Nathaniel Woods’ sister confronts Alabama governor: ‘You killed my brother’
By Gerren Keith Gaynor, The Grio
The sister of Nathaniel Woods confronted Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday, a week after the state’s chief executive allowed his execution to go forward, despite desperate pleas to spare his life.
Pamela Woods came to face-to-face with Ivey at a census kick-off event in Montgomery. While the governor stood before reporters during a presser, Woods walked beside Ivey and stared directly at her face.
“I’m the sister of Nathaniel Woods,” she said. “You killed my brother. Gov. Ivey, you killed my brother.”
Moments later, Ivey was escorted away from Woods and the cameras. Woods, however, continued to pursue her, WSFA reports.
“He’s an innocent man and you killed him,” she said.
After the encounter, Pamela Woods told the TV station that the state executed her brother out of revenge.
“He had bad legal counsel,” she said. “That’s the only thing that went wrong in his case.”
Woods said she wants Ivey to abolish the death penalty. She proposed that any cases involving police officers should be investigated by the FBI, not the police department that employs them.
“These were dirty cops, everyone in Ensley knows this, everyone knows this,” she said. “So why? Why execute an innocent man?”
Nathaniel Woods was executed on March 5 after being convicted of capital murder for the 2004 shooting deaths of three police officers. His co-defendant, Kerry Spencer, has maintained Woods’ innocence. Despite not firing the gun that killed the officers, the state successfully argued that Woods conspired with Spencer in the murders.
In the days leading up to Woods’ execution, his family and supporters pleaded with Gov. Ivey to commute his sentence. Even Martin Luther King III tried to get Ivey to stop the execution, which he called an injustice.
“‘My father said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ and so I pray that God grants you the courage to do the right thing: to delay his execution,” King wrote.
Attempts to sway Ivey, however, were unsuccessful. Minutes before Woods was set to be executed, the Supreme Court issued a temporary stay in his case. But hours later, the high court reversed its decision and allowed the execution to proceed.
Ivey, through her general counsel, announced that she would not use her executive powers to commute Woods’ sentence.
“Governor Ivey does not presently intend to exercise her powers of commutation or reprieve in this case,” general counsel William G. Parker Jr. wrote.
“While Governor Ivey reserves the right to grant clemency at any time before an execution is carried out, she has determined, based on her review of the complete record, including the matters presented in your letter, that clemency for Mr. Woods at this hour is unwarranted.”
This article originally appeared in The Grio.