Spencer confessed to gunning the three officers down in the deadliest day in the Birmingham Police Department’s history. But he maintained that it had been an act of self-defense—a ‘”knee-jerk reaction”—when he saw Chisholm pointing a gun at him.
…Woods’ defenders say he is innocent—he never fired a weapon and there was no plot to kill the officers that day.
His attorneys say the surviving officer had testified that Woods surrendered to police before Spencer started shooting —but also changed his testimony from earlier statements to [belatedly] include a claim that Woods had threatened the officers before they were killed [one would imagine after the charges were chosen.]
…”The way that they convicted him on the theory of complicity, saying there was a plan to kill that day, it is completely not supported by the evidence,” she told Newsweek.
…”The evidence shows that Kerry Spencer acted alone, acted impulsively and confessed the day that he was arrested. He has maintained that story, that narrative, for the entire time that he has been sitting on death row.”
…Faraino added that the execution shouldn’t only be stopped because Woods is innocent, but also because there is evidence of witness and evidence tampering and use of improper tactics in the case.
…She and other attorneys representing Woods’ have collected evidence that they claim shows key witnesses in the case either testified falsely or didn’t testify after making deals with the police.
“There were many issues with his trial and the way that the prosecutors conducted themselves, there is evidence of witness tampering, there is evidence of moving the physical forensic evidence that was collected at the scene and overall, there were just improper tactics used to confuse the jury and lead to a guilty verdict,” she said.
The Appeal reported that two of the officers, Owen and Chisholm, “had a reputation for corruption and violence” and collected money from drug dealers in the neighborhood in return for protecting their operations, according to documents.
…”The prosecution constructed and managed a narrative of guilt. There is no denying that Nate was not always a law-abiding citizen. He had a record, admitted to selling drugs, and disrespected the four white police officers. But he did not commit capital murder.”
…”We know and the world knows that he’s an innocent man. We all know that he’s innocent. So for [Governor Ivey], and her staff, or whoever, the Attorney General, to want to execute him knowing this information, it’s just plain murder.”