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E-Filed

01/09/2018 03:39:14 PM
Honorable Julia Jordan Weller
Clerk of the Court

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF ALABAMA

EX PARTE STATE OF ALABAMA )


)
In re: State of Alabama, )
)
v. ) No.
)
WALTER LEROY MOODY, )
)
Defendant. )

STATE OF ALABAMA’S
MOTION TO SET AN EXECUTION DATE

Pursuant to Rule 8(d)(1) of the Alabama Rules of

Appellate Procedure, the State of Alabama respectfully

requests that this Honorable Court order the date for

Walter Leroy Moody’s duly-adjudicated sentence of death

to be executed. In support of its motion, the State

asserts the following:

Walter Leroy Moody currently resides on Alabama’s

death row, where he has spent the last twenty-one years.

Moody murdered United States District Judge Robert Vance

by means of an explosive device. Judge Vance was targeted

because of his position as a member of the federal

judiciary. The State of Alabama tried and convicted Moody

of Judge Vance’s murder following a successful, related

prosecution by the United States. Moody’s jury

recommended that he be sentenced to death by a vote of


eleven in favor of death to one in favor of life in

prison without the possibility of parole, and the circuit

court adopted the jury’s death recommendation.

Facts of the Crime

In December 1989, Walter Leroy Moody mailed four

pipe bombs to various locations around the southeastern

United States. This included the home of federal judge

Robert Vance. When Judge Vance opened the package

containing the bomb, it exploded, and he was killed

almost instantly. Helen Vance, Judge Vance’s wife, was

seriously injured by shrapnel from the blast, which

included nails that had been secured to the pipe by

rubber bands.1 Two days later, one of Moody’s bombs

killed civil rights attorney Robert Robinson in Savannah,

Georgia.

The detailed facts of Moody’s crime are set forth

in the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision

affirming his sentence and conviction. Moody v. State,

888 So. 2d 532, 540-545 (Ala. Crim. App. 2003).

1 Moody was sentenced to life in prison pursuant to the


Alabama Habitual Offender Act for his felonious assault
of Ms. Vance.
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Procedural History

Moody’s conviction and death sentence have been

fully reviewed through direct appeal, state post-

conviction, and federal habeas proceedings.

Trial and Direct Appeal Proceedings

On direct appeal, the Alabama Court of Criminal

Appeals affirmed Moody’s conviction and sentence of

death. Moody, 888 So. 2d 532. This Court declined to

exercise certiorari review. Ex parte Moody, 888 So. 2d

605 (Ala. 2004). Moody’s direct appeal concluded when

the United States Supreme Court declined certiorari

review. Moody v. Alabama, 543 U.S. 964 (2004) (mem.).

State Post-Conviction Proceedings

Moody filed a state court petition for post-

conviction relief in the Jefferson County Circuit Court

on March 23, 2005. After Moody amended his petition two

times, the circuit court denied relief on December 28,

2009. Moody appealed to the Alabama Court of Criminal

Appeals, which affirmed. Moody v. State, 95 So. 3d 827

(Ala. Crim. App. 2011). This Court again declined to

exercise certiorari review.

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Federal Habeas Corpus Proceedings

Thereafter, Moody filed a petition for writ of

habeas corpus in the United States District Court for

the Northern District of Alabama. The district court

denied Moody’s habeas petition on the pleadings, under

the provisions of the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death

Penalty Act of 1996.

Moody appealed to the Eleventh Circuit. After

receiving the benefit of oral argument, the Eleventh

Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment. Moody v.

Comm’r, Ala. Dep’t of Corrs., 682 Fed. Appx. 802 (11th

Cir. 2017). Moody’s application for rehearing en banc

was denied.

Moody petitioned for certiorari review in the

Supreme Court, which was denied on January 8, 2018.

Argument

Moody has no further available challenges to his

conviction and death sentence. As of the filing of this

motion, the necessity of the automatic stay provided for

in Rule 8(d)(1) of the Alabama Rules of Appellate

Procedure has evaporated. Because “the appropriate time”

has arrived for Moody’s sentence to be carried out, this

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Court should “enter an order fixing a date of execution”

so that complete justice may be visited upon the murderer

of Judge Robert Vance.

Conclusion

Pursuant to Rule 8(d)(1) of the Alabama Rules of

Appellate Procedure, the State prays that this Court will

“enter an order fixing a date of execution, not less than

30 days from the date of the order of execution.”

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Marshall
Attorney General

/s/James R. Houts
JAMES R. HOUTS (HOU016)
Deputy Attorney General

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that on January 9, 2018, I did

serve a copy of the foregoing on Walter Leroy Moody, by

placing same in United States mail, first class, postage

prepaid and addressed as follows:

Walter Leroy Moody


Death Row Inmate # 00Z613
Holman State Prison
Holman 3700
Atmore, AL 36503-3700

And by courtesy copy to his last known counsel of record:

Hon. Spencer J. Hahn


Federal Defenders for the Middle Dist. of Ala.
817 S. Court Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
(also by e-mail to spencer_hahn@fd.org)

/s/ James R. Houts


JAMES R. HOUTS (HOU016)
Deputy Attorney General

State of Alabama
Office of the Attorney General
Capital Litigation Division
501 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130-0152
(334) 242-7300
(334) 353-3637 (facsimile)
jhouts@ago.state.al.us