Charles Becker (July 26, 1870 – July 30, 1915) was a Lieutenant in the New York City Police Department between the 1890s and 1910s. He is best known for being tried, convicted and executed for the murder of a Manhattan gambler, Herman Rosenthal. After the Becker-Rosenthal trial, Charles Becker became the first American police officer to receive the death penalty for murder. The scandal that surrounded his arrest, conviction, and execution was one of the most important in Progressive Era New York City.
Becker’s electrocution took nine minutes, causing him intense agony, and was described for years afterward as “the clumsiest execution in the history of Sing Sing.”