The daughters oppose the upcoming execution of their mother’s killer

Terryln Hall was only 6 years old when her mother, Faith, was shot to death by an ex-boyfriend.

Now, nearly 30 years later, Hall and her sister, along with their uncle, oppose Alabama’s plan to execute the man who killed their mother. Unless a judge or the governor intervenes, Joe Nathan James Jr., 49, will die by lethal injection Thursday night in a south Alabama prison.

“We thought about it and prayed about it and realized that we forgive him for what he did. We really wish there was something we could do to stop him,” Hall said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Faith Hall briefly dated James, but he became obsessed with her, prosecutors said. On August 15, 1994, she forced her way into an apartment, pulled a gun from her waistband, and shot her three times. A Jefferson County jury convicted James of capital murder in 1996 and voted to recommend the death penalty, which a judge imposed.

The conviction was overturned when the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that a judge wrongly admitted some police reports as evidence. James was retried and sentenced to death again in 1999, when the jury rejected defense claims that he was under emotional pressure at the time of the shooting.

Faith Hall was 26 years old when she died, leaving behind two young daughters. Six-year-old Terryln Hall struggled to understand what had happened to her mother.

“I knew she wasn’t coming back, but I never understood why. Why would she do that? That’s a question I want to know to this day: Why?” she said.

Hall said her only real memory of her mother is as a hard worker who took care of her daughters and “anyone else who was around.”

“It took a big part of us, a big part of our hearts,” he said.

The road to forgiveness was a long process for Hall.

“I hated it. I hated it. And I know hate is such a strong feeling word, but I really had hate in my heart. As I grew older and realized, you can’t walk around with hate in your heart. You still have to live.” And once I had children of my own, you know, I can’t pass it on to my children and have them walk around with hate in their hearts,” she said.

State Rep. Juandalynn Givan sent a letter to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey relaying the family’s request to stop the execution.

“In this case, the Hall family, with deep prayer, consideration and conviction, asks that you have mercy and spare Mr. James’s life,” Givan said in a statement.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall urged Ivey to allow the execution to go ahead, despite the victim’s family’s request, writing that “it is our obligation to ensure that justice is done for the people of Alabama.”

The governor has not indicated what she plans to do. Ivey’s spokeswoman, Gina Maiola, wrote in an email that the governor “will carefully review all facts and information surrounding the case.”

Hall realizes that asking the state to spare the life of the man who killed her mother may seem counterintuitive, but her deeply held beliefs compel her.

“I know it may sound crazy. Do you really want this man to live? But… I feel like we can’t play God. We can’t take his life. And that’s not going to bring my mother back.” ,” she said.

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