View Full Version : James Barney Hubbard AL RIP

08-05-2004, 06:25 PM
I can't type what I think or Lord knows I would have to ban myself.


August 5


A 74-year-old condemned murderer was executed Thursday after courts and
the governor refused to prevent him from becoming the oldest U.S. inmate
put to death in decades.

James Barney Hubbard died by lethal injection at 6:36 p.m. at Holman
Prison near Atmore.

Hubbard was executed for the 1977 murder of 62-year-old Lillian Montgomery
of Tuscaloosa. She was shot in the head and robbed after befriending
Hubbard, who had been released from prison after serving 19 years for a
1957 killing.

Hubbard becomes the 1st condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
Alabama, and the 29th overall since the state resumed capital punishment
in 1983.

Hubbard becomes the 37th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
the USA and the 922nd overall since America resumed executions on January
17, 1077.

(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)

08-05-2004, 07:43 PM
This is so sad :( I was thinking about this all last night, praying that they would change there minds.
Mr. Hubbard, I hope you are at peace.
Its just a cruel world we live in now.

08-05-2004, 08:40 PM
I hope that Mr. Hubbard is now in peace. I pray for his daughter and all his family members. I also pray for the son of Ms. Montgomery that he finds his peace too.

It makes me ill that the state of Alabama saw fit to proceede with the murder of an old mentally and physically ill man. And it sickens me that the U.S. supreme court did not intervene and stay this spectacle. The judicial system has brought our society to another lowpoint in our history......

08-05-2004, 08:41 PM

We are sad to announce that James. B. Hubbard was executed tonight at Holman prison.

We thank everyone who phoned, faxed and wrote the governor on J.B.'s behalf. We thank you for your prayers and are very grateful to all those who attended the vigils in Montgomery, Birmingham and Mobile. Many of you came a long way to attend the one in Montgomery to sing and pray with us. It mattered that you were there. Thank you!

Our thoughts and prayers are with J.B., his family and friends.

For J.B. the fight is over, for all of us it must continue. And so this evening in Montgomery, we made a big circle on the steps of the capitol and sang: "No more executions, no more executions now, deep in my heart we do believe that we will overcome one day."

Board of Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty

08-06-2004, 07:10 AM
speaking about a crime???? THIS IS A CRIME How on earth can this happen? A deadsick old man did not he pay for his crime?
There is a song sung by Johnny Cash called Man in black.
He is wearing black for the prisoner who paid too long for his crime, because he is a victim of this time. I am from Holland Europe, thank God this barbarian sentence is forbidden for a long time already. And the countries which will join the European common market have to drop this verdict. We do not live in 1800 do we?
How can we forget this murder??????????

08-06-2004, 11:44 AM
I cant believe they actually did this, words fail me, and i hope he is at peace. My thoughts to his friends and family.

08-06-2004, 11:46 AM
August 6, 2004


Execution of man who was sick, frail sets off controversy
At 74, he was oldest put to death in decades

- Manuel Roig-Franzia, Washington Post

J.B. Hubbard's failing body kept him lying in bed -- a bunk on Alabama's
death row -- most of the last days of his life. Other inmates say they
walked his wobbly frame to the showers and listened to him complain about
the pain: the cancer in his colon and prostate, the hypertension, the
aching back. They combed his hair because he couldn't. They washed him.
When spasms of dementia made him forget who he was -- what he was -- they
told him: a 74-year-old, small-town Alabama man gone bad, a twice-
convicted murderer, the oldest inmate on "the row."

He left them behind, these most unlikely of caretakers, one month ago and
was transported south to a drab, gray prison set back in the cotton fields
of lower Alabama. As the sun was tipping toward the horizon, Hubbard was
put to death there Thursday, becoming the oldest inmate executed in the
United States in more than six decades.

His case has set off a wave of debate about the death penalty -- and its
lengthy, sometimes decades-long, appeals process -- while refocusing
attention on the legions of aging men in the nation's prisons.

