‘You killed my brother’ – sister of executed inmate Nathaniel Woods tells Alabama governor

Michael Eli Dokosi Mar 13, 2020 at 09:30am

March 13, 2020 at 09:30 am | News

Michael Eli Dokosi

Michael Eli Dokosi | Staff Writer

March 13, 2020 at 09:30 am | News

Pamela Woods speaks to the media via Reshad Hudson

Pamela Woods, brother to Nathaniel Woods, who was executed as an accomplice in the murder of three police officers in 2004 has confronted Gov. Kay Ivey at a press conference.

Ivey was speaking with reporters about the state’s Census efforts in the Old House Chamber in the State Capitol when Woods confronted her shouting “You killed my brother. Governor Ivey, you killed my brother,” prompting aides to whisk Ivey away.

Footage by CBS 42 in Birmingham showed protestors shouting “murderer” at Ivey as she walked away.

The case and execution of Nathaniel Woods on March 5 through lethal injection drew national scrutiny because he was not the gunman yet was killed because the U.S. Supreme Court and Alabama’s governor Ivey declined to intervene.

Despite authorities acknowledging that Woods was not the triggerman in the slayings of the police officers, the prosecutors maintained he was a culpable accomplice. Associate, Kerry Spencer killed the police officers in drug house where the officers had gone to effect their arrest with two others for drug dealing.

In court filings, Woods said he was surrendering to officers when Spencer opened fire with a high-powered rifle. At Woods’ 2005 trial, a prosecutor told jurors that Woods was the “bait” and lured officers into the apartment.

Ivey’s general counsel sent Woods’ attorneys a letter before the execution, saying the governor’s review of the case determined clemency was “unwarranted.”

According to Ivey, “there is no evidence, and no argument has been made, that Nathaniel Woods tried to stop the gunman from committing these heinous crimes.” She added in the statement “In fact, he later bragged about his participation in these horrific murders. As such, the jury did not view Woods’ acts as those of an innocent bystander; they believed that he was a fully engaged participant.”

Nathaniel Woods enjoyed support from various people including the son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. who argued it was unfair to execute a man who didn’t pull the trigger in addition to the trial being riddled with problems.

Pamela Woods blamed his brother’s attorneys also for his fate.

Woods’ attorneys at trial advised him to reject a plea deal offered by prosecutors, telling him – incorrectly – that he could not be convicted of capital murder if he was not the gunman. Woods’ appellate attorneys also missed key filing deadlines in his case.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down an 11th-hour request to stay the execution. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall had also publicly urged to let the execution proceed. Kerry Spencer, who confessed to pulling the trigger remains on Alabama’s death row.

Pamela Woods surrounded by relatives told reporters outside the prison before her brother’s execution, “he is actually innocent, Kerry Spencer the actual shooter has stated many times that he did it on his own with no help from anyone.”

Nathaniel Woods

Woods said she wants Ivey to abolish the death penalty. She also said any cases involving police officers should be investigated by the FBI, not the police department for which they worked.

“These were dirty cops, everyone in Ensley knows this, everyone knows this,” she said. “So why? Why execute an innocent man?”

Spencer told The Appeal in an article about the case that Woods was “100% innocent.”

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