The American criminal justice system has no shortage of people who were convicted under questionable if not completely wrong circumstances. Nathaniel Woods is one of those people and the consequences could soon prove fatal.
According to ABC News, Martin Luther King III has made a plea to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to stop the execution of Woods that’s scheduled for Thursday. Woods was convicted in 2005 of murdering three Alabama cops. The officers were searching for Woods on an assault warrant when they were gunned down. Kerry Spencer, Woods’ alleged accomplice, admitted to being the sole shooter but separate juries decided to convict both men on charges of capital murder. The prosecution made the argument that the men worked together to orchestrate the execution of the officers.
Woods appealed his sentence on the grounds that his attorney provided him with inaccurate information. Woods rejected a plea deal for 20 to 25 years after his attorney told him that as an accomplice he couldn’t be convicted of capital murder. His appeal was denied by both the Alabama Supreme Court and the U.S Supreme Court.
King wrote a letter Ivey to advocate for Woods. In the letter, he notes that Ivey has not rejected his requests for a meeting or even a phone call regarding the case. He evoked the words of his father, stating:
“Before you allow the execution of Nathaniel Woods, I urge you to grant him a reprieve. We must have time to accurately review the new evidence. With all the concerns expressed by the public, this case requires the highest level of scrutiny possible.
In closing, my father said, ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ and so I pray that God grants you the courage to do the right thing: to delay his execution.”
A petition to have Woods’ execution delayed has gained over 70,000 signatures on Change.com. Ivey has yet to issue a statement about the execution.