The family of an Alabama murder victim is asking the state to halt the execution of the woman’s killer, telling the governor they have forgiven the man and believe he should instead serve life in prison, WBRC-TV reports.
Joe Nathan James, Jr., 49, is scheduled to be executed on July 28 for the 1994 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Faith Hall. James was convicted of killing Hall and sentenced to death in 1996, and again in 1999 following a retrial. Last month, the state announced a date for the execution.
But Hall’s loved ones say that although they still very much miss her, they’ve concluded after much thought and prayer that executing James is not the right answer.
“Taking his life will not bring my mother back,” Toni Melton, Hall’s daughter, told CBS 42. “Everyone is saying ‘y’all are getting justice, y’all are getting justice.’ This is not justice. This is just another family going through a loss like we did.”
“We shouldn’t be playing God. An eye for an eye has never been a good outlook for life.”
Hall’s brother, Helvetius Hall, told the television station that his sister’s relationship with James was souring and that she was trying to get out of it. Hall stalked and later killed her.
Helvetius described his sister as an amazing woman and said her spirit has endured with the family.
And Hall’s children say the upcoming execution is not just distressing to James and his family, but to the victim’s family, too.
“This man literally knows his day and his time,” Melton told the television station. “That right there is pure torture. I know he is going through it right now.”
Her sister, Terryln Hall, added, “And we are too, just knowing.”
“I did have hatred in my heart for this man because you took my mother, but as I got older, became a mother myself, I had to realize you can’t walk around with hatred in your heart,” Terryln Hall told the television station. “In order for me to live a prosperous life, I had to forgive.”
Hall’s family, Helvetius said, is now at peace and is urging the state to grant James clemency.
“Who are we to suggest to take another person’s life? He took someone special from us, but we have forgave him,” Helvetius told WBRC-TV.
The Halls also believe that Faith would be backing their efforts.
“She would’ve forgiven him,” Helvetius said.
On Friday, state Rep. Juandalynn Givan wrote a letter to Gov. Kay Ivey seeking a stay of execution on behalf of the family. The family instead wants James to serve a life sentence without parole.
The governor’s office told WBRC-TV that “the governor will carefully review the facts and any other information presented to her,” according to the television station.
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[Featured image: Joe Nathan James, Jr./Alabama Department of Corrections]