ATMORE, Alabama — It was his time to go.
An 83-year-old Alabama inmate jailed for the 1989 mail bomb killing of a federal judge, was executed Thursday, making him the oldest convict to be put to death in modern times.
Walter Leroy Moody Jr. was convicted in 1996 of mailing out four bombs in December of 1989, killing Judge Robert Vance of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, as well as Robert Robinson, a black civil rights attorney from Savannah, Georgia.
Two other bombs, including one mailed to an NAACP office in Jacksonville, Florida, were found before they detonated.
At his trial, prosecutors said Moody had sent the bomb to Vance as part of an effort get revenge against the legal system, stemming from a 1972 pipe-bomb possession conviction that prevented him from practicing law.
He then sent the other bombs to obscure his tracks and make it look like the Ku Klux Klan was responsible.
The bomb killed Vance instantly at his home near Birmingham, and severely injured his wife.
Moody was first convicted in 1991 in federal court and sentenced to seven life terms plus 400 years. He was later convicted in state court in 1996 and sentenced to death for Vance’s murder.
Moody’s attorney’s had appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which had initially granted a short stay, but later overruled it without explanation. Moosy was executed shortly afterwards.
Moody became the oldest U.S. inmate put to death since executions resumed in the U.S. in the 1970s, according to the non-profit Death Penalty Information Center. His attorneys argued in court filings that his advanced age and vein condition would make lethal injection more difficult.
Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall, said the execution was justice served.
“Moody has spent the better part of three decades trying to avoid justice. Tonight, Mr.Moody’s appeals finally came to a rightful end,” Marshall said.