Death Row Prisoner To Be Executed Tonight Despite His Victim's Family's Requests
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections/AP/Shutterstock/Historic Collection/Alamy Stock Photo
Thursday, 28 July, the state of Alabama will execute a man who has been on death row for almost thirty years.
Joe Nathan James Jr is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6.00pm (00:00 BST) for a murder conviction he was handed decades ago.
James was sentenced to death for the 1994 shooting of Faith Hall, an ex-girlfriend he became ‘obsessed’ with.
However, Hall’s daughters have said they don’t want James to be executed, and would rather he serve life behind bars.
But Alabama governor Kay Ivey insisted on Wednesday (27 July) that James’ execution would go ahead, despite calls from Hall’s family to spare his life.
According to prosecutors, James and Hall briefly dated and after she rejected him, James became obsessed with her, even stalking and harassing Hall before eventually killing her.
Court documents say James forced his way into Hall’s friend’s apartment on 15 August 1994, and shot her three times with a gun he pulled from his waistband.
Two years later, James was convicted of capital murder by a Jefferson county jury, who recommended the death penalty, which the judge imposed.
However, James’ conviction ended up being overturned after a state appeal found the judge had admitted police reports into evidence that he shouldn’t have.
James was once again sentenced to death in 1999 when a jury rejected claims made by the defence that he was under emotional duress when the shooting happened.
Hall’s two daughters were just three and six when their mum was killed and, according to The Guardian, recently shared that they’d rather James serve life in prison.
Terryln Hall explained: “I just feel like we can’t play God. We can’t take a life. And it’s not going to bring my mom back.
“We thought about it and prayed about it, and we found it in ourselves to forgive him for what he did. We really wish there was something that we could do to stop it.”
She added: “I did hate him. I did. And I know hate is such a strong-feeling word, but I really did have hate in my heart. As I got older and realised, you can’t walk around with hate in your heart.
“You still got to live. And once I had kids of my own, you know, I can’t pass it down to my kids and have them walk around with hate in their hearts.”
Steve Marshall, the Alabama attorney general, urged Ivey to allow the execution to go ahead, saying: “It is our obligation to ensure that justice is done for the people of Alabama.”
Marshall added: “The jury in James’s case unanimously decided that his brutal murder of Faith Hall warranted a sentence of death.”
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Ivey confirmed she wouldn’t intervene, saying: “My staff and I have researched all the records and all the facts and there’s no reason to change the procedure or modify the outcome. The execution will go forward.”
UNILAD has approached Marshall for comment.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677