Killer was put to death despite the victim’s family’s pleas for mercy

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Killer was put to death despite the victim's family's pleas for mercy

After pestering Faith Hall for months, Joe Nathan James Jr. fatally shot her in 1994.

Despite requests from the victim’s family to save his life, an Alabama inmate who was found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend decades ago and sentenced to death has been killed.

After the US supreme court rejected his application for a stay of execution, Joe Nathan James Jr. was given a fatal injection in a jail in south Alabama.

He was declared dead, according to officials, at 9.27 p.m. (3.27 a.m. on Friday BST), about three hours after the surgery was supposed to begin.

James, 50, was found guilty and given the death penalty for the Birmingham shooting murder of Faith Hall, 26, in 1994.

The daughters of Ms. Hall have stated that they prefer James to serve a life sentence, but Alabama Governor Kay Ivey declared on Wednesday that she intends to carry out the execution.

According to the prosecution, James had a brief relationship with Hall, but once she rejected him, he grew infatuated and stalked and harassed her for months before killing her.

According to court records, on August 15, 1994, after Ms. Hall and a friend went shopping, James broke into the friend’s apartment, drew a revolver from his belt, and shot Ms. Hall three times.

When their mother was slain, Ms. Hall’s two kids, ages three and six, expressed their desire for James to be sentenced to life in prison rather than be put to death.

The family members did 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 family’s statement issued through state representative Juandalynn Givan’s office read. Ms Givan was a friend of Ms 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.”

Ms Ivey said she always deeply considers the feelings of the victim’s family and loved ones, but “must always fulfil our responsibility to the law, to public safety and to justice”.

She added: “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 the execution sends an “unmistakable message was sent that Alabama stands with victims of domestic violence”.

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