The Associated Press reports that a man convicted of sending a package bomb to a judge and killing him 30 years ago will be put to death via lethal injection in Alabama on Thursday. Walter Leroy Moody Jr., 83, was convicted in 1996 of sending a bomb to a judge’s home because he was obsessed with getting revenge on the legal system. He then proceeded to commit more bombings to make it seem as if a hate group was behind the murder.
Judge Robert S. Vance opened a package at his kitchen table on December 16, 1996 in Mountain Brook, Alabama after running errands and doing yard work. The bomb killed him instantly and injured his wife, Helen.
Moody had attended law school and was upset with the legal system because the court refused to throw out his 1972 conviction for possessing a pipe bomb, which prevented him from being able to practice law.
Moody is set to be the oldest inmate executed since the practice resumed in the 1970s. Defense attorneys have argued in clemency hearings that his age would complicate the process of putting him to death via injection.
Moody mailed four bombs in December of 1989. One of these devices killed a black civil rights attorney. Two of the four were dismantled before they went off, one of which arrived at a NAACP office.
His was first convicted in federal court in 1991 and sentenced to 7 life terms and 400 years. A state court later convicted him in 1996 and sentenced him to death for the judge’s murder.
Defense attorneys are trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay so they can determine if it is allowed for the execution to interrupt the federal sentence.
*Photo credit The Associated Press