CJR Staff
July 23, 2023

Alabama Executes Murderer of Elderly Woman

A long-awaited execution occurred on Friday in Alabama, bringing justice for the savage murder of an elderly woman in her own home back in 2001.

The event marked the resumption of lethal injections in the state, following a pause ordered by the governor for an internal review of the procedure, as reported by the Associated Press (AP).

64-year-old James Barber was administered a lethal injection in a prison and was officially pronounced dead at 1:56 a.m. Barber's attorneys made last-ditch efforts to halt the execution due to recent difficulties with intravenous access during similar executions. Despite this, the U.S. Supreme Court authorized the execution to proceed.

Alabama Executed Him

Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) expressed the gravity of the execution, stating, "Tonight, the justice that James Barber managed to avoid for more than two decades has finally been served. In 2001, 75-year-old Dorothy Epps desperately fought for her life as Mr. Barber brutally and gruesomely beat her to death in her own home."

Barber, a former handyman and contract painter, was sentenced to death in 2004 for the murder of Epps, who was discovered by a family friend. Prosecutors revealed that Barber admitted to beating Epps with a claw hammer and fleeing with her purse.

Judicial Watch President Tim Fitton took to social media on Friday, criticizing the three leftist Supreme Court justices, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson, for their opposition to the execution due to fears of it being "botched." They failed to acknowledge the victim in their dissenting opinion.

Fitton recounted the grisly details of Epps' murder at her home in Harvest, Alabama. Epps was home alone when Barber, who had a prior relationship with her, knocked on her door. After she let him in, Barber viciously assaulted Epps with his fists and a claw hammer, leaving her lifeless body amid blood-soaked surroundings.

Reports suggest that Barber committed the heinous crime to fund his drug habit. The execution of Barber is the first in Alabama this year following the review of procedures related to lethal injections.

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