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On Thursday night, the state of Alabama executed Nathaniel Woods in connection to the 2004 murders of three police officers.

The 43-year-old was pronounced dead at 9:01 p.m CST, according to the state’s corrections department, after his life was taken by lethal injection. The U.S. Supreme Court had issued a temporary stay on his execution, but ultimately decided to lift it before killing him on Thursday.

Three Birmingham officers were murdered after they visited an alleged drug house in the city to arrest Woods and a man named Kerry Spencer. Prosecutors acknowledged that Spencer was the gunman in the killings, not Woods, but even though he didn’t kill the officers, Nathaniel was convicted in 2005 as an accomplice. He was sentenced to death by a judge despite two jurors being opposed to the penalty. The only state that allows executions without a unanimous decision from jurors is Alabama.

Spencer, who is still on death row without an execution date, has continually insisted that he is the one who shot the three police officers and Woods was not involved.

“Nate is absolutely innocent,” Spencer said in a phone interview with CNN. “That man didn’t know I was going to shoot anybody just like I didn’t know I was going to shoot anybody that day, period…When I looked to the side, there was two police officers trying to train their guns on me so I opened fire with the f***ing rifle. I wasn’t trying to get shot, period. I got a rifle in my hand. They’re going to shoot me.” Spencer continued, “When I opened fire, Nate jumped as if he was getting shot, you understand? And once he seen he wasn’t getting shot, when I kept firing, that n***a took off.”

After news broke that the temporary stay had been lifted, people all over social media pleaded with Alabama Governor Kay Ivey for him not to be executed. This included Martin Luther King III, who called the killing “reprehensible” and “a mockery of justice.”

Kim Kardashian also tried to spread the word and prevent Wood’s execution on Thursday, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

Alabama is one of 29 states where capital punishment is still used.


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