“Taking another man’s life isn’t justice.”







In the 28 years since the gunshots rang out, Toni, Terryln, and Helvetius forgave James for the woman he took from their lives. They did not forget, but they tried to move on with their lives as best as they could.

That was, until they got a call saying James was going to be executed. “I thought, this is something I don’t agree with,” Toni said. She talked to her sister and uncle and realized they all three were against James being put to death.

They each want James’ death sentence to be changed to one of life in prison without the chance of parole.

“If you were to tell me executing him would bring my mom back… but she’s not coming back,” Toni said. “You take his life, you’re not bringing her back. You’re doing this to another family… That’s not justice at all.”

Terryln agreed. “It took a long time to actually forgive this man for taking away a big part of me,” she said.

Neither Toni, Terryln, nor Helvetius have spoken with James since he was convicted of killing Faith. But they all have the same question: Why?

Givan said the family wants to meet with James and ask him that question directly, but they are hoping to meet with him as he heads to prison for life instead of into an execution chamber. She said the Alabama Attorney General’s Office is aware of the family’s wishes for James to not be executed, and she sent a letter to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey asking for a stay of execution.

“Sometimes justice comes in many forms,” said Givan, who is also an attorney. “This isn’t justice for them.”

Life after

Terryln, a survivor of domestic violence, has seen firsthand the type of treatment her mom suffered. She was able to reach out and get help using resources she had access to that her mom did not have in 1994. “It was too late for her,” she said, adding that she learned to forgive James when she had her own children. She also urged women in similar situations to seek help.

Toni met her husband when she was 15 and was friends with him for years before opening her heart. She said it was difficult to have a relationship and be at peace until she forgave James.

“He did what he did,” she said, looking at her children. Toni said she no longer spends time thinking about what life could have been and instead uses her energy enjoying the life she has. “You’ll hurt only yourself” with anger and hate, the family said simultaneously.

Helvetius doesn’t have any living siblings, but he sees his sister in his nieces. “You took her away from me,” he said about James. Yet, that doesn’t mean he wants to see James and his family suffer the same fate. “It’s not justice. I’d rather for him to sit there and think about it.

“Taking another man’s life isn’t justice.”

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or the Alabama Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-650-6522.



wed july 27 2022 … REmbr. G is, as G can only BE. GOOD

If I didn’t define myself, I’d be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive. audre lorde

amen. so BE it. laff THRU it.