Alabama death row inmate Nathaniel Woods, 43, was executed Thursday night by lethal injection at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, according to the Alabama Department of Corrections.
The execution was carried out at 8:38 p.m. Woods was pronounced dead at 9:01 p.m.
Woods did not give a final statement.
Woods was convicted of capital murder in the 2004 shooting deaths of three Birmingham police officers in which another man pulled the trigger.
Supporters including Martin Luther King III argued that executing Woods was unjust. No execution date has been set for Woods'convicted co-defendant, Kerry Spencer.
The U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay of the execution on Thursday afternoon, but ultimately decided to deny it so the execution could move Woods' execution could move forward as planned.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued this statement:
“Tonight, justice has been served. Nathaniel Woods, one of two cop-killers in ‘the bloodiest day in Birmingham Police Department history,’ has met his just fate.
“On July 17, 2004, four Birmingham police officers were doing what law enforcement does day in and day out: standing guard to protect us through the enforcement of our laws. The four police officers were attempting to serve a warrant on Nathaniel Woods—a misdemeanor arrest warrant—when Woods led the officers into an ambush. As they were attempting to arrest him, the accomplice of Nathaniel Woods came out of hiding with an SKS rifle and began his onslaught, firing a barrage of armor-piercing bullets at the officers.
“Three officers were murdered that day: Officer Carlos Owen, Officer Harley Chisholm, and Officer Charles Bennett. A fourth officer, Officer Michael Collins, was injured but survived; however, now-Sergeant Collins would tell you, his life was forever changed.
“Tonight, we lift up Officer Collins as well as the families of Officers Owen, Chisholm, and Bennett. And may we also remain grateful—in fact, prayerful—for law enforcement throughout our state.”