Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

 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)

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.

Bill Kitchen

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.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Bill Kitchen

Bill Kitchen

Bill Kitchen is an activist based in upstate New York. Bill left college 50 years ago to organize welfare recipients in South Providence, RI. He now works mostly on climate issues.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Reckless Misuse of Resources': House Approves $778 Billion Military Budget

"There was no CBO score needed. No concern about the deficit. No mention of inflation," said Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

Jake Johnson ·


Senate Dems Help Torpedo Resolution That Would Have Blocked $650 Million Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

"My simple question is, why in the world would the United States reward a regime that has caused such pain in Yemen with more weapons," Sanders asked after the vote. "The answer is we should not."

Brett Wilkins ·


Amnesty Scorecard Finds Twitter Failing to Protect Women From Online Abuse

"As our world has become increasingly dependent on digital spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic, it's critical that Twitter meet this moment with demonstrated commitment to improving the online experiences of all users, regardless of their identity."

Jessica Corbett ·


Filibuster Reform for Debt Ceiling Fight But Not Voting Rights or Reproductive Freedom?

"If our senators are willing to suspend the filibuster to protect our economy, they should be willing to suspend it to protect our democracy and our freedom to vote."

Jessica Corbett ·


As Senate Holds Guantánamo Hearing, Biden Urged to 'Finally End This Chapter of Injustice'

"Guantánamo is a centerpiece of the forever wars. It is a shameful symbol of racial injustice, torture, and violations of the Constitution and international law."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo