James Phillip Barnes Set for Lethal Injection in Florida for Double Murder Case

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James Phillip Barnes is convicted of strangling his wife, Linda Barnes, in 1997, and for brutally murdering Patricia “Patsy” Miller, a nurse, in 1988.

James Phillip Barnes Set for Lethal Injection
James Phillip Barnes Set for Lethal Injection ( Photo: Wikipedia )

James Phillip Barnes, 61, is set to face execution by lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Starke

In a surprising move, James Phillip Barnes dropped all legal appeals and expressed a desire to accept his punishment. James Phillip Barnes, who represented himself during court hearings, offered no defense for his crimes and willingly pleaded guilty to Miller’s murder. James Phillip Barnes admitted to raping her twice, attempting to strangle her, hitting her head with a hammer, and setting her bed on fire. DNA evidence linked him to the crime, leading to his conviction and subsequent death sentence on December 13, 2007.

In a jailhouse interview with filmmaker Werner Herzog, James Phillip Barnes revealed that he felt “terribly humiliated” by unspecified negative interactions with Miller. However, he never faced charges for other alleged killings he claimed to have committed.

Despite initial appeals, James Phillip Barnes’ convictions and death sentence were upheld after mental competency evaluations

Two doctors found him competent to understand his legal situation and plead guilty, leading to the acceptance of his death warrant by Governor Ron DeSantis.

Though some condemned inmates typically exhaust every legal option to avoid execution, James Phillip Barnes made the uncommon decision to accept his fate willingly. The Florida Supreme Court acknowledged this and accepted the ruling, with no other motions seeking a stay of execution filed in state or federal court.

During the holy month of Ramadan, James Phillip Barnes, who converted to Islam in prison, expressed a desire to clear his conscience about the Miller case. The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops requested a stay of execution and commutation of his sentence to life in prison, despite Barnes not seeking such relief, citing opposition to the death penalty in their recent letter to Governor DeSantis. However, it seems likely that the execution will proceed as scheduled.


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