Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed Wednesday evening at the Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas. Brewer is one of 3 men responsible for the notorious dragging death of James Byrd Jr. on June 7, 1998, 13 years ago. Many years prior to carrying out this hate crime, Brewer had affiliated himself with the Confederate Knights of America, a splinter group of the KKK.
Don’t know what went wrong exactly; would have to trace the steps of his life from the beginning, but I’ll never do that. From what I can tell, Brewer acquired a good amount of his warped racist thinking while serving a cocaine conviction in a Texas prison. During his first stretch, Brewer had his body hideously riddled with confederate flag tattoos and other White Supremacist markings.
The fact that Lawrence Brewer didn’t take his execution date too seriously (he actually welcomed it), may be supported by his absurd request for a meat-laden last meal. By the way, I haven’t heard whether he indeed ate this gigantic meal in ernest. Not that he need worry about heart disease.
Anyway, here’s the check list: two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a pint of ice cream, a meat lover’s pizza, and a slab of peanut butter fudge. If he ate all this junk, he would have died anyway without lethal injection.
I remember where I was and what I was doing at the time I heard about the horrible hate crime in Jasper, Texas. It’s impossible to forget, the shocking dragging death, using a 24 and a 1/2 foot chain, of James Byrd on a tranquil country road called Huff Creek. I’m including a photo of a banged-up grey truck (employed in the simulated lynching) in tow to a crime lab, back in the summer of 1998.
There are plenty of articles posted on the internet that retrace the grisly hate crime in excruciating minutiae, but I won’t go there here. I’m not an advocate of the Death Penalty, but I’m also not particularly sorry that Brewer has passed. He’s as harden of a criminal as I’ve ever seen, and had no remorse for what he done all the way up to the time of the application of the needle of condemnation.