Execution set for Moody, state’s oldest Death Row inmate

The execution of 81-year-old Walter Leroy Moody Jr., the oldest inmate on Alabama’s Death Row, is set for 6 p.m. next Thursday, April 19, at William C. Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore.

Moody, convicted of the 1989 pipe-bombing death of federal appeals judge Robert S. Vance, had asked to represent himself at his capital murder trial, but asked for a 12- to 18-month continuance so he could hire two lawyers once the trial got under way. The request for a continuance was refused.

Vance was killed December 16, 1989, and his wife, Helen, was seriously injured after the judge opened a package that had been sent to his home and detonated the pipe bomb. A similar pipe bomb killed a lawyer in Atlanta two days later.

Moody was linked to the crimes through a similar bomb nearly two decades earlier that had injured his wife when it exploded. His prosecution in that case led to his resentment of the courts leading up to the 1989 bombings.

In 1991, a federal jury convicted Moody of 71 charges related to the pipe-bomb murders of Vance and civil rights attorney Robert E. Robinson.

Moody reportedly made no objection to any evidence, no opening or closing argument to the jury and failed to put on any defense during the trial.

In March, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed lower court rulings that Moody had “knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to counsel” and that the denial of a continuance at his trial was not contrary to federal law.