Open letter to Gov. Kay Ivey – A plea for Nathaniel Woods


Dear Governor Ivey,

My name is Elaena Faraino Starr and I personally spent seven long days sitting on a metal chair reading more than 2,500 pages of Nathaniel Woods’ court transcripts, motions from the State and Defense, and appeals notes. I’ve spent an additional 250 hours over the past 28 days studying every last word of Nathaniel’s case.
While I may not have a legal degree, I am highly analytical and detail-oriented. Not only do I have a strong memory of what I read, but I also took meticulous notes on every key aspect of this case. I personally paid to have the entire court file given to me so that I could study every last detail of this case. I am surrounded by lawyers in my family and understand the basic principles of justice.
I then shared my entire notes with my daughter Lauren Faraino to get her legal opinion.
With all humility, my daughter Lauren got a perfect score on the SAT college assessment and was accepted into Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford. Lauren attended Harvard and University of Chicago Law School. She then practiced at the best corporate law firm in the world, Wachtell Lipton, in New York City.
Lauren and I completed a summary on our findings on this case. Every single person of a conservative nature that I have shared this document with has come to the same conclusion that I have: Nathaniel was wrongfully convicted. The people who have read this report passionately believe that this case – Nathaniel’s life – warrants further consideration.
We must not allow the execution of Nathaniel Woods to be carried out on Thursday, March 5, 2020. I plead with you to sit down uninterrupted and personally read every word of our report. It is crucial that you personally read our report rather than exclusively relying on a case summary from a staff member.
I will be frank with you: if I had not done my own research and had only read the case summaries prepared by the court, I would never have though Nathaniel was a man worth fighting for. Yet the simple fact is, the court summary fails to adequately address the many, many errors and inconsistencies that led a jury to wrongfully convict Nathaniel. Armed with the full truth of Nathaniel’s case, I feel confident speaking out against the certain injustice of his death sentence.
I humbly request for you to hit the PAUSE button and allow Nathaniel’s new legal team to show the evidence that his prior lawyers missed, through no fault of Nathaniel himself.
I have never in my life even remotely stood up for anyone in this manner. Usually I read about an injustice or mistake, say “that is too bad” and then proceed with my life. But that is not the way to live. We cannot stand by and let this happen, especially after seeing this case in a new light.
Thank you for your integrity, your conscience and your courage.
Elaena Faraino Starr
Elaena F. Starr is the mother of three children and a lifetime resident of Alabama, originally from Fayette. She is the founder and previous owner of Magic Muffins Bakery in Mountain Brook. Starr attended Auburn University, where she was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and graduated from the Mississippi University for Women, where she was an officer for the College Republicans’ Club.


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