Execution set for accomplice in police killings


News Staff Report

Death row inmate Nathaniel Woods, convicted as an accomplice in the 2004 slaying of three Birmingham police officers and the wounding of a fourth, is scheduled for execution this Thursday, March 5, at Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore.
According to a posting on the Equal Justice Initiative website, there remain numerous questions regarding the execution. Among those are that the conviction of Woods, whose court-appointed attorney abandoned him during the appeal process, has “never been adequately reviewed by a state or federal court” and that a jury’s non-unanimous (10-2) vote for the death penalty was unconstitutional.
Woods and Kerry Spencer were convicted of shooting the four officers when they tried to arrest Woods on an outstanding warrant from Fairfield police. The shooting took place at an apartment from which the pair allegedly dealt crack cocaine and other drugs.
Court documents show that Spencer is the only one who actually fired a weapon at the lawmen during a “running gun battle” that ensued after the officers entered the apartment to arrest Woods.
According to Equal Justice Initiative, Woods had no access to his case file and was unaware that his lawyer had dropped his case until months after the deadline to file his appeal had expired. EJI says it asked the Alabama Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Woods to file a new brief, but both courts refused.
Unless a stay of execution is granted, Woods will be put to death by lethal injection at 6 p.m. on Thursday.