On Thursday, at 9:01 pm local time in Alabama, Nathaniel Woods 42, was pronounced dead after being executed by the state.
Woods was convicted of capital murder in 2005 for the deaths of three Birmingham police officers who were shot dead a year earlier.
However, Woods never pulled a trigger and another defendant in the case, Kerry Spencer, took all the blame, insisting that Woods was innocent.
“Nate is absolutely innocent,” Spencer, who also is on death row told CNN. “That man didn’t know I was going to shoot anybody just like I didn’t know I was going to shoot anybody that day, period.”
Woods, just before his killing, offered no last words.
In the past week, as his execution drew closer, activists, including Martin Luther King III, rallied behind Woods, petitioning for another look at his case that was surrounded by controversy and concerns.
In 2004, when officers stormed the drug house where Spencer and Woods were, Woods surrendered to police, supporters say.
In addition to the other defendant admitting sole guilt in the crime, Woods said that he did not have proper representation during his trial and was told that he could not be convicted of capital murder as an accomplice, which prompted him to turn down a plea deal that prosecutors offered him, among other issues.
Still, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a last-minute stay, after first ordering a temporary pause on the execution and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey ultimately refused to use her powers of commutation, CNN reports.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall insisted that Woods’ received due punishment, slamming the words “innocent” and “surrendered” as “falsehoods.”
“The falsehoods are the descriptors ‘surrendered’ and ‘innocent’: Neither apply whatsoever to Nathaniel Woods, whose actions directly caused the deaths of three policemen and injury to another,” the statement from the attorney general said. “Justice is set to be carried out tomorrow. The only injustice in the case of Nathaniel Woods is that which was inflicted on those four policemen that terrible day.”
Prosecutors further insisted that Woods was far from an innocent bystander, with Marshall saying that Woods told officers that, “If you come in here, we’ll f–k you up.”
Marshall also accused Woods of bragging about the shootings and composing drawing and songs boasting about the deaths.
Marshall also said that there is no evidence that Wood was ever offered a plea deal.
Still, Woods’ supporters expressed outrage of the carrying out of the execution, with King III slamming it as a “mockery of justice.”