A few hours remain until the execution of an Alabama death row inmate convicted of beating an elderly woman to death 22 years ago. It will be the first execution in this US state since Governor Kay Ivey gave the go-ahead in February to resume capital punishment after completing a review of the procedures.

Ivey in November suspended executions and ordered a review of the lethal injection procedure, following a series of “failed” attempts last year. In one of them, the execution was aborted because officials could not find a vein in the death row inmate before the deadline expired.

64-year-old James Barber is expected to be executed by lethal injection (Friday morning, Greek time) at the Atmore prison in Alabama. He was convicted of murdering 75-year-old Dorothy Epps during a robbery at her home on the night of May 20, 2001.

The death row inmate’s appeal to the Court of Appeal, in which he argued that he is at risk of suffering torture during the procedure provided for by the protocol for the administration of the lethal solution, was rejected yesterday Wednesday.

The last execution of an inmate in Alabama was that of Joe Nathan James Jr. on July 28, 2022.

The use of the death penalty in the US has declined significantly since 1999, when a record 98 executions were recorded. In the past five years, 78 death row inmates have been executed in the United States, according to the NGO Death Penalty Information Center.