Joe James was sentenced to death by the State of Alabama for the murder of a woman. According to court documents James went to the place where his ex girlfriend was staying and questioned her about who she was dating. An argument broke out and Joe James would shoot and kill the woman. Joe James would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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|JAMES, JOE NATHAN JR
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The facts surrounding Hall’s murder are essential to our review of James’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. The State’s evidence at James’s 1999 trial tended to show that on August 15, 1992, James shot and killed Hall. Tammy Sneed testified that she and Hall had been out shopping and were returning to Sneed’s apartment on August 15, 1992, when they noticed that James, whom Hall had dated, was following them in a vehicle. They parked at the apartment complex and Hall ran into Sneed’s apartment. Bridget Gregory, a neighbor of Sneed’s, testified that she saw them arrive and that she, Sneed, and Hall went to Sneed’s apartment to talk about what to do about James. James had been following Hall since the two had stopped dating. After some discussion Gregory decided to go to her apartment and telephone the police. Sneed did not have a telephone in her apartment. Gregory said that when she opened the door to Sneed’s apartment James pushed past her and entered the apartment armed with a pistol. She said that James confronted Hall about the man she had been out with the night before. Hall begged James to put the gun down because there were children in the apartment. Gregory testified that James pointed the gun at Hall, that he shot her, and that when Hall fell to the floor James shot her again. James then ran out the back door of the apartment. Sneed also testified that she witnessed James shoot Hall.
Joe James Execution
An Alabama inmate convicted of killing his former girlfriend decades ago was executed Thursday night despite pleas from the victim’s family to spare his life.
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. Officials said he was was pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m. after the start of execution was delayed by nearly three hours.
Joe James, 50, was convicted and sentenced to death in the 1994 shooting death of Faith Hall, 26, in Birmingham. Hall’s daughters have said they would rather James serve life in prison, but Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Wednesday that she planned to let the execution proceed.
Prosecutors said Joe James briefly dated Hall and he became obsessed after she rejected him, stalking and harassing her for months before killing her. On Aug. 15, 1994, after Hall had been out shopping with a friend, James forced his way inside the friend’s apartment, pulled a gun from his waistband and shot Hall three times, according to court documents.
Hall’s two daughters, who were 3 and 6 when their mother was killed, said they wanted James to serve life in prison instead of being executed. The family members not attend the execution.
“Today is a tragic day for our family. We are having to relive the hurt that this caused us many years ago,” the statement issued through state Rep. Juandalynn Givan’s office read. Givan was a friend of Hall’s.
“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 family’s statement read.
Ivey said Thursday that she always deeply considers the feelings of the victim’s family and loved ones, but “must always fulfill our responsibility to the law, to public safety and to justice.”
“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.
She said the execution sends an,” unmistakable message was sent that Alabama stands with victims of domestic violence.”
The execution began a few minutes after 9 p.m. CDT following a nearly three hour delay. James did not open his eyes or show any deliberate movements at any point during the procedure. He did not speak when the warden asked if he had any final words. His breathing became labored, with deep pulsing breaths, and slowed until it was not visible.
Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm, responding to a question about why the execution was delayed, said the state is, “very deliberate in our process in making sure everything goes according to plan.” He did not elaborate. Hamm also said James, who showed no movements at any point, was not sedated.
The execution took place at a prison that houses the state’s death row. An inmate put signs in a cell window calling the execution a “murder.”
A Jefferson County jury first convicted James of capital murder in 1996 and voted to recommend the death penalty, which a judge imposed. The conviction was overturned when a state appeals court ruled a judge had wrongly admitted some police reports into evidence. James was retried and again sentenced to death in 1999, when jurors rejected defense claims that he was under emotional duress at the time of the shooting.
James acted as his own attorney in his bid to stop his execution, mailing handwritten lawsuits and appeal notices to the courts from death row. A lawyer filed the latest appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court on his behalf Wednesday. But the request for a stay was rejected about 30 minutes before the execution was set to begin.
James asked justices for a stay, noting the opposition of Hall’s family and arguing that Alabama did not give inmates adequate notice of their right to select an alternate execution method. He also argued that Ivey’s refusal violates religious freedom laws because the Koran and the Bible “place the concept of forgiveness paramount in this situation.”
The state argued that James waited too late to begin trying to postpone his execution and “should not be rewarded for his transparent attempt to game the system.”
Why Is Joe James On Death Row
When Is Joe James Execution
Joe James Execution
Alabama inmate Joe Nathan James Jr. was executed Thursday night for the 1994 murder of Faith Hall Smith, the state’s top attorney said, despite pleas from the victim’s family not to do so.
“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,” Attorney General Steve Marshall said Thursday in a news release.
James’ time of death was 9:27 p.m. local time Thursday and he was executed by lethal injection, according to a news release from the state’s corrections department.
On Thursday, James did not make any special requests, had no visitors and had three phone calls with attorneys, the state’s corrections department added.
James was convicted and sentenced to death for fatally shooting 26-year-old Smith, whom he had dated in the early 1990s.
Earlier this week, Smith’s daughter, Terrlyn Hall, told CNN affiliate WBMA that the family hoped James would be sentenced to life in prison without parole instead.
“She was a loving, forgiving person,” Hall said of her mother. “I’m quite sure if she was here today, or if she were in this situation, she would want to forgive.”
“We don’t think (execution) is called for because it won’t bring her back,” she added.
Helvetius Hall, Smith’s brother, also pushed for a prison sentence instead of death
“He did a horrible thing,” he told the local news outlet. “He has suffered enough and I don’t think that taking his life is gonna make our life any better.”
The execution happened after more than 25 years of legal appeals in James’ case.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey in a statement said Hall was “the victim of repetitive harassment, serious threats and ultimately, cold-blooded murder” by James.
“Tonight, a fair and lawful sentence was carried out, and an unmistakable message was sent that Alabama stands with victims of domestic violence,” Ivey said. CNN has reached out to the governor for further comment.
James and Smith had a “volatile” relationship, according to a US Court of Appeals filing summarizing the case. After they broke up, he stalked and harassed her, went to her home uninvited and threatened to kill her and her ex-husband, the filing detailed. In 1994, he followed her to a friend’s home and then shot her three times, killing her, the filing states.
A jury in Jefferson County found him guilty of Smith’s murder and recommended the death penalty in 1996, but the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction based on erroneous admission of hearsay evidence, the appeals court states.
Before the retrial, James’ legal team arranged a plea deal with prosecutors in which he’d receive life in prison in exchange for a guilty plea, but James rejected that plan, the filing states
“James explained that he had it pretty good on death row — he had his own room, his own television that he could control to watch what he wanted, and plenty of reading material,” the filing says. “He did not have to worry about being attacked by other prisoners, because he was always one-on-one with the guards.”
At the retrial, a jury again convicted James of capital murder and sentenced him to death in 1999, and appeals courts have affirmed the decision. In 2020, the US Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and rejected James’ claim of ineffective counsel.
A motion to stay his execution was denied by the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Tuesday.
The state of Alabama last executed a man in January after the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn a lower-court ruling to block the execution. Matthew Reeves, who had been convicted of the robbery and killing of Willie Johnson in 1996, was executed less than two hours later.