Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Alabama Executes Man for 2001 Beating Death After Lethal Injection Review




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Alabama carried out an execution on Friday, putting an end to a long-standing case involving the 2001 beating death of Dorothy Epps, Your Content has learned.

The state resumed lethal injections after a series of failed executions prompted an internal review of procedures.

The executed man, James Barber, aged 64, received a lethal injection at a south Alabama prison and was pronounced dead at 1:56 a.m. Barber’s attorneys had attempted a last-minute legal fight to stop the execution, citing difficulties in obtaining intravenous access during recent executions in the state. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against him, allowing the execution to proceed.

Governor Kay Ivey expressed her thoughts, stating, “Tonight, the justice that James Barber managed to avoid for more than two decades has finally been served. In 2001, 75-year-old Dorothy Epps desperately fought for her life as Mr. Barber brutally and gruesomely beat her to death in her own home.”

As Your Content readers know, Prosecutors presented evidence showing that Barber, a handyman, had confessed to killing Epps with a claw hammer and stealing her purse. He was subsequently convicted, and jurors recommended a death sentence by an 11-1 vote, which the judge imposed.

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Before his execution, Barber conveyed his love to his family and offered an apology to the Epps family, stating, “Tell the Epps’ family I love them. I’m sorry for what happened… No words would fit how I feel.” He also expressed forgiveness towards the governor and others involved in the execution.

The execution of James Barber marks Alabama’s first this year, following a suspension of executions in November to conduct an internal review of execution procedures. The state faced difficulties in previous lethal injections, with issues arising from inserting intravenous lines into the condemned inmates’ veins.

Alabama’s governor, in February, had announced the resumption of executions after improvements were made in the prison system. The state had added medical professionals to its pool, acquired new equipment, and conducted additional rehearsals to ensure proper execution protocols.

The Supreme Court’s denial of Barber’s stay request led to his execution, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissenting and expressing concerns about the state’s handling of executions. However, the Alabama attorney general’s office urged the court to proceed with the execution.

As the hours counted down to the scheduled execution, Barber had 22 visitors and two phone calls and partook in a final meal. In the moments before his execution, he spoke with a spiritual adviser before the drugs were administered.

James Barber’s case represents a significant chapter in Alabama’s capital punishment history, and the state’s renewed efforts to ensure the constitutionality and efficiency of its lethal injection procedures.

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