Famous Last Words
May 8, 1997
“I tell the young and old, do not stray onto the wrong path in life as I did. I speak from experience when I say it’s a long and bumpy road, with a lot of regret and few second chances.”
19-year-old Carpenter had no prior criminal record when he stabbed a convenience store employee in the neck, stealing $37 in gas and some food. He was interrupted by 2 men, one of whom was a retired Oklahoma City police detective, who chased Carpenter and wrote down his license plate information. He was apprehended an hour after the murder.
Carpenter pleaded no contest during trial and requested the death penalty as he found it preferable to the “next 60 to 70 years of (his) life behind bars.” His request was granted and he denied his final appeal. He was executed by lethal injection at the age of 22, the youngest person to be legally executed in the United States after the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.