nixon, who was 77 when put to death in December 2005 in MS, as the oldest person executed since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre.

The US Supreme Court temporarily stayed execution plans on Thursday evening to consider Moody's late appeals, but later lifted the stay without comment, allowing the execution plans to go forward. He was later convicted in state court in 1996 and sentenced to death for Vance's murder.

83-year-old Walter Leroy Moody was pronounced dead at 8:42 p.m. last night following a lethal injection at W.C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. Two days later, civil rights attorney Robert E. Robinson was killed by a similar pipe-bomb in Atlanta. "Robert Vance Jr.is a circuit judge in Jefferson County and his wife, Joyce White Vance, preceded me in this office as U.S. Attorney". Two other bombs, including one mailed to a Florida NAACP office, were intercepted and did not explode. Moody not only committed capital murder, he also sought to interrupt the flow of justice. "They think in terms of the next 30 minutes", Zeigler said.

'Had my Dad been murdered, I would want to know who had done it, ' he wrote, according to CBS. His attorneys have not raised his age in legal filings, but have argued in a clemency petition to Alabama's governor that his age and health would complicate the lethal injection procedure.

"In the nearly 30 years since the explosion at their Mountain Brook home killed Judge Vance and seriously injured his wife, Helen, his family never lost faith in America's system of justice and the rule of law", Town said.

Alabama Attorney-General Steve Marshall said that after almost 30 years, "Tonight, Mr Moody's appeals finally came to a rightful end". They also argued that the aggravating factors used to impose a death sentence were improper.

"He was a great judge, a great lawyer before that, and a great father", he said.

"But he also made clear that as a judge, he has to follow what the law dictates and put aside his personal views, and he had to do that several times sitting as a judge", Mr Vance said of his father. The nation's high court had no comment on those last-minute appeals Thursday. On Monday, the Justice Department filed a brief on behalf of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was the Alabama attorney general at the time of Moody's conviction and sentencing in the state.

The request says an emergency medical technician visited Moody in a cell on Wednesday to check his extremities.

  • Rogelio Becker