Charles Brooks, Jr.
Charles Brooks, Jr. was a convicted murderer who was the first person executed by the state of Texas since it resumed capital punishment. Brooks was also the first person in United States to be executed using lethal injection
Lethal injection
Lethal injection is the practice of injecting a person with a fatal dose of drugs for the express purpose of causing the immediate death of the subject. The main application for this procedure is capital punishment, but the term may also be applied in a broad sense to euthanasia and suicide...



Brooks was raised in a well-off Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the United States of America and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Located in North Central Texas, just southeast of the Texas Panhandle, the city is a cultural gateway into the American West and covers nearly in Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and...

 family and attended I.M. Terrell High School, where he played football. He had been to prison before, serving time at the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth
United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth
The United States Penitentiary , Leavenworth was the largest maximum security federal prison in the United States from 1903 until 2005. It became a medium security prison in 2005.It is located in Leavenworth, Kansas...

 for illegal possession of firearms.

On December 14, 1976, Brooks went to a used car lot and asked to test drive a car. The mechanic
A mechanic is a craftsman or technician who uses tools to build or repair machinery.Many mechanics are specialized in a particular field such as auto mechanics, bicycle mechanics, motorcycle mechanics, boiler mechanics, general mechanics, industrial maintenance mechanics , air conditioning and...

, David Gregory, accompanied him in the car. After Brooks picked up his accomplice Woody Loudres, they put the mechanic in the trunk
Trunk (automobile)
The trunk or boot of an automobile or car is the vehicle's main storage, luggage, or cargo compartment. Trunk is used in North American English and Jamaican English; boot is used elsewhere in the English speaking world. Trunk is also primarily used in many non-English speaking regions, such as...

 of the car and Brooks and Loudres drove to a motel
A motor hotel, or motel for short, is a hotel designed for motorists, and usually has a parking area for motor vehicles...

. There the mechanic was bound to a chair with coat hangers
Clothes hanger
A clothes hanger, coat hanger or coathanger, is a device in the shape of:* Human shoulders designed to facilitate the hanging of a coat, jacket, sweater, shirt, blouse or dress in a manner that prevents wrinkles, with a lower bar for the hanging of trousers or skirts.* Clamp for the hanging of...

, gagged with tape and then shot once in the head. Neither Brooks nor Loudres would say who fired the shot. In exchange for his testimony at trial, Loudres received a 40 year sentence; Brooks received the death sentence.

The Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 rejected by 6-3 a petition to grant a stay of execution. The State Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended by 2-1 that the execution should proceed.

After a last meal
Last meal
The last meal is a customary part of a condemned prisoner's last day. Often, the day of, or before, the appointed time of execution, the prisoner receives a last meal, as well as religious rites, if they desire. In the United States, inmates generally may not ask for an alcoholic drink...

 consisting of a T-bone steak
T-bone steak
The T-bone and Porterhouse are steaks of beef cut from the short loin and including a T-shaped bone with meat on each side: the larger is a strip steak and the smaller a tenderloin steak...

, french fries
French fries
French fries , chips, fries, or French-fried potatoes are strips of deep-fried potato. North Americans tend to refer to any pieces of deep-fried potatoes as fries or French fries, while in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, long, thinly cut slices of deep-fried potatoes are...

, ketchup
Ketchup is a sweet-and-tangy condiment typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and an assortment of...

, Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce , or Worcester sauce is a fermented liquid condiment; primarily used to flavour meat or fish dishes.First made at 60 Broad Street, Worcester, England, by two dispensing chemists, John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, the Lea & Perrins brand was commercialised in 1837 and...

, biscuits, peach cobbler
Cobbler (food)
thumb|Apple Cobbler.Cobbler refers to a variety of dishes, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom, consisting of a fruit or savoury filling poured into a large baking dish and covered with a batter, biscuit, or pie crust before being baked...

 and iced tea
Iced tea
Iced tea is a form of cold tea, often served in a glass with ice. It may or may not be sweetened. Iced tea is also a popular packaged drink. It can be mixed with flavored syrup, with common flavors including lemon, peach, raspberry, lime, passion fruit, and cherry...

, Brooks was rolled into the death chamber at the Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, Texas
Huntsville, Texas
Huntsville is a city in and the county seat of Walker County, Texas, United States. The population was 35,508 at the 2010 census. It is the center of the Huntsville micropolitan area....

. There he made his final statement. Brooks had converted to Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 while in prison and as such said a prayer to Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

: "Yes, I do. I love you. Ash Hadu an la ilah illa Allah, Ash Hadu an la ilah illa Allah, Ash Hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul Allah, Ash Hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul Allah. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Inna li-Allah wa-inna ilayhi rajiun. Verily unto Allah do we belong, Verily unto him do we return. Be strong."

Brooks was executed on December 7, 1982, despite serious doubts about his personal involvement in the murder of David Gregory. Even the prosecutor pleaded that his death sentence be commuted, because no one knew whether he or his co-defendant actually committed the murder. (Charles W. Colson, "That Execution Wasn't Painless," Washington Post, December 11, 1982)

See also

  • Capital punishment in the United States
    Capital punishment in the United States
    Capital punishment in the United States, in practice, applies only for aggravated murder and more rarely for felony murder. Capital punishment was a penalty at common law, for many felonies, and was enforced in all of the American colonies prior to the Declaration of Independence...

  • List of individuals executed in Texas
  • List of notable converts to Islam

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.