No explanation for delayed lethal injection
Alabama’s prison commissioner did not explain what caused a lethal injection to be delayed for hours beyond saying staff members were being careful, but others said the time lapse was troubling and raises questions about what took place.
Joe Nathan James Jr. was put to death Thursday night for the 1994 murder of his ex-girlfriend 26-year-old Faith Hall more than three hours after the procedure originally was supposed to begin.
The execution was set for 6 p.m. and the U.S. Supreme Court denied James’ request for a stay at 5:24 p.m. The execution did not get underway until about 9:04 p.m. James was pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m.
Shortly after the execution, Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said “nothing out of the ordinary” had occurred.
Officials say a delay of that length is unusual compared to executions conducted in Alabama in recent years.