"If we're going to call ourselves a civilized society, I see no point in
it," said Lucia Penland of the Alabama Prison Project, a death-row inmate
advocacy group in Montgomery. "An old frail man isn't dangerous. It seems
mean- spirited."

Protesters gathered at the state Capitol for a candlelight vigil, hoping
for a last-minute reprieve that never came from Republican Gov. Bob Riley.
The U.S. Supreme Court also refused to intervene, though by a 5-4 vote,
the narrowest of margins.

Hubbard's attorneys had argued that his execution for the 1977 killing of
a 62-year-old, Tuscaloosa general store owner named Lillian Montgomery
would be an act of "cruel and unusual" punishment, and an indefensible
stroke of public vengeance against a man they said had a low IQ to go
along with a host of aliments, including hepatitis and emphysema.

But prosecutors said long-overdue justice was being done and railed
against a court system that took 27 years to execute a two-time killer.

"The reason he is this old is because his appeals have taken so long,"
said Tommy Smith, who prosecuted Hubbard's case and is now the district
attorney in Tuscaloosa County. "It's ridiculous -- unconscionable -- for
any process to take this long."

Hubbard first killed in 1957, teaming with his uncle to rob and murder a
Tuscaloosa man. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison, but was released
in October 1976, in part because a widow agreed to give him a job and help
ease him back into society. Lillian Montgomery's sons remembered letters
bouncing back and forth between their mother and the inmate who had once
lived in the trailer park not far from their store.

The Montgomerys were "dirt-poor farmers," who had no indoor plumbing until
the 1950s and did a little bootlegging on the side, selling strong corn
liquor to make a few extra dollars, said another son, Johnny Montgomery,

Hubbard worked in the family's store after being released from prison. But
not long after he was freed, Hubbard moved into Lillian Montgomery's home.
He said he saw Hubbard's things in the house and shook his head with
disapproval the last night he saw his mother alive when he picked her up
for an Elvis Presley concert in Tuscaloosa.

Not long after, on a winter evening in 1977, police say Hubbard shot his
benefactor three times in the face.

Hubbard claimed Lillian Montgomery had committed suicide, a contention he
held even in the days leading up to his execution.

Jimmy Montgomery watched as prison officials at Holman Correctional Center
injected his mother's killer three times. The first to put him to sleep,
the second to stop his lungs, the third to stop his heart.

"I would have just loved to see him suffering a little more," Montgomery
said afterward.

Johnny Montgomery stayed home in Birmingham, unable to watch. He said he
was thinking about the letter he sent Hubbard three days ago and hoping
that the condemned man looked it over. It said Johnny Montgomery had
forgiven Hubbard. And there was one more thing, a few lines of timeless
wisdom: "The Sinner's Prayer."


Source : San Francisco Chronicle

08-06-2004, 11:47 AM
August 6


U.S. Supreme Court, Riley refuse to stop execution

Dressed in a white prison uniform, strapped to a gurney with his arms
outstretched, almost angelic, a silver-haired James Barney Hubbard died
peacefully by lethal injection Thursday.

At 6:36 p.m., the 74-year-old from Bibb County became the oldest person
ever to be executed in the state of Alabama, and the oldest in the United
States since 1976, the year the death penalty was reinstated.

Outside Holman Correctional Facility, three women from a local Roman
Catholic Church, one a nun named Sister Lillian, protested the execution
with candles.

Hubbard, who had been on death row for more than 26 years for the 1977
slaying of Lillian Montgomery of Tuscaloosa, nodded that he understood
when Warden Grantt Culliver read the death order at 6:13 p.m. The 1st drug
was administered through IVs in both arms at 6:17 p.m.

Hubbard yawned twice and fell asleep with his mouth slightly open.

"I tell you what, I would have liked to have seen the electric chair in
use today, or maybe even a firing squad," said Jimmy Montgomery, the
66-year-old son of Lillian Montgomery.

