USA - Alabama. James Barber, 64, White, was executed
July 21, 2023:
(July 21, 2023) - James Barber, 64, White, was executed.
He was pronounced dead at 1:56 a.m. after receiving a lethal injection at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.
Barber had been sentenced to death on January 9, 2004 (see Hoc) after he had confessed in the May 20, 2001 robbery and murder of 75-year-old Dorothy Epps. Jurors voted 11-1 to recommend a death sentence, which a judge imposed.
It was the first execution carried out in Alabama this year after the state halted executions last fall. The move came after the state halted two lethal injections because of difficulties inserting IVs into the condemned men's veins. Advocacy groups claimed a third execution, carried out after a delay because of IV problems, was botched, a claim the state has disputed.
Barber's attorneys unsuccessfully asked the courts to block the execution, saying the state has a pattern of failing "to carry out a lethal injection execution in a constitutional manner."
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey halted executions in November 2022 and directed the state prison system to undertake a "top-to-bottom" review of death penalty procedures after 2 lethal injections (those of Alan Miller and of Kenneth Eugene Smith) were called off because of difficulties inserting an IV into the veins of the inmates.
Advocacy groups said a 3rd execution—that of Joe Nathan James Jr.— was botched. James was put to death in July after a lengthy delay.
Ivey then announced in February that the state was resuming executions. Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said prison system had added to its pool of medical professionals, ordered new equipment and conducted additional rehearsals.
One of the changes Alabama made following the internal review was to give the state more time to carry out executions. The Alabama Supreme Court did away with its customary midnight deadline to get an execution underway in order to give the state more time to establish an IV line and battle last-minute legal appeals.
In the hours leading up to the scheduled execution, Barber had 22 visitors and two phone calls, a prison spokesperson said.
The Supreme Court denied Barber's request for a stay without comment.
Barber becomes the 1st person executed this year in Alabama, the 71st overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1983, the 15th person executed this year in the U.S. and the number 1,573 overall since the nation resumed executions in 1977.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/james-barber-alabama-execution-resumes-after-lethal-injection-pause-for-review/ (Source: CBS News, 21/07/2023)