Black Experience

MLK III Advocates on Behalf of Alabama Death Row Inmate

The son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. has joined the pleas of nearly 70,000 people who want to halt the execution of an Alabama man convicted of capital murder in the 2004 killings of three police officers.

Despite evidence that he was not the one who shot the officers and that he received inadequate representation during his 2005 trial, death row inmate Nathaniel Woods, 44, is scheduled to die on Thursday by lethal injection at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Ala.

“I stand with hundreds of thousands of Americans across Alabama and the nation, pleading with you not to execute Nathaniel Woods,” Martin Luther King III wrote in a letter sent on Tuesday to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican. “In just 2 days, your state, and the state I was born in, is set to kill a man who is very likely innocent.”

King’s letter regards the thousands of people who signed a petition on the website Change.org to stop Woods’ execution. Otherwise, Woods would become the first person executed in Alabama this year and the 67th since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

“Killing this African American man, whose case appears to have been strongly mishandled by the courts, could produce an irreversible injustice,” King wrote. “Are you willing to allow a potentially innocent man to be executed?”

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