Thursday evening, convicted murderer Joe Nathan James, Jr. was put to death by the State of Alabama for the 1994 killing of his ex-girlfriend Faith Hall.
James’ planned execution was subject to national media scrutiny after Hall’s family publicly lobbied for the state to spare his life. The execution, administered at 9:00 p.m. CST, was carried out at William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.
According to reports, James did not open his eyes throughout the entirety of the procedure and offered no final words. He was pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m.
Earlier this week, Gov. Kay Ivey announced her intentions of allowing the execution to move forward despite immense media coverage of pleas from the victim’s family.
In a statement announcing that the execution had been finalized, Ivey declared that “justice has been served.”
“Faith Hall, the victim of repetitive harassment, serious threats and ultimately, cold-blooded murder, was taken from this earth far too soon at the hands of Joe Nathan James, Jr.,” said Ivey. “Now, after two convictions, a unanimous jury decision and nearly three decades on death row, Mr. James has been executed for capital murder, and justice has been served for Faith Hall.”
Alabama’s chief executive proclaimed that James’ outcome had sent “an unmistakable message” that the state stood with “victims of domestic violence.”
“With any execution case, I look very closely at the history, the cold-hard facts and all other information or correspondence I may receive,” advised the governor. “I also take deeply seriously the feelings and position of the victim’s family and loved ones. However, we must always fulfill our responsibility to the law, to public safety and to justice. Tonight, a fair and lawful sentence was carried out, and an unmistakable message was sent that Alabama stands with victims of domestic violence.”
Attorney General Steve Marshall, who publicly lobbied against James’ death sentence being delayed, outlined the convicted murderer’s pre-execution legal tactics.
“Justice has been served. 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,” Marshall said in a statement.
“In the years since, Joe James has tried to blame everything and everyone in an attempt to escape the consequences of his crime,” continued the attorney general. “He has claimed that his highly experienced trial counsel was “ineffective,” that his artful appellate counsel was “deficient,” and — in a demonstration of shocking cowardice and callousness — that his victim bore the blame for her own murder.”
According to Alabama Department of Corrections execution records, James became the 223rd inmate to be put to death by the state. There are currently 166 Alabama inmates on death row.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL