First Alabama Execution In Years After Drug Modifications Set, But Some Argue The Changes Are Unconstitutional

| by Sheena Vasani
Christopher Eugene Brooks.Christopher Eugene Brooks.

A man convicted of raping and killing a woman in 1992 is scheduled Jan. 21 for Alabama’s first execution in more than two years.

The man sentenced to death, 43-year-old Christopher Eugene Brooks, murdered and sexually assaulted colleague 23-year-old Jo Deann Campbell, Fox News reports.

Brooks bludgeoned Campbell to death with an 8-pound dumbbell. Police discovered her partially nude body underneath her bed.

He was subsequently found with Campbell’s car keys, paycheck and gas station credit card.

Later, DNA testing identified Brooks’ semen on her body, as well as his fingerprints on her home's doorknob and her ankle. reports this would be the first Alabama execution since 2014, when the state changed the lethal drug combination used to kill the condemned. This was because the state's former drug manufacturers no longer wanted their products used in executions.

Some say this new alteration is unconstitutional. Brooks' attorneys say the new combination "cannot reliably produce and sustain a deep, coma-like state” and thus will cause suffering.

Consequently, Brooks’ attorneys are requesting a stay of execution from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

"Alabama intends to use an execution protocol on Brooks that has never been used in Alabama and that is the subject of two pending federal court cases," Brooks' attorneys say. "Brooks should not be the subject of Alabama's experiment to see if it can carry out an execution using this protocol while the very validity of the protocol is at issue in ongoing federal court proceedings.”

"Brooks would suffer the most irreparable harm imaginable if Alabama was permitted to carry out his execution," Brooks' attorneys add. "This Court should grant a stay of execution."

The Alabama Attorney General’s Office told the U.S. Supreme Court this case should not be delayed any further: "Brooks raped and murdered Jo Deann Campbell on Dec. 31, 1992 and her family has been waiting for justice for more than 23 years. As this Court has recognized, 'the state and the victims of crime have an important interest in the timely enforcement of a sentence.'"

Sources: Fox News, / Photo credit: