Joe Nathan James Jr: Faith Hall's killer executed by lethal injection despite her family's opposition

James Jr, 50, was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of 26-year-old Faith Hall, in Birmingham


                            Joe Nathan James Jr: Faith Hall's killer executed by lethal injection despite her family's opposition
Joe Nathan James Jr (R) was convicted in 1996 for the murder of Faith Hall (L) (Alabama Department of Corrections and photo contributed by Toni Melton)
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Update: Alabma Governor Kay Ivey decided to proceed with the execution of the Alabama death row inmate convicted of killing his former girlfriend, Faith Hall, 26, years ago. Joe Nathan James Jr. received a lethal injection at a south Alabama prison after the U.S. Supreme Court denied his request for a stay. His bid for stay was denied 30 minutes before his execution. 

Despite Hall’s daughters saying that they would rather he serve life in prison, the execution was given the go-ahead and began a few minutes after 9 pm on Thursday, July 28 following a nearly three-hour delay that the state did not explain. He was pronounced dead at 9.27 pm.

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“We hoped the state wouldn’t take a life simply because a life was taken and we have forgiven Mr. Joe Nathan James Jr. for his atrocities toward our family. … We pray that God allows us to find healing after today and that one day our criminal justice system will listen to the cries of families like ours even if it goes against what the state wishes,” said Hall's family in its statement after James's death.

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BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA: Alabama Governor on Wednesday, July 27 announced that she has decided the state will move forward with the plan to execute a man convicted of murdering his ex-lover three decades ago, despite a plea from the victim’s family to spare the killer’s life.

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Making her decision official, Gov Kay Ivey told reporters she is not going to scrap the execution of Joe Nathan James Jr at a south Alabama prison on Thursday evening. James Jr, 50, was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of 26-year-old Faith Hall, in Birmingham.

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Hall’s daughter, who was six when her mother was murdered, and her brother have urged the officials to change James' death sentence to life in prison without parole. But overriding the plea, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall urged Ivey to stay on the execution plans and ensure "justice is done."

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Ivey made her decision public on Wednesday while 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."

Who Is Joe Nathan James Jr?

As per the prosecutors, James and Hall dated for a short period but soon drifted apart. Subsequently, an obsessed James stalked and harassed her for months. Finally on August 15, 1994, he forced his way inside an apartment, pulled a gun from his waistband, and shot her three times. James was convicted of capital murder in 1996 by a jury that voted to recommend the death penalty, which a judge imposed.

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However, after the governor scheduled an execution date this week, Hall’s daughter Terryln Hall urged officials to cancel the plan.

"I know it may sound crazy. Like, you want this man to live? But ... 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 in a recent telephone interview.

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"We shouldn't be playing God," Terryln Hall told CBS42 earlier in July. "An eye for an eye has never been a good outlook for life," she added. "At the end of the day, I feel like no human has the power to kill anyone whether they're right or wrong." Hall's brother, Helvetius Hall, feels the same. "It ain't going to make no closure for us," he said.

In the last few hearings, James has acted as his own attorney in his bid to stop the execution. His latest appeal with the US Supreme Court was filed by a lawyer on his behalf, arguing that Alabama didn't give inmates sufficient notice of their right to select an alternate execution method.

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