USA. Death penalty. The execution of Joe Nathan James Jr. could be the longest in the history of the country

Procedure for administering a lethal dose of poison to Joe Nathan James Jr. could last more than three hours, inform American activists. This is evidenced by the injuries revealed during the autopsy of the man and the reports of the journalists present at the scene. This would mean that the execution of James convicted of murder almost 30 years ago took longer than any other recorded execution in the United States.

The execution of Joe Nathan James Jr. was performed on Thursday, July 28 at the Atmore, Alabama prison. A man sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of his ex-partner, 26-year-old Faith Hall, died after being given a poison injection. According to “The Atlantic”, James was supposed to be executed at 18 (local time – ed.). Meanwhile media representatives were admitted to the room where the execution was carried out, only at 21. Three minutes later the poison administration procedure was officially started. The authorities confirmed the death of the man at 21:27.

Even the relatives of the victim did not want this execution

There are many indications, however, that in fact the execution lasted much longer. Citing the results of an independent autopsy, the death penalty abolitionist Reprieve US emphasizes that the lethal injection likely began long before the media was released. The team carrying out the execution had to try to connect the set unsuccessfully for at least three hours, which could have caused the inmate suffering. This is evidenced by injuries to the hands and wrists – stabs, bruises, stab wounds. Maya Foa, director of Reprieve US, believes that exposing a prisoner to “three hours of pain and suffering exhausts the definition of cruel and extraordinary punishment.” “States cannot continue to pretend that the disgusting practice of lethal injection is humane in any way,” he writes in a statement quoted by the Guardian.

If the poison administration procedure actually started at approx. 18, the execution of James’ death sentence was the longest officially recorded execution in the United States. According to the reports of journalists who witnessed the execution, when they were allowed into the room where the sentence was carried out, the convict did not react to any stimuli. He remained motionless the whole time, his eyes closed. He didn’t say a single word.

Joe Nathan James Jr.Alabama Department of Corrections

In response to media and public criticism, state authorities issued a statement on the matter. In it, they noted that in the case of James “there is nothing extraordinary.” Later, however, the content of the statement was changed – it was admitted that the executors had a problem with piercing the condemned’s vein.

Controversy is caused not only by the way James was executed, but also by the fact that it took place at all. Faith Hall’s family have appealed to the court on several occasions to change their life sentence. The relatives of the victims explained that they were convinced that the woman who was murdered in 1994 would have opted to suspend the execution herself.

The longest execution in US history

Reprieve US notes that Alabama authorities do not learn from mistakes. Activists recall the story of Doyle Lee Hamm who was supposed to be executed in 2018. For two hours, the team of executioners tried to inject poison into his body, repeatedly puncturing the convict’s legs and groin. In the end, a decision was made to cancel the execution due to the heavy bleeding in the man. Hamm avoided the death penalty after he died last year of cancer.

To date, the longest officially registered execution in the United States was the execution of Joseph Water in July 2014. The entire poison injection procedure took more than two hours, and the Arizona authorities where the execution was carried out described it as “failed”. Ultimately, however, the doctors found the man dead.

SEE ALSO: In Missouri, a condemned man was executed for pardon for whom the Pope appealed

“The Guardian”, “The Atlantic”, Reprieve US

Main photo source: Alabama Department of Corrections

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