Supreme Court denies request to stay Alabama execution

The Supreme Court denied a request Wednesday evening to stay the execution of an Alabama man who will receive the death penalty for killing his ex-girlfriend in 1994.

“The application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied,” read the order from the Supreme Court in the case of Joe Nathan James Jr.

James will be executed Thursday evening by lethal injection following the final court order, which follows a request from James’s family to cancel the execution.

The initial trial in James’s case found that he stalked ex-girlfriend Faith Hall after the end of their relationship and eventually shot her three times, killing her.

Hall’s daughters have said that they disagree with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s (R) decision to let James’s execution proceed.

“I just feel like we can’t play God. We can’t take a life,” said Terrlyn Hall, who was a child when her mother died. “We thought about it and prayed about it, and we found it in ourselves to forgive him for what he did. We really wish there was something that we could do to stop it.”

James was first convicted of capital murder in 1996 but retried and resentenced in 1999 after the first conviction was overturned by a state appeals court.

The state appeals court found that the judge in the 1996 trial had wrongly admitted some police reports into evidence.

James’s defense in the 1999 trial argued that the defendant was under emotional duress during the shooting, though James was condemned to the death penalty a second time in that trial.