The state of Alabama is under high scrutiny once again, as at 9:01 P.M, March 5th, 2020, the state executed inmate, Nate Woods. The story is similar to the one in the movie Just Mercy. Woods was convicted in 2005 for capital murder, but his case was faulty and odd. There were many questions about his culpability if he received fair representation at his trial; what’s even crazier is that his co-defendant, Kerry Spencer, came out and said that Woods was actually innocent. Alabama is one of 30 states that still upholds the death penalty, and its obvious Woods was never given a fair trial to defeat the death penalty.
Once news that Woods would be executed hit social media, many notable civil rights activists flocked to help him. Activists like Martin Luther King III and Sean King all reached out to Alabama governor Kay Ivey to plead to uphold the execution. Ivey refused to stop the controversial execution, which caused an uproar on social media. The US Supreme Court denied a last-minute stay for Woods, even after first ordering a temporary halt only minutes before Woods was scheduled to be executed.
The overwhelming evidence that Woods was innocent began to raise eyebrows on how exactly the state of Alabama convicted this man. In fact, Kerry Spencer, the co-defendant of woods, actually told CNN that he alone shot the three officers in 2004. “Woods was in no way involved,” Spencer said. Spencer adds that Woods actually ran when the gunfire happened. “Nate is absolutely innocent,” Spencer said.
As activists continued to support Woods, Attorney General Steve Marshall called Woods’ punishment right and just. Marshall “took issue with those who said Woods was innocent.”
At the end of the day, all the pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears, as the state of Alabama carried out the execution of Nate Woods. Social media was in an uproar, with activist Martin Luther King III tweeting out, “In the case of Nathaniel Woods, the actions of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Governor of the State of Alabama are reprehensible, and have potentially contributed to an irreversible injustice. It makes a mockery of justice and constitutional guarantees to a fair trial.”
With the loss of another innocent inmate, the question can be asked: When are we going to truly stop and make a reformation to our faulty and unfair justice system?