Meanwhile in Alabama
Two cases highlight America's ongoing inability to deliver equal justice under the law
Five months ago, former pastor Mack Charles Andrews, a brutal serial child rapist called one of his victims from inside his prison and threatened to kill her. This week, an Alabama judge set him free after serving just 5 1/2 years of a 15-year sentence.
Shay Walker, the victim Andrews threatened, is now an actor and filmmaker living in New Orleans. She told Alabama.com this week that she was expecting to face Andrews at a November parole hearing. She was given no warning that he was about to be released.
Originally identified as “Jane,” Walker first spoke to Alabama.com in 2015. She endured multiple forms of molestation and sexual violation by Andrews beginning at the age of 7 and was raped by him on her father’s grave at the age of 9. She continued to attend his church and was abused by him until the age of 12.
As Alabama.com reported at the time:
Andrews was arrested on Oct. 3, 2013 on multiple counts of rape, sexual abuse, attempted rape, sodomy and sexual torture…. If convicted, Andrews faces life in prison.
In reality, he was sentenced to just 15 years. Today, following his sudden release, he is walking free, not even subject to the regulations of a parolee.
The treatment of Mack Charles Andrews, who is white, stands in stark contrast to that of Nathaniel Woods, a Black man executed by the State of Alabama in 2020, despite a public outcry.
As USA Today reported in March, 2020:
Woods’s case attracted national attention – including from high-profile supporters such as Martin Luther King III and Kim Kardashian – because of claims of police misconduct, flimsy evidence and poor representation in his 2005 trial.
Woods was executed for the murder of three police officers in 2004, despite the fact that even prosecutors acknowledge that he didn’t pull the trigger. As USA Today also noted: “The confessed shooter, Kerry Spencer, who is himself on death row, has said Woods was ‘actually 100% innocent.’”
Before Woods’s execution, Kimberly Chisholm Simmons, the sister of one of the 2004 victims called Jo Bonner, chief of staff to Alabama’s Republican Governor Kay Ivey.
Bonner told Simmons she should expect a call back.
The call never came.
Nathaniel Woods was killed by lethal injection on March 5, 2020, at Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama.
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