The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily halted Alabama's planned execution of an 83-year-old convicted pipe-bomb killer, minutes before he was set to become the oldest person put to death in the modern era of U.S. capital punishment.
In last-hour appeals, Moody's attorneys had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay his execution in order to review whether his federal sentence, which was handed down first, could be interrupted.
If the execution is carried out, Moody would replace John Nixon, who was 77 when put to death in December 2005 in MS, as the oldest person executed since the US Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which monitors US capital punishment.
"I approach every execution by giving the condemned, and the issues raised by the underlying case, the careful consideration both deserve".
He was convicted in Alabama in 1996 for sending a bomb that killed Vance, a federal appeals court judge. "Moody's sentence to be carried out in accordance with the laws of this state and in the interest of ensuring justice for the victim and his family".
USA 11 Circuit of Appeals Judge Robert Vance Sr. was in his home in Mountain Brook, Ala., nine days before Christmas, when he opened a package that Moody had mailed to him, authorities have said.
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The explosion ripped through the home near Birmingham, killing Vance instantly and severely injuring his wife, Helen.
Two other mail bombs were intercepted and defused before they exploded, including one at the office of Jacksonville, Florida, office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Death row inmate Walter Moody, scheduled to be executed in Atmore, Alabama April 19, 2018 is seen in this undated Alabama Department of Corrections photo.
A similar device linked to Moody killed Robert E. Robinson, a black civil-rights attorney from Savannah, Georgia. Authorities said those bombs were meant to make investigators believe the crimes were racially motivated. An appeals court further denied relief for Moody on Wednesday.
"The execution coming up doesn't add anything to that", Bob Vance said.
Vance said he had to make peace with his father's death, but said he has no doubt that Moody is guilty.