Alabama’s first execution since they were paused last November may proceed on Thursday, court says
Jul 19, 2023, 6:28 PM | Updated: 6:44 pm
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday refused to stop an upcoming execution in Alabama, rejecting an inmate’s argument that the state has a history of botched lethal injections.
James Barber, 64, is scheduled to be put to death Thursday evening at a south Alabama prison, in the first execution scheduled in the state since Gov. Kay Ivey paused them in November for an internal review.
Ivey ordered the review after two lethal injections were botched, though the state disputes that.
A divided panel from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Barber’s execution could proceed. The judges said the state conducted a review of execution procedures and his assertion that the “same pattern would continue to occur” was “purely speculative.”
Barber was convicted in the 2001 beating death of 75-year-old Dorothy Epps. Prosecutors said Barber, a handyman who knew Epps’ daughter, confessed to killing her with a claw hammer and fleeing with her purse.
Jurors voted 11-1 to recommend a death sentence, which a judge imposed.