Another step toward justice for 3 slain officers

Published 12:51 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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By PAUL DeMARCO | Guest Columnist

Note: This is an opinion column.

On March 5, Alabama executed Nathaniel Woods Jr. who was convicted of capital murder for being an accomplice in the murders of Birmingham Police Officers Carlos Owens, Harley A. Chisholm III and Charles R. Bennett in 2004. Another police officer Michael Collins was shot and wounded.

The officers were shot by his co-defendant, Kerry Spencer, but Woods was soon arrested for his role in being an active participant in the assassination of the three officers.

Despite his conviction, numerous celebrities and Democratic Congressmen called for Governor Ivey to delay the execution. Those calling for a reprieve included O.J. Simpson and U.S. Senator Doug Jones from Alabama.

Over 15 years, nine different state and federal courts had reviewed the evidence and found no reason to overturn the jury’s decision. Thus, Governor Ivey refused to stay the execution. The United States Supreme Court temporarily delayed the execution  to review the Court record and within hours lifted the stay to allow it to proceed forward.

Ivey and the Courts were right to allow the execution to proceed, despite the request of those death penalty opponents who have shown more concern for the cop killers than the victims and their families in this case.

Hopefully with the eventual execution of Spencer who sits on death row, justice which has been delayed, can finally be brought not only for the families and colleagues of the slain officers, but the citizens of the state of Alabama.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.