Alabama executed 83-year-old Walter Leroy Moody on April 19, 2018 for the 1989 pipe bombing death of a federal judge. He became the oldest inmate executed in the United States since the return of executions in the 1970s.
The execution was delayed about two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary stay about 15 minutes before the scheduled 6 p.m. execution time.
The Supreme Court gave no explanation in its orders for the delay or why it later lifted the stay.
The execution began at 8:16 p.m. and according to prison officials his time of death was 8:42 p.m.
Moody kept his eyes closed and head still throughout the lethal injection execution and did not respond when asked by the warden whether he wanted to make a last statement.
Other than his chest moving during the early part of the execution and his jaw dropping slightly, only once during the event did he move when a few of his left fingers fluttered.
That happened soon after he didn't respond to a consciousness test. The test involves a corrections officer calling out the inmate's name, brushing his left eye brow, and pinching the left arm. It is administered to make sure the inmate is sedated enough to administer the two drugs used to halt breathing and the heart.
One of Moody's attorneys with the federal public defender's office in Montgomery took issue with the execution even though Moody moved less on the gurney than some previous inmates.
"I have attended two executions. In both, my client moved after the consciousness check. Ron Smith's was more horrific, but both were disturbing, and raise grave concerns about the DOC's (Department of Corrections) process," said attorney Spencer Hahn.
"Further, I'd like to know what they gave him before to knock him out and prevent him from getting to give his last words. There was no dignity in that room. This dishonored the memory of Judge Vance and Mr. Robinson," Hahn said.
Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn said Moody was not given any sedatives prior to the execution.
In 1991, a federal jury convicted Moody of 71 charges related to the pipe-bomb murders of U.S. 11th Circuit Judge Robert Vance and Georgia civil rights attorney Robert E. Robinson, who also was killed in a pipe-bomb blast two days after the judge. He was sentenced to seven concurrent life sentences and 400 years. The federal trial was conducted in Minnesota.
Moody was placed on death row after a jury convicted him of capital murder at a trial in Alabama five years later for the deadly pipe bomb explosion at Vance's Mountain Brook home that also seriously injured Vance's wife, Helen. The jury recommended 11-1 that the death penalty be imposed and the judge agreed.
Moody has maintained that he did not send the pipe bombs.To read more CLICK HERE