Joe Nathan James Jr's Final Words as Alabama Execution Goes Ahead

A convicted murderer was executed in an Alabama prison on Thursday night, despite his victim's family urging authorities to spare his life.

Joe Nathan James Jr., 50, was sentenced to death over the 1994 murder of Faith Hall, his former girlfriend.

Hall's two daughters, aged just 3 and 6 when the murder took place, opposed the execution and described it as a "tragic day for our family."

The convict was executed by lethal injection at a south Alabama prison after the Supreme Court turned down his final request for a stay.

Joe Nathan James Jr executed for murder
Joe Nathan James Jr was executed by lethal injection [stock photo] F. Carter Smith/GETTY

Joe Nathan James Jr's Final Words

Asked if he had any final words James did not respond, and remained motionless with his eyes closed throughout the execution.

The procedure began shortly after 9 p.m. CT, following nearly three hours of delays, with James pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m.

In a statement, issued through the office of state Rep. Juandalynn Givan, Hall's two daughters condemned the execution.

They said: "Today is a tragic 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. 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."

The two daughters had said James should instead serve life in prison and didn't attend the execution.

Joe Nathan James to receive lethal injection
Joe Nathan James Jr. is set to die by lethal injection on Thursday, July 28, 2022 at a south Alabama prison. Alabama Department of Corrections via AP

After they briefly dated, James became infatuated with Hall, stalking her for several months.

On August 15, 1994 he forced his way into an apartment owned by a friend of Hall, which she was visiting following a shopping trip, and shot her three times.

James was first convicted of Hall's murder in 1996 by a Jefferson County jury, which recommended the death penalty.

This conviction was overturned by a state appeal court after finding some police reports had been wrongly admitted as evidence.

A retrial took place in 1999, which led to James once again being convicted and sentenced to death.

On Wednesday a lawyer filed a request for a stay of execution to the Supreme Court arguing Alabama doesn't give inmates sufficient notice to choose an alternative execution method, and pointing out the opposition from Hall's family.

However this was rejected, with the state arguing James "should not be rewarded for his transparent attempt to game the system."

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said the execution sends an "unmistakable message was sent that Alabama stands with victims of domestic violence."

She said: "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.

"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."

The governor said that whilst she had considered the feelings of Hall's family the state "must always fulfill our responsibility to the law, to public safety and to justice."

In June, a federal judge ruled that Oklahoma's use of a three-drug lethal injection protocol was constitutional.

The month before the execution of convicted murderer Kareem Jackson in Ohio was delayed by Mike DeWine, the state's governor, due to problems acquiring the right lethal injection drugs.

Correction 07/29/22 3:14 a.m. ET: This article was updated to correct the spelling of Joe Nathan James Jr.'s name. He was originally referred to as Joe Nathan Jones Jr.