Supreme Court Halts Alabama Execution of Nathaniel Woods so It Can Review His Appeal

(ATMORE, Ala.) — Alabama modified into region to position to loss of life an inmate Thursday evening for the 2004 slayings of three police officers shot by one more man at a suspected drug rental. The U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution realizing now not lower than temporarily to take a look at his enchantment.

Nathaniel Woods, 43, modified into scheduled to rep a lethal injection at the impart jail in Atmore, Alabama, except the governor or courts indirectly intervene.

In Washington, the Supreme Court announced it modified into staying the execution, which had been scheduled for 6 p.m. CST, to have in thoughts his enchantment. A one-sentence assertion didn’t elaborate on how lengthy the pause would remain in stop as Alabama officials awaited observe on whether or now not they would proceed later.

The court stated totally that the loss of life sentence modified into “stayed pending extra portray” of the court.

Woods and Kerry Spencer had been convicted of capital murder and sentenced to loss of life within the slayings of the three Birmingham officers. Their deaths in a hail of gunfire rocked Alabama’s supreme city in 2004. Carlos Owen, Harley A. Chisolm III and Charles R. Bennett died whereas seeking to relief a misdemeanor home assault warrant on Woods.

Prosecutors stated Spencer modified into the triggerman within the slaying, opening fireplace on the officers with a excessive-powered rifle at some level of the home, but Woods modified into convicted as an accomplice.

Supporters, including the son of civil rights chief Martin Luther King Jr., waged a final-minute enchantment to discontinuance the execution because the case that drew nationwide consideration. Supporters argued that Spencer stated he modified into the sole person in fee of the shootings and that Woods bought an unfair trial in 2005.

“’He’s essentially harmless,” Woods’ sister, Pamela Woods, advised journalists outdoors the jail. “Kerry Spencer the actual shooter has acknowledged many times that he did it on his hold without a aid for anybody.” Spencer advised The Enchantment in an editorial about the case that Woods modified into “100% harmless.”

“Killing this African American man, whose case seems to be to be to had been strongly mishandled by the courts, can also function an irreversible injustice. Are you fascinating to enable a doubtlessly harmless man to be performed?” Martin Luther King III wrote to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, a damaged-down federal prosecutor, tweeted Thursday that he believed that “a prolong is warranted to function for a thorough evaluation of the total facts and circumstances to essentially be decided that justice is executed.” Jones stated he reached out to Ivey’s office to explicit his concerns about the case.

Testimony confirmed the officers approached a minute rental where Woods and Spencer had been believed to deal tablets; now not lower than two varied of us had been moreover internal. After talking to Woods thru a succor door, Owen and Chisholm entered. Declare legal professionals wrote in court filings that Woods stated he modified into surrendering to officers and quickly after Spencer opened fireplace with a excessive-powered rife.

Owen, 58, and Chisholm, 40, had been discovered uninteresting within the kitchen ideal internal a rear door, and Bennett, 33, modified into fatally shot discontinuance to the front door. A fourth officer modified into wounded but survived.

Prosecutors argued Woods performed a role within the slayings, and lured officers into the home.

Alabama Attorney Fashioned Steve Marshall had requested Ivey to let the execution proceed. “Though Woods modified into now not the shooter, he modified into now and again an harmless bystander,” Marshall wrote in a letter to Ivey.

Woods’ legal professionals unsuccessfully appealed his conviction, arguing he had ineffective counsel and that the trial had extra than one errors, including the admission of tune lyrics and drawings taken from his cell whereas he modified into searching at for trial. Declare attorneys stated that whereas Woods modified into searching at for trial, deputies discovered a drawing of a bullet-riddled police vehicle in his jail cell and tune lyrics about killing reminiscent of, “Haven’t you ever heard of a killa I drop pigs admire Kerry Spencer.”

Woods’ attorneys on Thursday requested the U.S. Supreme Court to pause the execution over what they stated modified into a lack of skills given to inmates after that they needed to think whether or now not nitrogen hypoxia — an execution manner licensed but now not but applied by the impart — would be their most smartly-preferred execution manner. Woods didn’t rating a manner. Attorneys stated inmates didn’t know that might maybe affect the timing of their execution. The impart is now not scheduling executions for inmates who picked nitrogen because the impart has now not developed the manner.

A separate pause search files from modified into filed with the court on Thursday night, arguing Woods had ineffective counsel for his trial and most of his enchantment.

The nation’s excessive court had no quick response.

No execution date has been region for Spencer, who modified into convicted earlier than Woods and is on loss of life row at Holman jail.



As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.