After 26 years on Alabama’s death row, Joe Nathan James was executed Thursday night despite the objections of the victim’s family.
In 1994, James shot and killed 26-year-old Faith Hall after she broke off a short-lived relationship with him. Hall, aged three years old and six years respectively at the time, was the mother to two children.
Now fully grown, Hall’s daughters lobbied to have 49-year-old James’s life spared.
” I don’t want the execution to continue,” Terrlyn said to a CBS affiliate.
“Having an eye for another eye is not a positive outlook on life,” Toni Hall said, Toni’s sister.
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James had petitioned the US Supreme Court to stay his execution “pursuant to the wishes of the surviving members of the family of the victim.”
” The victims and their families have a central role in the justice system and should be heard in the case of the final punishment of offenders,” James’s lawyer stated in an appeal to Supreme Court.
It is an honor to the victims’ daughters to be able to forgive their mother and continue their lives. It is not a way to live. These are admirable women who should be applauded–especially in a dysfunctional society such as ours where wielding your victimhood and trauma forever is treated as a virtue.
However, punishment is never up to victims or their families. This is not the way our system operates. This is not the way our system should operate.
If these young girls called for the execution of their mother, they would understand that this is not what happens.
This is the approach that we should adopt regarding their request for leniency.
It’s just not possible.
There is a reason criminal proceedings do not involve “the victim against the perpetrator” but rather “the people in New York against the accused perp” or “the citizens of New York against the perp,” because a crime against the community, the victims, and the general public.
In order for the system to work objectively, it is not possible to allow victims or individuals to decide how the matter are handled.
This Joe Nathan James was guilty of a crime against us all. He took a life. He killed a member our society. He must pay the price. He can repent, which is fine. I wish he would. Reform and repentance are essential. You must pay the price for your crime. The price you pay for your crime is determined by the victims.
Also, 26 years on death row is not an eye for an eye. Joe Nathan James had every chance to have a fair trial. He was also given a quarter-century to reconcile with his Creator. He also stole her life and both of these things.
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