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Can Bernie Sanders or Bart Starr Jr.—or Anyone—Save Nate Woods From Execution?

Sanders probably has little, if any, influence with Gov. Ivey. But he does have the ability to bring national attention to an issue just by mentioning it.

 As early as tonight—Thursday, March 5—a black man in Alabama, Nathaniel Woods, is scheduled to be executed for three tragic murders that another man has confessed to. (Photo: Alabama Dept. of Corrections)

 As early as tonight—Thursday, March 5—a black man in Alabama, Nathaniel Woods, is scheduled to be executed for three tragic murders that another man has confessed to. (Photo: Alabama Dept. of Corrections)

In every stump-speech Sen. Bernie Sanders gives he talks about America's broken and racist criminal justice system. As early as tonight—Thursday, March 5—a black man in Alabama, Nathaniel Woods, is scheduled to be executed for three tragic murders that another man has confessed to. At this late hour, only Republican Governor Kay Ivey has the power to stop the execution.

Sanders probably has little, if any, influence with Gov. Ivey. But he does have the ability to bring national attention to an issue just by mentioning it. And what he mentions doesn't even have to deal with Woods' guilt or innocence. He just has to point out that there is someone who Gov. Ivey likely does respect and that she should listen carefully to what that person has to say.

Although he grew up in Wisconsin, Bart Starr Jr. has lived in Alabama for decades. His father, who recently passed away, played quarterback at the University of Alabama  65 years ago before embarking on a Hall of Fame career with the Green Bay Packers.

Bart Jr. and his wife Elaena have done extensive research on Nate Woods' case. They are using their platform to say that his execution would be a grave injustice. But outside of Alabama this story hasn't been covered. The coronavirus and Super Tuesday have made it all but impossible for other news to break through.

There is very little time before scheduled execution—but there is still time. If Bernie weighs in and asks people to listen to Bart Starr and read what he has to say, a lot of phone calls (334) 242-7100 and messages can get to Gov. Ivey very quickly. Maybe she will take a second look at what the Starrs have been trying to tell her. This is Nate’s only hope and time is getting extremely short.

Bill Kitchen

Bill Kitchen is an activist based in upstate New York.

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