"He looked like he died too peacefully to me. I would have liked to have
seen him suffer a little more, the way mama did. That would have given me
a bit more satisfaction. But I am glad to see this part of our life end."

Earlier in the day, shortly after Hubbard was served his last meal the
U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay of execution for Hubbard by a 5-4 vote.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, who under state law has the power to grant
reprieves and commutations, said later that he had no intention of
interfering with the execution.

It is a very sad day," said Alan D. Rose, Hubbard's attorney. The state of
Alabama has taken the life of a 74-year-old man. The U.S. Supreme Court
did not do its job today. It could have saved a sick, frail man's life. It
makes no sense."

Through the execution, Montgomery, his wife, Ruth, and sister Jeanette
Parrott held hands in a witness room opposite of the one that held
Hubbard's daughter, Barbara McKinney, attorney and spiritual adviser.

"We love each other," said Parrott, who was 1 of 6 Montgomery family
members who made the trip to Atmore on Thursday. We were holding each
other because we were there for each other."

Hubbard showed no emotion, and when asked if he had any last words, he
shook his head and said, "No."

Looking sickly and so pale the tattoo on his right arm and blue veins in
his head stood out, he looked at McKinney for about 30 seconds before
closing his eyes and waiting for the lethal injection process to begin.

Steve Hayes, executive assistant for Alabama's Department of Corrections,
said McKinney is claiming Hubbard's body. It is not known where he will be

His daughter stood by his side in these last days," Rose said. "She did
her job."

Hubbard was convicted twice in Montgomery's death. In June 1980, an
execution date was set for July 11, 1980, but a ruling by the U.S. Supreme
Court declared Alabama's death penalty law unconstitutional. Hubbard was
retried and sentenced to death at the retrial.

His 1st conviction happened within 20 years of a 2nd-degree murder
conviction in the 1957 death of David Dockery in Tuscaloosa County. He was
released on the state's good time incentive act" in 1976. Less than a year
later, he shot 62-year-old Lillian Montgomery in the shoulder, head and
face. She was left to die alone on the kitchen floor of her apartment on
U.S. Highway 82, about 3 miles south of Tuscaloosa.

"I know it was tough on Hubbard's daughter to watch her daddy die," Jimmy
Montgomery said. "But he never showed any remorse. I was looking for him
to say something to us today. I thought hed say he was sorry for all the
pain he caused our family. You know, the shot to my mother's head was so
bad it blew her false teeth down her throat.

"She didn't deserve to die like that."

Hubbard has maintained his innocence throughout his tenure on death row.
In a letter he wrote to Lillian Montgomery's granddaughter, Janet Voss, he
said that he knew God and that he loved her grandmother very much.

"I don't see how you kill somebody you love," Voss said Thursday. He took
something precious from me."

For years, Hubbard had been on several medications, including pain
relievers and antidepressants. He claimed to prison medical personnel and
a psychologist that he was in constant pain from various stomach and
prostrate problems throughout his tenure on death row and that he couldnt
sleep well.

Hubbard, raised in a farm family, grew up in Bibb County and in
Tuscaloosa. He worked as a carpenter in Tuscaloosa and in Texas before he
was convicted of murder.

On Wednesday and Thursday, he had about 15 visitors. He had 4 visitors
from the Kairos Organization, a spiritual group.

Hubbard leaves behind 2 grown children. McKinney, 53, used to visit him
regularly. She has 6 children, 4 of them adopted. Hubbard also has a son,
John, who has 2 children.

David Elliot, the communications director of the National Coalition
Against the Death Penalty, said Hubbard is the oldest person executed in
the U.S. since 1941. In that year, Colorado executed James Stephens, who
was believed to be 76 years old.

Elliot said the next oldest person executed since 1976 was Anthony Antone.
Antone, who was executed in Florida in 1984 at the age of 66.

"It took a while for this to happen -- 26 years, but I never did give up,"
Jimmy Montgomery said. "I'm glad the state came through for our family.
There's no way I wanted to walk the streets of Tuscaloosa and see him walk
by me. He can't hurt anyone else now."

