Martin Luther King III Attempts To Pause Execution Of Man Convicted In Killing Of 3 Police Officers: He Is Very Likely Innocent
Martin Luther King III is following in his father’s footsteps in more ways than one.
The activist has penned a letter to Kay Ivey, the governor of Alabama, on behalf of a man, 44-year-old Nathaniel Woods, who was found guilty of murdering three police officers from Birmingham. His lethal injection execution is scheduled for Thursday (March 5) at 6 p.m. at Atmore’s Holman prison. His plea for a stay of execution was denied Monday (March 2).
The letter, according to Fox News, states that Martin Luther King, III tried to speak with the governor on the phone but was “denied,” so he wrote the letter. He added,
“In just 2 days, your state, and the state I was born in, is set to kill a man who is very likely innocent.”
He saluted his late father, civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. and continued,
“[Fifty-five] years ago, my father, Martin Luther King, Jr., (led) a march from Selma, Alabama, where he and fellow civil rights activists were killed and beaten. Under your watch, Alabama is about to produce yet another tragic injustice. It is about time we learn from our past, and be on the right side of history.”
“Killing this African American man, whose case appears to have been strongly mishandled by the courts, could produce an irreversible injustice. Are you willing to allow a potentially innocent man to be executed?”
He added that Nathaniel Woods wasn’t the one to pull the trigger, and has maintained that he wasn’t involved in the murders.
“Nathaniel has never had a chance at a fair trial. He was convicted as an accomplice despite the fact that the shooter has always maintained that he acted alone. So before you allow the execution of Nathaniel Woods, I urge you to grant him a reprieve. We must allow the time to accurately review the new evidence. With all of the concerns expressed by the public, his case requires the highest level of scrutiny possible.”
Birmingham police officers Carlos Owen, Harley A. Chisholm III, and Charles R. Bennett were fatally shot while serving a warrant back in 2004.
Woods was present at the time and was sentenced to death. A man named Kerry Spencer was convicted for actually pulling the trigger and killing the officers. His execution has not been scheduled.
He ended with,
“In closing, 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.”
He also headed to Twitter to urge his followers and fellow activists to use the hashtag #SaveNate to spread awareness and get Governor Ivey’s attention.
What are your thoughts on MLK III’s letter? Tell us in the comments.