On March 5, 2020, Nathanial Woods was executed in Alabama for the murder of three white Birmingham police officers. But, he was not the one behind the gun that murdered them.
In a documentary by The New York Times that’s premiering on FX at 10 p.m. Eastern time, they explore the case of Woods and what led to his execution by speaking with his family, lawyers, and family members of one of the murdered officers per the story from The New York Times.
This documentary comes on the heels of Julius Jones being taken off of death row hours before his scheduled execution because of the call by many celebrities to bring attention to his case.
But in the case of Woods, his execution has already happened and unfortunately, there is no hope for his life to be saved. But there is a chance for his story to be told.
From The New York Times:
“I won’t shoot no police officer,” Nathaniel Woods told investigators hours after three Birmingham police officers were killed in a violent shootout at an Alabama drug house. “Ain’t do nothing like that,” he said.
Indeed, Woods didn’t kill anyone on June 17, 2004, and he was unarmed when the officers — Carlos Owen, 58; Harley Chisholm III, 40; and Robert Bennett, 33 — were fatally shot while trying to arrest Woods on an outstanding warrant.
“I know this to be a fact because I’m the man that shot and killed all three of the officers,” the gunman, Kerry Spencer, said in a letter in support of Woods. He added: “Nathaniel Woods doesn’t even deserve to be incarcerated, let alone executed.”
Per the story from The New York Times, Alabama is a state where accomplices are seen just as complicit as the person doing the murdering. In the case of Woods, a jury was successfully convinced that Woods led the officers into a house, where his accomplice, Kerry Spencer, killed them. The jury was nearly all-white
Althought, nearly 70 percent of the residents in Birmingham are Black according to the United States Census Bureau.
It’s an unfortunate story. But hopefully, this documentary can shed light on the case and how the justice system failed Woods.