(source: Tuscaloosa News)

08-06-2004, 11:51 AM
I can't believe they did this. May he be at peace now.

08-06-2004, 11:53 AM
How can anyone say this man was a future danger to society???? H### he couldn't even get out of bed without help.

Yes he commited the crime, yes he should have been punished and by God he was after spending more then 26 years on DR. Everyones argument is well he murdered someone. But what did we accomplish by the State murdering him? Did we take a dangerous man off the streets. Noooooooooo, how can anyone or the courts or Gov say he was a future danger?

My heart goes out to the victims of the crime. Not only was a crime comitted by Mr. Hubbard, but they were also victims of the State.

This was revenge plain and simple and makes me hang my head in shame that I am part of a society that would do this. Why because they can.


Phil in Paris
08-06-2004, 12:44 PM
I just don't know what to say. I think, before trying to rule the world, America should first have a look on what's wrong in its system.

May you rest in peace Mr Hubbard.

Phil :(

08-06-2004, 12:49 PM
I just don't know what to say. I think, before trying to rule the world, America should first have a look on what's wrong in its system.

May you rest in peace Mr Hubbard.

Phil :(

Amen Phil!

Eric's Homegirl
08-07-2004, 01:55 AM
I read this in the San Francisco newspaper this morning. The man, even though he
commited murder, left on DR for 26 years, then put to death by the state after all this
time...even one of the brothers forgave him for what he had done to his family. I can't
make sense of this useless do those sleep at night? May God be with
Mr. Hubbard, and that he is not suffering anymore....his family, and the victims family
can find peace to to quote one of the sons, I would've like to see him suffer
alittle bit much more suffering did this man have to go through? He suffered
enough with the cancer that was eating away at his body, but for the State Of Alabama to do this senseless act....what a waste for all involved.

Dre's Lady
08-07-2004, 02:38 AM

susan the finn
08-07-2004, 06:42 AM
Oh they really did it! I can't believe this! May you rest in peace Mr.Hubbard :(

08-07-2004, 08:28 AM
Wow. But I was so touched to read about the inmates who took care of him. How precious they must have been to him!

08-07-2004, 09:44 AM
I agree about the inmates who looked after him, and these people are supposed to be really uncaring people. Strange isnt it?

08-08-2004, 09:52 AM
I agree with all that has been said. I just wanted to say that I went to visit DJ on July 9th. JB was coming out to visit his daughter in the same group that DJ was in. This man, I saw first hand, within two feet of me could barely walk and you could tell by looking at him that he was disoriented and confused. I felt so sorry for him. When he started out the door and down the three stairs into the visitation room, he kept looking at me and I realized that his visitors must be behind me. At the time I didnt know who he was, but I could tell he was confused. I deliberatly walked around several tables to get out of his way and you could see his face light up like a kid on christmas morning when he recognized his daughter. Broke my heart to learn moments later that he was J B Hubbard. I could not believe that this state as cruel as I have already determined it to be could kill a man that was in that bad a shape.

On Thursday night I was on my way back to Atmore to visit again Friday. I could not hear any news on the radio since it was on the fritz so I just kept wishing and hoping and praying. Finally I could not stand it any longer and decided to call Holman. Well wouldnt you know it the phone lines were so congested that after an hour I still had not gotten a call thru. DJ's Mom called me at 10:15 pm to tell me that she had just saw on tv that the execution had been carried out.

As I lay in the motel room that night, just five minutes away from the prison, I could not go to sleep to save my life. Everything imaginable crossed thru my mind. The mood on the visitation yard was somber and quiet. Some of the guys were wearing ribbons of mourning for JB. When I left that day, or got outside out of DJ's sight, I kind of fell apart. First time I have done that in a while, but it was like I had a flasing neon sign in my brain that talked and it was flashing and screaming, we could be next, since we never know. I know one thing they should have changed visitation to Mondays instead of Fridays when they changed it. Would have helped family members some, so I guess that is why they didn't.

