Why?

It’s entirely true that Walter Leroy Moody sent a series of pipe bombs around, one of which killed someone making him a murderer. But seriously, executing someone who is 83 years of age? Seems like an awfully high cost – yes, executions are vastly expensive – when just leaving him to the tender mercies of the prison hospital system is likely to do the job quickly enough:

On Thursday evening, Alabama is set to execute an 83-year-old serial package bomber named Walter Leroy Moody.

One of the few people who has to be taken into the execution chamber on a stretcher?

Moody is set to die by lethal injection Thursday at 6 p.m. at Holman Correctional Facility. He is the oldest inmate on Alabama’s Death Row, and still maintains he is innocent in the 1989 bombing that killed U.S. 11th Circuit of Appeals Judge Robert Vance Sr. at his Mountain Brook home. The blast also injured Vance’s wife.

Well, killing a senior judge, that’s something a legal system is going to come down pretty hard upon, obviously. Murder plus contempt of court and it’s not entirely obvious that the second isn’t the more serious crime.

Moody, who has spent more than 20 years on death row, has maintained his innocence and his lawyers have not yet used his age in appeals seeking to halt the execution. He has applied for clemency at the state level.

Actually, death row in the US might well be a worse punishment than the execution itself. The rules are entirely different from what they were in the UK when we still hanged people. The rules are stricter and it’s also, pretty much, solitary confinement. Rather than the relaxation of rules that we used to have when death was nigh.

But, you know, it is pretty odd to be executing an 83 year old. After all, he’s only waiting to find out which cancer is going to kill him, isn’t he?

Opinions and views around here on the death penalty itself are pretty mixed. But this case is odd to me at least. But, you know, maybe the stress will give him a heart attack – blackly amusing that would be, as the State would then try to make him well again so they could execute him.