(NY DAILY NEWS) – The state of Alabama executed an 83-year-old man nearly three decades after he sent out package bombs that killed a U.S. circuit judge and a civil rights attorney.
Walter Leroy Moody, who was killed by lethal injection on Thursday night, became the oldest U.S. inmate to be executed in modern times.
He reportedly kept his eyes closed throughout the procedure and did not respond when asked to make a last statement by the warden.
Attendees also said he barely moved while the poison was administered, and Moody was declared dead at 8:42 p.m, less than half an hour after the execution began, according to officials.
The octogenarian had been convicted in 1991 on federal murder charges — and then again in 1996 on state charges — after mailing out four mail bombs in December 1989.
One package killed US Circuit Court Judge Robert S. Vance, who presided over a 1972 case in which Moody was sentenced to three years for the possession of a pipe bomb.
Another package killed Robert E. Robinson, a black civil rights attorney from Savannah, Georgia.
Two other bombs, including one mailed to the NAACP office in Jacksonville, Florida, were intercepted and did not explode.
At his 1996 trial, prosecutors described Moody as a meticulous coward who killed Vance because of his obsession with getting revenge on the legal system. They said he then sent out additional package bombs to make it look like the Ku Klux Klan was behind the judge’s murder.
Moody maintained his innocence, and his attorneys argued in court filings and a clemency petition to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey that his age and vein condition would make the lethal injection more difficult.
The US Supreme Court issued a temporary stay for Moody around 6 p.m. Thursday, before it was lifted without comment about an hour later.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Thursday night that after nearly 30 years, “Tonight, Mr Moody’s appeals finally came to a rightful end. Justice has been served.”
The previous record holder for the oldest inmate to be put to death in modern times was set by John Nixon, a 77-year-old Mississippi man who was convicted of murdering a woman in 1985.
Officials consider executions performed after 1976 “modern times” — since that’s when the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty.