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Alabama death row inmate James Barber is executed following scrutiny over the state’s lethal injection process

Alabama death row inmate James Barber executed amid controversy over the state’s lethal injection process.

Alabama Death Row
Image Source: (Alabama Department of Corrections)

Oh, boy! Alabama had quite a wild night, resuming those lethal injections after some rocky road with past executions. James Barber, a man convicted for the beating death of 75-year-old Dorothy Epps in 2001, faced the ultimate price. The state put him to sleep with a lethal injection at the stroke of 1:56 a.m. down at a South Alabama prison.

Now, let me tell you, Barber’s story had some twists and turns. He confessed to snuffing out poor Dorothy’s life with a claw hammer and making a run for it with her purse. Jurors gave him the thumbs down with an 11-1 vote, and a judge dropped the hammer on him, sentencing him to death.

But before he shuffled off this mortal coil, Barber had a few things to say. He told his family he loved them and offered up an apology to Dorothy’s kin. “I want to tell the Epps’ family I love them. I’m sorry for what happened,” he said, and boy, oh boy, he couldn’t find the words to match his feelings.

Barber even had some forgiveness to spare for the governor and the folks in the room about to pull the plug on him. Now that’s something you don’t hear every day!

You know, it was Alabama’s first dance with the executioner this year. They had called a timeout on the whole execution business back in November to figure out what went wrong. You see, they had some real trouble trying to plug those IVs into the previous condemned folks’ veins. Talk about a sticky situation!

Barber’s attorneys tried to stop the show, saying Alabama’s got a track record of messing up these lethal injections. But the Supreme Court wasn’t having it, and Barber’s fate was sealed.

And as the clock ticked towards his final moments, Barber had a heart-to-heart with a spiritual adviser by his side. The lethal cocktail kicked in, and his eyes closed, his abdomen pulsed, and he took his last breaths.

Oh, and would you believe it? Over in Oklahoma, they had their own execution drama going on too. A guy named Jemaine Cannon met his end for stabbing a Tulsa woman to death with a butcher knife back in ’95. It was quite the double feature for the night!

You know, the whole deal with IVs gave Alabama a real headache. But this time, they were determined to get it right. They had their IV team on the case, and they got those lines into Barber in no time – three sticks in just six minutes! Now that’s some quick work!

Of course, there were voices of concern, with folks fearing history might repeat itself. But Alabama said they were prepared this time. They added more medical professionals to the mix, got some new equipment, and even had a few dress rehearsals.

Now, I tell you, this whole execution business got heated up in the courts too. Justice Sonia Sotomayor had some strong words to say, writing about Alabama’s experiments with human lives. Talk about throwing shade!

But, as they say, justice was served in the end. Attorney General Steve Marshall felt pretty pleased about it, calling Barber’s crime “especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel.”

Well, folks, that’s the tale of Alabama’s first lethal injection of the year. A real rollercoaster ride with a dose of drama, and the clock ticking away as they battled the past. But when the sun came up, James Barber was no more.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s a story that’ll make you stop and think for a moment.

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