The state of Alabama executed Christopher Brooks last night for the 1992 rape and murder of Deann Campbell.
The execution was the state’s first in more than two years and the first to be carried out in Alabama using the controversial new sedative midazolam. Some say midazolam carries a high risk of botched executions, and there is currently a pending lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Alabama’s lethal injection procedure.
But Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn says last night’s execution went “exactly as planned”.
Brooks was officially pronounced dead at 6:38 p.m. at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. His last words included “I hope this brings closure to everybody.”
Brooks was one of 187 inmates on Alabama’s Death Row. There are no other executions currently scheduled in the state.
Alabamians may need hats and gloves today after grabbing their umbrellas yesterday.
Forecasters say they expect the storm system now bearing down on the South to dump a lot of snow on northwest Alabama, though other parts of northern Alabama could also see snowfall of around 2 inches.
The National Weather Service says that by tomorrow, 2.5 inches of snow is expected to accumulate in the Shoals region of northwest Alabama, with nearly 2 inches falling in areas to the south, near Russellville.
More than an inch of snow is expected in Huntsville, and Athens could get nearly 2 inches. The Cullman, Guntersville and Fort Payne areas could see about an inch of snow.
Andy Kula is a Senior Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Huntsville. He advises that even with the chance of snow and ice, things look pretty normal for this time of year.
“We’re right in the heart of winter here, so this is the time of year we tend to get some of our snow events and ice events, from late December to early February. So, this doesn’t happen every year, but certainly this is the time of year we would normally get it.”
In south Alabama, the National Weather Service received reports of toppled trees, large branches across roads and some isolated power outages after thunderstorms struck Escambia and Mobile counties late last night.
The University of Alabama will get the chance to celebrate this month’s national championship win by the Crimson Tide football team.
The players and head coach Nick Saban will be part of a parade down University Boulevard and into Bryant Denny Stadium. The team will be officially presented with the College Football Championship Trophy for their victory over Clemson. The Tide will also receive the Cotton Bowl trophy after beating Michigan State.
One player who has a lot to celebrate is Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, who plans to join the NFL.
“Definitely surreal. Never thought this moment would come. But, it’s here and I’m thankful for it. God is good. He has blessed so much of my life. And I’m thankful for all the blessings he’s done. I never thought it would come. I’m just happy that I am where I am today. And, just gonna keep on working.”
The parade could be the final bow for departing seniors like quarterback Jake Coker. Tight end O.J. Howard and kicker Adam Griffith are among the juniors returning next year.