Alabama to Execute Inmate, 83, Oldest in Modern US History

Alabama to Execute Inmate, 83, Oldest in Modern US History

Alabama to Execute Inmate, 83, Oldest in Modern US History

The Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay of execution in the case of Walter Leroy Moody, according to a release from the court.

"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, who was convicted in 1991 of the 1989 mail bomb death of U.S. Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance. Two other devices were detonated by police: one pipe bomb sent to the 11th Circuit's offices in Atlanta, and another to the Florida office of the N.A.A.C.P.

Alabama is set on Thursday to execute an 83-year-old convicted pipe-bomb killer, said to be the oldest person put to death in the modern era of US capital punishment. There were not, for example, last-minute questions about his competency or Alabama's reliance on a lethal injection protocol that includes midazolam, a sedative whose use in executions has been bitterly disputed.

Earlier, Moody's lawyer had unsuccessfully asked the Alabama Supreme Court to block the lethal injection arguing that an emergency medical technician who assessed Moody on Wednesday told the inmate he had "spider veins" and seemed concerned.

It is not uncommon for the court to temporarily stay an execution as it considers an inmate's final appeals. They said he then sent out additional package bombs to make it look like the Ku Klux Klan was behind the judge's murder. An Alabama jury convicted him of capital murder five years later, and he was put on the state's death row.

Yet federal officials long pointed to a recording, partly transcribed in a court ruling, of Moody talking to himself in jail after the killings: "Now you've killed two".

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Moody has actually declared his innocence this whole time.

"The execution coming up doesn't add anything to that", Bob Vance said. In a recent letter to Mr Vance Jr, he wrote, "Had my Dad been murdered, I would want to know who had done it". The letter said Layfield would be killed if he did not carry out the demand.

In arguing for a reprieve, Moody's lawyers assert that the victim in the Alabama case, Judge Vance, did not believe in the death penalty.

Vance said he had to make peace with his father's death, but said he has no doubt that Moody is guilty.

State Attorney General Steve Marshall also released a statement.

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