Anyway, you all just keep praying for JB's famiy and Mrs. Lillian's family too, especially Jimmy Montgomery. Just don't forget to pray for all the other guys and their families too.

08-08-2004, 11:50 AM
Thankyou for sharing this with us, stay strong.

08-08-2004, 03:15 PM
State executes Hubbard for '77 killing
Friday, August 06, 2004
News staff writer
ATMORE - Alabama executed 74-year-old James Barney Hubbard on Thursday, ending a 27-year stay on Death Row marked at its close by dementia and disease.

White-haired and withered, Hubbard was silent, pale and slack-jawed, a faded tattoo barely visible on his right arm, before he died at 6:36 p.m.

Hubbard was the oldest person on Alabama's Death Row and the oldest person to be executed in the United States since 1941.

Hubbard was condemned for the 1977 murder of Lillian Montgomery, a Tuscaloosa County woman who took him in when he was paroled from prison in another murder.

Six members of Montgomery's family watched Hubbard die.

"I personally was glad to see this part of our lives end today, and maybe we can get on down the road with some of the things we've been trying to do," said her oldest son, Jimmy Montgomery.

He expressed disappointment that Hubbard's life appeared to end so peacefully. "I'd just as soon see the electric chair still in use or maybe the firing squad. It seems like he just dozed off," said the 66-year-old retired Army lieutenant colonel.

Hubbard's body was released to his daughter, Barbara McKinney, who witnessed the execution but did not speak afterward.

Hubbard's attorney, Alan Rose, who has represented Hubbard for 16 years, was also a witness. He called it a sad day. "He is a sick, frail man. He is harmless, and it makes no sense for the state of Alabama to have executed him," Rose said.

Hubbard suffered from cancer, hepatitis, emphysema and other ailments. His failed appeals to stop the execution were based on claims that Hubbard was too old, sick and mentally incompetent to die.

Earlier Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, denied his last request for a stay. Gov. Bob Riley waited until all appeals were exhausted before announcing that he would not use his clemency powers to stop the execution.

Hubbard ate his last meal at 3:40 p.m. Prison officials fulfilled his request of two eggs over medium, four pieces of bacon, fried green tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, pineapple slices with mayonnaise, white bread, a banana and a can of V-8 juice.

Wednesday and Thursday he saw several visitors, including his daughter and volunteers from the Kairos prison ministry group.

At 6:13 p.m., Holman Warden Grantt Culiver read the death warrant. Hubbard, dressed in white and partially covered with a sheet, was strapped to a gurney inside the white, cinder block death chamber. He had no last words, only a long look at his daughter and a nod. Five minutes later he yawned, as the first sleep-inducing chemical took hold. In the following minutes a second chemical to stop his lungs was injected, followed by potassium chloride to stop his heart.

Montgomery's family, watching from a separate room, held hands. Some wept.

At a press conference after the death, Jimmy Montgomery said he prayed for Hubbard's daughter. "It's tough, I'm sure, sitting there seeing your daddy die, but it was tough - us getting the word that our mother's head had been blown off," he said.

The Montgomerys said Hubbard's lack of remorse particularly troubled them. Granddaughter Janet Voss said Hubbard sent her a letter last month that said he loved Lillian Montgomery very much, and he had found God, Voss said.

Hubbard first went to prison in 1957 for the murder of David Dockery in Tuscaloosa County. He was released in 1976, after Lillian Montgomery befriended him and agreed to give him a job.

She ran a Tuscaloosa grocery store, and he did odd jobs there.

But their relationship was somewhat fueled by alcohol, according to the Montgomery family.

Her sons said their mother was an alcoholic, and the slaying occurred while she and Hubbard were drinking together.

Hubbard steadfastly denied shooting Montgomery, saying she committed suicide. He never took the stand in his own defense, and had been drinking whiskey when he signed a confession.

