ATMORE, Ala. (WIAT) – The State of Alabama has executed Joe Nathan James, Jr. for the 1994 murder of Faith Hall in Jefferson County. Prison officials said James’ time of death was 9:27 p.m.
The execution proceeded against the wishes of Faith Hall’s family, who had asked that James’ life be spared.
The execution came after a significant delay. The execution was scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. but did not begin until just after 9:00 p.m. Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm refused to provide an explanation for the delay.
The curtains of the execution chamber opened at 9:02. After James’ death warrant was read, he offered no final words. James’ eyes were not open at the beginning of the execution, and he appeared motionless, save for his breathing.
At 9:04, the lethal injection began. A minute later, James’ eyelids fluttered but did not open.
At 9:06, James body, including his lips and eyes made significant movement after which James’ breathing appeared to be labored.
At 9:09, a prison official conducted a conciousness test, shouting “Inmate James,” pushing back James’ eyelid, and pinching his upper arm. James did not appear to react, but his labored breathing continued until 9:12, when his breathing appeared to cease.
At 9:13, James’ eyes opened slightly.
By 9:14, James was no longer moving in any way.
Prison officials closed the curtains of the execution chamber at 9:18.
According to prison officials, James had no in-person visits on the day of his execution or the day prior. He had phone calls with multiple attorneys and his mother, although it’s worth noting that James has been representing himself in recent court filings.
Officials said that on the day of his execution, James refused his dinner tray and did not ask for a final meal, although officials noted that James was “observed” eating a “regular food tray” at lunch.
James made no special requests of the government that would carry out his lethal injection.