Nathaniel Woods executed in Alabama despite someone else confessing to the crime

A black man has been executed in Alabama – despite someone else confessing to the crime and begging officers to halt the execution.

Nathaniel Woods was given a lethal injection last night after last minute appeals for his sentence to be commuted failed.

He was 44 years old.

Woods was convicted in 2005 of the murder of three policemen in Birmingham, Alabama, even though he always claimed innocence when it came to the act of shooting.

And Kerry Spencer, the man convicted alongside him, gave the same story, denying Woods was involved with the murders and saying that he acted alone.

The case has attracted widespread attention, thanks to the involvement of some high-profile campaigners who tried to prevent Woods’ execution.

Both Kim Kardashian West and Martin Luther King III spoke up to try and stop what they called a “tragic example of injustice”.

Just before Woods’ execution, Kardashian tweeted: “The court has lifted the temporary stay of execution for #NathanielWoods. The governor will NOT save his life.

“My heart and prayers are with Nate and his family.This is a tragic example of injustice in the system – in a few minutes Nate may die for a crime he did not commit.

Nate will die for a crime another man confessed to and says Nate had nothing to do with. My heart and prayers are with Nate and his family and all the advocates who worked tirelessly to save his life”. 

Following the prison’s confirmation that Woods had indeed been executed, Kim tweeted her commiserations.

Since the execution, many have been questioning Alabama’s death penalty legislation and the apparent racism present in condemning a man to death for a crime he didn’t commit.

Others have pointed out that the same punishment doesn’t seem to apply to white criminals.

Or even white policemen who don’t even receive sanctions for murdering black individuals.

And there were calls for the death penalty to be (re)abolished altogether.

Will anything be learnt from this case?

Given it's almost 60 years since the Civil Rights movement and this sort of structural inequality is still occurring: probably not.

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