By John Vibes
Alabama executed 44-year-old Nathaniel Woods Thursday evening despite another person having confessed to the crimes that Woods was charged with. That person has repeatedly told authorities that Woods was not involved.
Woods’ friends and family members, as well as prison reform activists, were seeking clemency from the governor or a possible review of the case, but the U.S. Supreme Court lifted its temporary stay to further review his case and Gov. Kay Ivey refused to grant him clemency.
“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,” Ivey said in a statement after Woods was executed, according to NBC News.
Woods was convicted for alleged involvement in the fatal shooting of three Birmingham police officers in 2004, but the man who pulled the trigger, Kerry Spencer, has confessed to the murders and taken sole responsibility. Spencer is also on death row, but his execution has not been scheduled yet.
“Nathaniel Woods is 100% innocent. 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,” Spencer said in a statement.
According to court documents, Woods and Spencer were roommates and both were involved in the drug trade. Police raided their home and ended up getting shot by Spencer. Woods was accused of “setting up an ambush” for the police.
Meanwhile, Spencer says that he shot the police in self-defense because they were assaulting Woods, but the judge did not allow that as a defense for Spencer or Woods during the trial. Two of the officers who were killed in the incident were later identified by another local drug dealer as being corrupt cops who protected drug dealers in exchange for money.
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