If Alabama executes Joe Nathan James on July 28, 2022 for the murder of Faith Hall, it cannot claim to be doing justice for her or her family. Hall’s two daughters, Terrlyn and Toni Hall (pictured, far left and far right) and her brother Helvetius Hall (pictured, middle), oppose James’ execution and say Faith would oppose it, too.

“I don’t want it to go forward. We’re not God. The Governor is not God,” Terryln Hall told CBS 42 reporter Lee Hedgepeth. “Taking his life is not going to bring Faith back,” Helvetius Hall said. “It ain’t going to make no closure for us.”

Toni Hall agreed. “We shouldn’t be playing God. An eye for an eye has never been a good outlook for life,” she said.

The Halls believe their views should hold weight in the state’s decision-making process and say Governor Kay Ivey should commute James’ sentence. They have asked prosecutors not to move forward with the execution. Faith would not have wanted James to be executed, they said. “She would’ve forgiven him,” Helvetius said.

As the execution date approaches, the Halls feel retraumatized and powerless.

“It’s really bothering me,” Toni said. “To know that someone is going to lose their life.”

James was sentenced to death in 1996 for the 1994 murder of Faith Hall, whom he had dated. At the time of her murder, Toni and Terryln were just 3 and 6 years old, respectively. “It was always good times with our mama,” Terryln said.

“She was my backbone,” Helvetius said. “She would fix whatever problem I had. I truly miss her. … We really didn’t have nothing growing up, but we had each other. Whatever the situation, she was able to talk with sense. I was a hothead, but she would tell me how to handle things. I miss that.”

Faith Hall’s murder has had lasting impact — Toni called them “trickle-down effects” — on each of their lives. She is more guarded in intimate relationships and with who she lets around her children. Each of the family members have made the emotional journey from hatred to forgiveness. “For years, I hated him,” Terryln said. “But as I got older and started living my life and raising my own kids, I had to find it in my heart to forgive this man.”

Hedgepeth reports that the Halls plan to travel to the prison on July 28, 2022 to hear James’ last words and they intend to leave the witness room before the execution takes place. They want James to know that, while his actions hurt them badly, they do not hate him and wish he was not being executed.

“We’re praying for his family,” Helvetius said.


Lee Hedgepeth, We shouldn’t play God’: Murder victim’s fam­i­ly opposed to Alabama exe­cu­tion of Joe Nathan James, CBS 42, Birmingham, July 18, 2022. Photo cour­tesy of Lee Hedgepeth.