06 March 2020 :
Nathaniel Woods 42, Black, Was Executed. Woods was convicted of capital murder for the shooting deaths of police officers Carlos Owen, Harley A. Chisholm III, and Charles R. Bennett in Birmingham, Alabama. He also was convicted of attempting to murder Officer Michael Collins. The officers were shot while trying to serve a misdemeanor arrest warrant on Woods at an apartment on June 17, 2004. It was the deadliest day in the city police department’s history. Though he was sentenced to death on December 10, 2005 (see), Woods was not the triggerman. Prosecutors alleged at his trial that Woods had lured the police to the apartment so they could be ambushed, according to reporting by the Appeal. His co-defendant, Kerry M. Spencer, carried out the shootings and was later convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. In Woods' defense, his lawyers argued that he had not masterminded the killings but instead that police were beating him when Spencer opened fire on them. In a phone interview from William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Escambia County, Spencer told CNN that he alone fatally shot the three officers in 2004 when they stormed the crack house where he was sleeping. A fourth officer was shot but survived. Woods wasn't involved, he said. In fact, Spencer said, Woods ran when the gunfire erupted. "Nate is absolutely innocent," said Spencer, who also is on Alabama's death row. The jury recommended that Woods be sentenced to death by a vote of 10 to 2. The judge followed the jury’s recommendation—Alabama is the only state where someone can be sentenced to death by a judge without a unanimous jury vote—and sent Woods to death row. Spencer remains on death row in Alabama and is awaiting an execution date. Activists, including Martin Luther King III, Bart Starr Jr., Kim Kardashian, rapper T.I. and Woods' attorneys, had asked Gov. Kay Ivey to commute his sentence. Woods becomes the 1st executed this year in Alabama, the 67th since the state resumed executions in 1983, the 5th in the year in the US, and the 1,517 since the US resumed executions in the 1977.