The ex*cution of Alabama de*th row inmate Joe Nathan James Jr. last month may have taken longer than any other capital pun!shment in US history, according to human rights organization Reprieve US.
As reported by The Guardian, an analysis conducted by the aforementioned group estimates that it took state officials between three and three and a half hours to carry out James’ de*th penalty.
Reprieve US argues that this goes against the constitutional rights of US citizens to humane pun!shments.
“Subjecting a pris0ner to three hours of pa!n and suffering is the definition of crue| and unusual pun!shment,” the director of Reprieve US, Maya Foa, said in a statement over the weekend. “States cannot continue to pretend that the abh0rrent practice of lethal injection is in any way humane.”
Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections
As reported by CNN, James was given a lethal injection at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore on July 28.
He was ex*cuted over the 1994 m*rder of his ex-girlfriend – despite pleas from the v!ctim’s family to refrain from taking away the man’s life.
The ex*cution took place just two days after the US Court of Appeals rejected a motion to stay his ex*cution. He was pronounced de*d at 9:27 PM local time, but was supposed to be put to de*th some three hours earlier, at 6:00 PM.
In 1996, James was conv!cted of fata|ly sho0ting 26-year-old Faith Hall in Birmingham and was later given the de*th sentence.
Hall’s daughters argued that James should serve a life sentence in pris0n. However, Alabama governor, Kay Ivey, stated that the ex*cution would take place regardless.
Credit: Jim West / Alamy
In response to the governor’s call to proceed with the ex*cution, Hall’s family said in a statement published by the local TV station WIAT:
“Today is a tr*gic day for our family. We are having to relive the hurt that this caused us many years ago. We hoped the state wouldn’t take a life simply because a life was taken and we have forgiven Mr Joe Nathan James Jr …
“We pray that God allows us to find healing after today and that one day our cr!minal justice system will listen to the cries of families like ours even if it goes against what the state wishes. Our voices matter and so does the life of Mr Joe Nathan James Jr.”
James was said to have had a brief romance with Hall, later becoming obsessed with her after she rejected him and proceeded to haras& and stalk her for months, before eventually going on to sho0t her de*d.
Per court documents, James managed to get inside her friend’s apartment on August 15, 1994 and sh0t Hall three times.
A jury found James gu!lty of capital m*rder and voted to recommend the de*th penalty, which was imposed by a judge.
This was overturned when a state appeals court ruled a judge had wrongly submitted police reports as evidence for the jury. James had a retrial in 1999 and was again sentenced to de*th.
Hall’s daughters were aged three and six when they lost their mother. The two said they would rather James serve life in pris0n.
“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,” Terryln Hall told The Associated Press.
“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.”