Does AL execution violate prisoner's 8th amendment right? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Does AL execution violate prisoner's 8th amendment right?

(WTVM) -

A man arrested in Columbus, GA for the 1992 rape and murder of 23-year-old Jo Deann Campbell was executed in Alabama on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Christopher Eugene Brooks is the first person executed in the state since July 2013, but it is the method in which he was executed that's causing the most controversy.

A new lethal drug combination was used in Brooks' execution similar to the one used in Oklahoma for Clayton Lockett's 2014 execution that took 43 minutes. Many call into question if the new combination violates the inmate's 8th Amendment right.

"Especially when you had on record that there was a botch execution and then you have a drug that is untested that puts the question out there," says Dr. Fredrick Gordon, chair of CSU's Political Science Department

Gordon says he is neither for or against the death penalty but teaches his students how to analyze both sides of the issue.

"A lot of death row inmates will try to look at every procedure to try to stay, or avoid or delay the death penalty. Yet at the same time we have to recognize there is a victim in the situation," says Gordon.

Brooks was not granted clemency and on Tuesday his appeal to the Supreme Court was also denied. 

"The decision had already been made. It had been made by him when he committed the crime and it had been made by the courts with all of the reviews," said Governor Robert Bentley. 

Campbell was brutally beaten with a dumbbell and raped before she was murdered in 1992. Her sister Corrine says although she understands the court system, she has waited more than two decades for justice.
 
"The justice system is set up the way that it is and he has a right to do so you know again my focus is definitely on my sister at this point and not him," Corrine said. 

For some the death penalty is retribution, for others it is a violation of their religious beliefs, but Gordon says regardless of where you stand you can't ignore the statistics. 

"Northern states have the death penalty banned, so it's not an option and people commit some very heinous crimes similar to this Alabama case, they don't get the death penalty they get life in prison," says Gordon.

According to Deathpenaltyinfo.org when it comes to death row inmates, Alabama is the fourth highest state in the U.S. with 195 people on death row and Georgia is ninth with 95 people on death row.

Out of more than 2,000 executions since 1976, over 1,100 of them happened in Southern states.

Brooks had been in a holding cell outside the execution chamber since Tuesday. He requested two peanut butter cups and a Dr. Pepper for his last meal.

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