Charles Brooks Jr.

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Charles Brooks Jr. (September 1, 1942 – December 7, 1982), also known as Shareef Ahmad Abdul-Rahim,[1] was a convicted murderer who was the first person in the United States to be executed using lethal injection.[2][3][4] He was the first prisoner executed in Texas since 1964, and the first Black to be executed anywhere in the United States of America in the post-Gregg era.


Ellis Unit, where Brooks was held on the men's death row
Huntsville Unit, where Brooks was executed

Brooks was raised in a family in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended I.M. Terrell High School (named after its first principal Isaiah Milligan Terrell), where he played football.

He had a prior criminal history, having served time at the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth for illegal possession of firearms.[3]

On December 14, 1976, Brooks went to a used car lot and asked to test drive a car. The mechanic, David Gregory, accompanied him in the car. After Brooks picked up his accomplice Woody Loudres, they put the mechanic in the trunk of the car and Brooks and Loudres drove to a motel. There the mechanic was bound to a chair with coat hangers, gagged with tape and then shot once in the head. Neither Brooks nor Loudres would say who fired the shot and therefore the State sought the death penalty for both Brooks and Loudres. Loudres received a 40 year sentence but only served 11;[5] Brooks received the death sentence.[3][6]

The Supreme Court of the United States rejected by 6–3 a petition to grant a stay of execution.[3][4] The State Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended by 2–1 that the execution should proceed.[3]

While Brooks was on death row Ellis Unit housed condemned men.[7]

After a last meal consisting of a T-bone steak, french fries, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, biscuits, peach cobbler and iced tea,[3][8] Brooks was rolled into the death chamber at the Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, Texas. There he made his final statement. Brooks had converted to Islam while in prison and as such said a prayer to Allah.[9]

Brooks was executed on December 7, 1982. He was the first person ever to receive lethal injection.


  1. ^ Reavis, Dick. "Charlie Brooks’ Last Words." Texas Monthly. February 1983. - In print: Emmis Communications, February 1983. Vol. 11, No. 2. ISSN 0148-7736. START: p. 100. CITED: p. 101
  2. ^ "Introduction to the Death Penalty". Death Penalty Information Center. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Charlie Brooks Jr". Prosecuting Attorney. Prosecuting Attorney, Clark County, Indiana. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Robert Reinhold (1982-12-07). "Technician Executes Murderer in Texas By Lethal Injection". The New York Times. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Offender Information". Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Death Row Facts Archived August 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 7, 2010.
  8. ^ Final Meal Requests at the Wayback Machine (archived December 2, 2003). Texas Department of Criminal Justice (2003-09-12). Archived from the original on 2003-12-02. Retrieved on 2007-08-17.
  9. ^ "Last Statement". Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 

External links

  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice
    • "Brooks, Charlie Jr."
    • "Last Statement Charlie Brooks Jr."
  • Appeals Court Ruling from Retrieved 25 August 2005.
  • Supreme Court Ruling from Retrieved 25 August 2005
  • Illustration of Brooks' execution[permanent dead link]
  • Texas gurney in 1982
  • "Supreme Court Clears the Way for Execution". Gainesville Sun. 7 December 1982. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  • "killer executed by injection". Ellensburg Daily Record. Ellensburg, Washington. 7 December 1982. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
Preceded by
Frank Coppola
People executed in U.S. Succeeded by
John Louis Evans
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