ATMORE, Ala. – An Alabama death row inmate was executed Thursday night for the slaying of his ex-girlfriend 28 years ago.
Joe Nathan James Jr., 50, was executed by lethal injection at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, AL.com reported. James was executed over the objections of the victim’s family, who fought to keep the state from carrying out the death penalty, WIAT-TV reported.
The execution went forward after the U.S. Supreme Court denied his request for a stay, according to The Associated Press.
James was convicted of capital murder twice for shooting 26-year-old Faith Hall inside her friend’s Birmingham apartment on Aug. 15, 1994, AL.com reported. Hall was James’ former girlfriend. James forced his way inside the apartment, pulled a gun from his waistband and shot Hall three times, according to court documents.
A Jefferson County jury first convicted James of capital murder in 1996 and recommended the death penalty, which was imposed by a judge, the AP reported. The conviction was overturned on appeal after it was ruled that a judge had wrongly admitted some police reports into evidence.
James received a retrial and was convicted and sentenced to death in 1999, AL.com reported.
James’ execution began at 9 p.m. CDT and the death warrant was read three minutes later, according to the news outlet.
He had no last words and was pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m. CDT, prison officials said.
“Justice has been served,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a news release. “Joe James was put to death for the heinous act he committed nearly three decades ago: the cold-blooded murder of an innocent young mother, Faith Hall.”
Hall’s daughter, Terrlyn Hall, told WBMA-TV that the family hoped James would be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
“She was a loving, forgiving person,” Terrlyn Hall told the television station about her mother. “I’m quite sure if she was here today, or if she were in this situation, she would want to forgive.
“We don’t think (execution) is called for because it won’t bring her back.”
In a statement, Hall’s family called Thursday “a tragic day for our family.”
“We are having to relive the hurt that this caused us many years ago,” the family’s statement, issued through state Rep. Juandalynn Givan’s office, said. “We’ve asked Governor Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall to hear our voices and respect our wishes. We know they decided not to.”
Givan was a friend of Hall’s, according to WBMA.
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