An independent autopsy on Joe Nathan James Jr., a 50-year-old Alabama inmate executed in late July, revealed shocking details about a “terrible” procedure, “the longest ever” in the state’s grim history of executions.
The autopsy funded by human rights nonprofit Reprieve showed “gross incompetence” of the IV team that “burst” the inmate’s hands and wrists by needles looking for intravenous access.”
“Alabama’s execution of Joe Nathan James Jr. took longer than any lethal injection in recorded US history, and may even be the longest execution ever using any method,” the group said.
“Subjecting someone to 3 hours of pain and suffering is the definition of cruel & unusual punishment.”
Autopsy results suggested that James Jr. was sedated before the execution that “began hours before media witnesses were allowed into the execution chamber.”
That claim was corroborated by the inmate’s lawyer Jim Ransom who found it odd that his client, who would’ve “wanted to fight ‘em to the very last minute”, kept his eyes closed and did not give any last words.
“That sent up red flags. It didn’t ring true…Joe always had something to say,” Ransom said.