Nathaniel Woods Has Been Executed for 2004 Killings Despite Serious Questions About His Case | RELEVANT Magazine

On Thursday, Nathaniel Woods was executed by deadly injection in Alabama, simply three hours after he was granted a short lived keep by the U.S. Supreme Court docket. Woods had been convicted of killing three cops in 2005 however severe questions have since risen concerning the case. Finally, nonetheless, the Court docket declined to intervene and Woods was put to demise at 9:01. He had no final phrases however used his palms to make an indication of his Islamic religion.

It adopted a prolonged wrestle from outstanding activists who raised doubts about Woods’ culpability and raised issues concerning the dealing with of his trial. Woods’ co-defendant Kerry Spencer has confessed to full duty for the capturing and implored Alabama Governor Kay Ivey to let Woods go. “Nathaniel Woods is 100% innocent,” wrote Spencer, who’s on demise row. “I know that to be a fact because I’m the person that shot and killed all three of the officers that Nathaniel was subsequently charged and convicted of murdering. Nathaniel Woods doesn’t even deserve to be incarcerated, much less executed.”

Again in 2004, Woods and Spencer had been accused of promoting crack cocaine out of their residence in Birmingham. 4 officers had been despatched to serve a warrant, however prosecutors say the police had been ambushed and Spencer opened hearth, killing Carlos Owen, Harley Chisholm III and Charles Bennett. The fourth officer was wounded.

Spencer confessed to being the triggerman, and it was alleged that two the cops who had been killed had been a part of a corrupt scheme by which native drug sellers paid off police for defense. The Birmingham Police Division refused to touch upon the allegation.

The surviving officer, Michael Collins, confirms Spencer’s account of the occasions, testifying that Woods didn’t hearth or actually have a gun. In actual fact, Collins says that Woods tried to give up earlier than the capturing began, saying he remembers Woods shouting “I give up. I give up. Just don’t spray me with that mace.”

However Alabama is the one state within the U.S. by which accomplices to murder could be executed, so prosecutors efficiently argued that he ought to be put to demise whether or not or not he pulled the set off. As well as, two jurors in Woods’ trial voted to spare his life however Alabama is the one state by which a unanimous vote shouldn’t be required for the demise penalty.

Activists additionally say Woods was poorly represented at his trial, together with his authorized counsel giving him unhealthy and even outright incorrect info. He’d turned down a plea deal of 20 to 25 years in jail as a result of his attorneys had instructed him the proof would show he didn’t hearth the gun they had been apparently unaware of Alabama’s distinctive legal guidelines.

Quite a few advocates, high-profile justice activists like Kim Kardashian-West and Martin Luther King Jr. III, relations and even a sibling of one of many victims tried to contact Gov. Ivey’s workplace to ask for clemency, however she in the end declined.

“There is no evidence, and no argument has been made, that Nathaniel Woods tried to stop the gunman from committing these heinous crimes,” she mentioned. “After thorough and careful consideration of the facts surrounding the case, the initial jury’s decision, the many legal challenges and reviews, I concluded that the state of Alabama should carry out Mr. Woods’ lawfully imposed sentence this evening.”

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