Alabama Man Executed for Violent Murder Committed 20 Years Ago

He's GONE - Lethal Justice Served

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James Barber, who was found guilty of murdering Dorothy Epps in May 2001, was executed and declared deceased at 1:56 AM on Friday, July 21, 2023. At the time of the attack, Dorothy Epps was 75 years old. The tragic incident occurred while Barber was employed as a handyman at her residence in Harvest, AL. He violently beat her to death using a claw hammer and took her purse. 

Following his arrest, Barber confessed to the murder and provided a detailed account of the events. He acknowledged that the killing of Dorothy Epps was both “senseless and stupid.” During the attack, Barber was under the influence of multiple drugs and admitted that he deserved the death penalty for his actions in ending her life.

In November 2022, Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama ordered a suspension of executions in response to issues that occurred during the execution process. Allegedly, one execution was mishandled, with claims that it took the inmate an excruciating three hours to pass away, but the state authorities denied this assertion.

Furthermore, two other executions were stopped because of problems in properly connecting the IV lines necessary for administering the lethal injection drugs. During the pause, thorough reviews were conducted to address the concerns. After making necessary changes, such as increasing the number of medical personnel involved and extending the preparation time, Alabama eventually resumed its executions.

After the Supreme Court turned down a stay request made by Barber’s attorney, he became the first person to be executed in Alabama following the resumption of executions. Before his death, he received 22 visitors, had two phone calls, and partook in a final meal.

During his final moments, Barber apologized to Dorothy Epps’s family and extended forgiveness to the Governor and those present in the room for their involvement in the execution process. Accompanied by a spiritual advisor, Epps was brought to the death chamber.

Alabama’s corrections commissioner, John Hamm, confirmed that Epps received three injections within a span of six minutes. Barber’s age at the time of his execution at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore was 64 years old.

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