Alabama: Joe Nathan James Jr. executed – against the will of the victims’ family

After a delay of about three hours, 50-year-old Joe Nathan James Jr. was executed by lethal injection by the U.S. state of Alabama on Thursday night.

He was sentenced to death for the 1994 shooting death of his 26-year-old ex-girlfriend Faith Hall, who had previously been repeatedly stalked and harassed by him after the two separated.

The Department of Corrections did not provide specifics on the reason for the delay in carrying out the death sentence. It said there was nothing out of the ordinary, that they just needed the time to make sure the processes to execute Joe James Jr. were being done correctly.

Both Alabama Attorney General and Governor Kay Ivey declared after the execution that justice had been served. Although James’ guilt is not in question, critics cast massive doubt on the veracity of that claim.

That’s because the family of victim Faith Hall had clearly opposed the offender’s execution, calling for the death sentence to be commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“We hoped that the state would not take a life just because a life was taken, and we forgave Mr. Joe Nathan James Jr. for his cruelty to our family. …We pray that God will allow us to find healing after today, and that our criminal justice system will one day listen to the cries of families like ours, even if it goes against the wishes of the state. Our voices matter, and so does the life of Joe Nathan James Jr.”

Faith Hall’s relatives had declined to attend the execution as witnesses.