Hubbard's case caught the attention of several groups opposed to the death penalty, which also petitioned Riley to intervene.

One was Hubbard's fellow inmates when he lived on Donaldson Correctional Facility's Death Row. The men sought to circulate petitions for clemency and mail them to Riley, but their petitions were intercepted by prison officials who said they posed a security risk.

Thursday night, advocacy groups in Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile held prayer vigils in Hubbard's honor.

At Holman Prison, the site of Alabama's death chamber, where Hubbard was transferred several weeks ago to await his death, fellow Death Row inmates performed a ritual Thursday that they follow during all executions. The men wore dress whites to the outside yard and did not participate in sports.

"Members of Project Hope (to Abolish the Death Penalty) organize this ritual as a way of showing respect for life, all life," said Esther Brown of Lanett, the group's secretary.

Hubbard's attorney said there was a good reason it took 27 years to carry out the death sentence. "It's because judges have been very troubled by some of the claims we have raised," Rose said.

His strongest words were for the U.S. Supreme Court, which he said failed to do it's job by resolving differing legal issues among circuit courts. "Four justices thought there should be a stay of execution," Rose said. "One more vote would have meant for J.B. Hubbard's life to be saved."

This article brought tears to my eyes, it's really sad for everyone involved.

08-08-2004, 03:38 PM
Very sad indeed for everyone involved.

God rest his soul.

08-09-2004, 01:29 AM
Pam your post brought tears to my eyes. So sad and sickening for everyone involved. You know I always think nothing they can do anymore would surprise me, but it always does. I was shocked when I found out they went through with the execution.

It really hit my friends at Holman hard, he was loved by so many on the row.

As always you and DJ are both in my thoughts and prayers.


08-09-2004, 08:21 AM
this really brought tears to my eyes. I tell you, why could he not spend the last days with his family?? He was already dying for goodness sake. what was he going to do?
i simply hate this.

08-16-2004, 11:12 AM
Inhumane if life spared?:

In regard to James Hubbard, the 74-year-old Death Row inmate executed Thursday, does anyone find it as bizarre as I do that his defense attorney thought his client was too old and sickly to be executed?

Aside from the fact that he maliciously took the life of another human being, The News reported that Hubbard had dementia, cancer, emphysema and hepatitis. The irony is that it would have seemed almost inhumane to even consider sparing his life.

What good is there in allowing a man to live out his few remaining days behind bars if all he has to look forward to is suffering?

Karen Nixon


Inhumane if life is spared?

In her letter to the editor Karen Nixon poses the question whether it would have been inhumane of the state of Alabama to spare the life of an elderly, ill inmate, suffering from dementia because he had nothing to look forward to. In other words, execution as a form of euthanasia!

It is an interesting question because it illustrates the progression of our desensitization to all life once we cross the threshold and see execution, the taking of life, as an answer to our problems. The next step is euthanasia. We will not have far to look for likely candidates. They will be found among the old, the terminally ill, the ones who are not productive. Of course we will disguise our real motives by saying that we are freeing them from pain and a meaningless life, but I wonder will we listen, when like James B. Hubbard, they tell us that they would like to live? Or will we know better?

History is a powerful teacher and to learn this particular lesson we only have to go back to Nazi Germany to see what happens to a people when its leaders no longer respect life. Disrespect for life begins slowly but accelerates down a slippery path, and in the end affects us all. Here in Alabama it may appear as though an execution affects only the man put to death and his family. The letter clearly illustrates that this is not the case.

In closing I would like to say that James B. Hubbard has paid the ultimate price. In the letter he is described as " maliciously" taking a life. Who would argue that what happened was not a terrible tragedy? Obviously it was, however whether it was indeed "maliciously" will never be known. What is known is that James B. Hubbard was not only borderline retarded but also drunk that night, two factors that cast grave doubts on that label. Most of the family of Ms Montgomery forgave James B. Hubbard and set all of us a wonderful example. Maybe it is time for us to do the same?

Esther Brown

Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty

Lanett, Al