A man who fatally shot his three sons while they slept in 1982, shortly after his wife filed for divorce, was executed on Tuesday with one last defiant gesture.
Each of his hands were clenched in an obscene gesture.
Reginald Brooks of East Cleveland died at 2:04 p.m., ending a nearly six-month break in the use of capital punishment in Ohio, which often trails only Texas in the number of annual inmate executions.
Dressed in the standard white T-shirt and blue pants, Brooks declined to make a final statement and remained silent as he received the lethal injection.
Witnesses, which included his former wife and her sisters, had a view of his left hand, its middle finger raised.
Prison officials said he was making the same gesture with his right hand.
Brooks’ actions appear to have been unprecedented since the state resumed executions in 1999.
Condemned Ohio inmates in the past have criticized their sentences, professed their innocence, given angry final statements and pleaded to be spared, but never made an obscene gesture.
The execution was delayed by more than three hours as attorneys exhausted Brooks’ appeals. Defense attorneys for Reginald Brooks said he maintained his innocence, believing his co-workers and wife were poisoning him in addition to other conspiracy theories.