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 to be executed using lethal injection.[2][3][4] He was the first prisoner executed in Texas since 1964, and the first African-American to be executed anywhere in the United States in the post-Gregg era.


Early life[edit]

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, where he played football.

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

Crime and trial[edit]

On December 14, 1976, Brooks went to a used car lot and asked to test drive a car. The mechanic, David Gregory, accompanied him on the drive. 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 in the head.

Neither Brooks nor Loudres would say who fired the shot and therefore the state sought the death penalty for both men. Brooks received the death sentence on April 25, 1978.[3][5] Loudres also received the death penalty, but his conviction was overturned on appeal, and he entered a plea bargain in exchange for a 40-year sentence. He was paroled after serving 11 years.[6]

Conversion to Islam and execution[edit]

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 proceed.[3]

Brooks was held on death row at the Ellis Unit that 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 said a prayer.[9]

Brooks was executed on December 7, 1982 at the age of 40.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reavis, Dick. "Charlie Brooks’ Last Words." Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications, February 1983. Vol. 11, No. 2. ISSN 0148-7736. pp. 100101
  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. ^ "Offender Information". Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Controversial milestone: 25 years of lethal injection | Texas District & County Attorneys Association". Archived from the original on 2018-02-20. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  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. ^ "Death Row Information". Retrieved 2021-05-28.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Joseph Johnson Jr. – 1964
Executions carried out in Texas Succeeded by
James Autry – 1984
Preceded by
  Frank J. CoppolaVirginia – August 10, 1982  
Executions carried out in the United States Succeeded by
John Louis EvansAlabama – April 22, 1983