State Executes Killer of Judge Robert Vance

The state Thursday night executed Walter Leroy Moody for the 1989 murder of a federal appeals court judge.   

Moody, 83, was convicted of sending a package bomb to the Mountain Brook home of Judge Robert Vance of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The bomb killed Vance, and seriously injured his wife.   Moody was also found guilty of mailing a bomb that killed a civil rights attorney in Savannah, Ga.   Two other bombs were intercepted and did not detonate.    Prosecutors said the motive appeared to be revenge for a 1972 conviction for possessing a pipe bomb, which injured his wife.  The appeals court of which Vance was a member declined to overturn the conviction preventing Moody, a law school graduate, from practicing law.  Neither Vance nor the other victim had any connection to the case.   

Moody steadfastly denied any wrongdoing through federal and state trials in the 1990s that ended in convictions.  The federal trial resulted in a life sentence, but the Alabama case sent Moody to death row.   

The Alabama Department of Corrections said Moody did not request a final meal, and declined to make a final statement during his execution at Holman prison, near Atmore.   

Vance's son, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Bob Vance, said he had no interest in attending the execution.   Vance, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, said there is no doubt Moody is guilty, and that he does not forgive him.   

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